Born in Dalat in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam and raised in the US, Peter Franklin remembers enjoying the smell and taste of good food prepared by his mother. He knew that he had this innate love for gastronomy he couldn’t just give up on, even when he took an entirely different path — finance. He worked as a banker in the US, London and Hong Kong for years. It was in Asia's World City, which he also calls “Global Food City”, that Peter found his way back to culinary arts.
A believer that one must have a good education to succeed, Peter studied at the Le Cordon Bleu, one of the best culinary and hospitality schools in the world, in 2008 and trained in some of Hong Kong’s world-famous restaurants. When he felt ready, he opened Viet Kitchen and Chom Chom, which served Vietnamese cuisine with delightful twists many Vietnamese in Hong Kong instantly loved.
“No matter how far we’ve gone and how long we have been away, at some point, we must return home again,” shares Chef Franklin. And he did. He came back to Vietnam in 2017 and set the local culinary scene ablaze when he opened Anan Saigon.
With a background in finance, I know how important it is for people to see the value of something
Anan Saigon offers an unorthodox take on the Vietnamese cuisine. Chef Peter wants people, both locals and foreigners, to see Vietnam’s culinary wonders beyond the street-famous pho and banh mi. His restaurant is for the gastronomical adventurers, the innovators — the ones whose palates are willing to welcome experimental flavors and whose eyes take delight in the harmony of colors in a plate.
It took Anan Saigon months before they were able to “reframe” Vietanamese people’s concept of good food, to let them recognize what the local cuisine really is and what it could be.
Chef Peter then created the 100-dollar banh mi, which sent everyone including international media baffled. How can a restaurant serve a traditional meat and veggie-stuffed baguette which usually just costs 20 VND and prices it 100 freakin’ dollars?
The banh mi is already special as it is, says Peter, but he wanted to turn it into something more. The Anan Banh Mi Dac Biet features sautéed foie gras, grilled pork chop, sweet potato fries and black truffle mayonnaise. It also comes with a tin of Caviar De Duc and 2 glasses of Prosecco.
It was and still is a big hit! Anan Saigon sells an average of 30 to 40 pieces every month, along with the 100-dollar pho.
Today, Anan Saigon continues to get recognition for its extremely creative and distinctly flavorful menu. It was recently crowned The Best Restaurant in Vietnam in 2021 and one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.