Pendolasco: Pioneering Pizza

food - Saigon/HCMC: June 16, 2017

Pendolasco is one of Ho Chi Minh City’s longest-established Italian restaurants. With its two venues – on Nguyen Hue in District 1 and on Thao Dien in District 2 – it treats customers to some of the most authentic – and delectable – pizza and pasta dishes in southern Vietnam.

Making a Good Pizza Great

For an outstanding pizza you need more than the inevitable wood-fired oven, a skilful cooking staff and first-class ingredients. You need a chef who knows the secrets of the perfect dough.

Making pizza is one of those things in life that are easy to learn but hard to master.

After all, a traditional pizza dough consists of only five simple ingredients: water, flour, salt, oil and yeast. Pendolasco’s Chef slightly tweaked a good recipe to turn it into a great one, “and really, in two months’ time, we already saw a leap in sales,” Carlo says. So what makes this pizza different?

Pendolasco

Image source: Pendolasco

Crunchy, Yet Airy

Pendolasco follows the paradigm that is popular in Rome: a thin crust and edge, complementing the tomato sauce’s fresh sweetness and the hearty flavours of top-quality cheese. What really makes it unique, however, is the texture of the dough.

Unlike industrial chains like Pizza Hut or Domino’s that produce “the kind of pizza that Italians hate,” as Carlo complains, with their thick and cakey texture, Pendolasco’s pizzas manage to combine crunchiness with airiness.

Pendolasco

One of the secrets, Carlo explains, is patience:

“If you don’t give the dough the time to rise, it’ll make you feel heavy for hours. You can test it yourself: if, after having a pizza, you can’t stop drinking, that means the cook didn’t give it a long enough resting period.”

Competing with the Best

Pendolasco’s chef regularly takes part in the World Pizza Championship in Parma in Italy’s northern province of Emilia-Romagna, proud home to a food university. The contest attracts chefs from all over the world and covers 12 kinds of pizza, ranging from classic pizza Napoletana to gluten-free and pan pizza.

Pendolasco

Image source: Pendolasco

Pendolasco’s chef competes in the pizza alla pala (“paddle pizza”), a long pizza prepared with special flour that allows a maximum of air to enter the dough so that, despite being stretched, this larger pizza is not heavier than regular ones.

Last time, Pendolasco’s chef ranked seventh worldwide in this category, and this year’s results haven’t reached us yet. Carlo Anzon plans to include pizza alla pala on the menu, to offer guests a new culinary experience and to further promote international pizza culture in the Vietnamese market.

Food for Everyone

This culture is dear to Carlo. “Pizza is one of the world’s oldest dishes, and it has always been food for the poor,” he says, bearing in mind the rituals of his home country:

“In Italy, there’s the tradition to drop all the work on Sundays and to eat pizza. Sunday is pizza e birra: pizza and beer” – a tradition worth sharing!

Pendolasco organises a pizza class for kids every weekend, where children can make their own pizza, instructed by Pendolasco’s chef himself. “After that, they are full of flour,” Carlo laughs, “but also very happy.”

Pendolasco

Image source: Pendolasco

In his view, pizza is quintessentially a food for everyone: “In Italy, you can enjoy fine dining just like in France, for instance, but traditionally we are drawn to trattorias, the Italian take on a quan com, if you will – a popular restaurant where everyone can eat, from rich to poor.”

So, next time you’re hit by pizza cravings, give Pendolasco’s new recipe a try and catch the 5% discount for online orders on pendolasco.vn

Banner image source: Pendolasco