QSR Media got in touch with the people behind newcomer Saigon Lane to talk about its launch, vegan additions to its authentic Vietnamese menu, and its plans for the future.
Saigon Lane was founded by restaurateur Aki Kotzamichalis. Created in partnership with Robert Clifford from Alto Cibum hospitality consultancy, Saigon Lane serves up a unique twist on Australian Vietnamese culinary culture. Its authentic menu was created under the direction of Phil Davenport – ex-Head Chef of Bali’s Ku De Ta, and offers a range of light and healthy sharing dishes including green rice fried tiger prawns and Vietnamese chicken coleslaw salad with roasted peanuts. Crafted cocktails, including two signature cocktails, are on tap.
Saigon Lane is the fusion of Miss Chu and Saigon Street, offering an expansion on the existing Miss Chu menu with food inspired by brother restaurant Saigon Street as well as an expanded list of drinks and cocktails.
QSR Media: Can you tell us more about Saigon Lane?
Saigon Lane is the little brother of successful Bali restaurant Saigon Street. Restaurateurs Aki Kotzamichalis and Rob Clifford identified an opportunity to add value to the four Sydney locations previously operated as MissChu. We felt that we could refresh the product and re-engage with the loyal Misschu regulars who value fast, fresh Vietnamese food.
QSR Media: What differentiates it in the market?
Saigon Lane is a fun brand that seeks to appeal to a broad cross section of diners. We value authentic favours, fresh on site cooking, healthy menu items and fun and vibrant environment’s. Our goal is to engage with diners on a daily basis for any occasion. Our price and quality is a key market difference, we want to let people eat fresh healthy food as often as they want so we have prices that encourage this.
We are also a brand that offers a restaurant concept and express concept whilst offer the same menu and prices so our model can suit many operating environments.
Additional we offer speciality house drinks such as our Spiced Blood Orange Gin & Tonic with a select cocktail list, Vietnamese beers and a range of wines, we hope to include this soon in our delivery service.
QSR Media: How has Saigon Lane been received so far?
Response for the new brand and menu items has been outstanding. We still have a good demand for traditional favourite’s such as the rice paper rolls and pho, however our new salads have been particularly popular.
QSR Media: What can you say are the challenges you are currently facing? How about opportunities?
We have been listening to our customers who are keen to see more vegan items, as a result we added a number of new menu items. We think that demand for fast healthy food will continue to grow as people become more health conscious, people are also seeking more authentic dining experiences with complex flavours and fresh ingredients. We have created the Saigon Lane values around these facts.
QSR Media: What would you like to tell the market about the direction of your brand?
We are aiming to open stores in Brisbane and Perth this year , our stores will not be franchised but company run as we want to control the guest experience as we grow. We will continue to grow our online presence and focus on growth through our online ordering platform.
We have also received interest from the US and UK so we will be investigating those opportunities however we are conscious of growing too fast.
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