The certification program of Japanese Food and Ingredient Supporter Stores Overseas
Interview of Suppoter Stores CHIYODA SUSHI
A sushi chain with more than 200 restaurants in Japan has expanded to Vietnam. Enjoy the traditional taste of Japan's pride in a casual and familiar way.
Ho Chi Minh / Vietnam
Comprehensive Japanese cuisine provided by a take-out sushi restaurant
Ho Chi Minh City is the largest commercial city in southern Vietnam. Chiyoda Sushi, which opened in 2016 in the center of the city, is visited by many people day and night. In addition to Japanese residents and Westerners, about 70% of the customers are local Vietnamese. The restaurant is used for a variety of occasions, including business dinners, family gatherings, and date dinners for couples.
Chiyoda Sushi is one of the leading take-out sushi restaurants in Japan, but what they offer in Vietnam is more than just their famous Edomae style sushi: a wide variety of Japanese food, including sashimi, tempura, soba, curry rice, and about 250 other dishes.
“In Vietnam, there are still many people who are not comfortable with raw food. By offering a wide variety of Japanese food, we hope to increase the number of choices and encourage customers to try sushi and sashimi first," said Mr. Jun Sakuma, the leader of the company's Vietnam team.
Carefully selected ingredients from all over Japan delivered directly to your door.
Among the wide variety of menu items, the most popular as well as the most recommended is the " Direct from Toyosu Menu," which includes sushi, sashimi, and grilled dishes using fresh Japanese seafood. The ingredients are sent directly from the Toyosu market in Tokyo under strict quality control and are carefully prepared by Japanese sushi chefs and staffs trained in Japan. The "Sashimi Platter Direct from Toyosu," a collection of seasonal seafood on one plate, is particularly popular, and although it is expensive, it is often ordered a la carte from lunchtime. On the other hand, the grilled dishes, such as grilled live scallops and crab miso paste, and grilled eel, which meets the taste of Vietnamese people who prefer dishes with sweet and spicy sauce and strong fatty flavor, are well received.
In addition to seafood, the restaurant also offers Nikko Kogen beef from Tochigi Prefecture and pure Japanese chicken from Iwate Prefecture. In Vietnam, orders for pure Japanese chicken are relatively low because chicken is sold at a low price in Vietnam, but the Nikko Kogen beef is popular for its nigiri sushi, shabu-shabu, steak, and other items that give a sense of status.
Experience the goodness of Japanese food online and in stores.
In recent years, the number of people enjoying Japanese food in urban areas such as Ho Chi Minh City has been on the rise. However, "Vietnamese people are still a bit conservative when it comes to food. That's why it's our job to provide the first opportunity for them," says Mr. Sakuma.
Therefore, Chiyoda Sushi is actively promoting Japanese food through its website and SNS. For example, in addition to explanations of dishes and ingredients, the contents are diverse, including the health benefits of ingredients and how to make sushi.
At the same time, they also hold sake tasting events in the restaurant and introduce seasonal Japanese ingredients on a colander in front of customers when they order so that they can directly confirm the quality of the ingredients.
Of course, the staff's wealth of knowledge is necessary for such PR. They also put a lot of effort into detailed employee education, such as holding online study sessions on sake breweries and sake production methods in cooperation with sake brewers, and using the staff's own experiences to introduce the menu to customers.
The goal is to popularize sushi and other Japanese foods.
"Thanks to your support, we now have an increasing number of customers who are already familiar with Japanese food. In particular, we now have a lot of experienced people between the ages of 35 and 45 who are particular about taste and have become our fans," says Mr. Sakuma. This is the reason why they are sometimes criticized, but he says that this is proof that Japanese food is gaining recognition in Vietnam.
“In the future, we would like to offer a limited menu using seasonal Japanese ingredients. Also, I would like to increase the number of sake from the current 10 or so varieties so that customers can enjoy the products of various sake breweries at once just by visiting our restaurant.”
On the other hand, Japanese food in Vietnam is still not affordable for the local people. For this reason, they are planning to open stores with reasonable prices without lowering the quality.
“In addition to the safety and security of food, our mission is to popularize Japanese food in Vietnam. The Corona disaster has changed the way people eat, so we would like to focus on takeaway and delivery, which are our original strengths," he said with enthusiasm.
(Interviewed in 2020)