Thursday, April 26, 2007

japanese pizza anyone?

Fusion cuisine, which gave us Rice Burgers and California Sushi Rolls, has a new representative in Singapore. It's a place called "Oishi Japanese Pizza" (oishi means "tasty, delicious"). Well, it's not exactly new, they've existed for some time, but I only came across one of the outlets this weekend.
They have a novel proposition, Japanese Pizza. There's the 'Teriyaki Chicken Pizza" as well as the "Wasabi Seafood Pizza" and some other combinations. I've never been to the place, so I can't really comment about their pizza. They have several outlets across the island, so I assume business is doing well and the pizza tastes really good. But I'd like to abstract for a moment from the food to comment about the concept...
Planners usually love an oxymoron because they have the potential to create an unexpected and differentiated proposition for a brand. You pick a set of meanings that people are not used to see hand-in-hand and voilà, there's a novelty (well, actually, it's a bit more complex than that, but for all purposes, think Levi's jeans and their contradictory "traditional yet young" concept).
The creation of a new concept is not perfect science however, and apparently there's a degree of contradiction that people are willing to accept. Sometimes, the proposition so defies our logic that there's a danger people will simply reject it.
My first reaction to the term "Japanese Pizza" was of incredulity (they can't be serious). Maybe this is because of my cultural background. Having lived most of my life in São Paulo, which boasts the largest Italian community outside Italy, I'm used to the traditional notion of pizza. One thing is to mix "French" and "Vietnamese" cuisines, the classic "fusion cuisine", quite another is to put together the terms "Japanese" and "pizza" in the same phrase. It's a bit of a stretch, at least for me.
Over time however, there's nothing that proves that these new concepts won't be able to overcome the initial strangeness with which they are received. Maybe this is one those cases where if you keep repeating the concept, eventually it becomes a reality. We might even come to take it for granted some day. And as I said, the pizza might be good. So, like the now ubiquitous California Sushi Roll, the Japanese Pizza might win over the world. Let's wait and see.
Next up: "Squisito Italian Sushi".
Let's brace ourselves.


Manish said...

we have our own version of the Indian Masala(spicy) Pizza LOL...

at first i too cudnt stomach this fusion but then, the fusion pizza is the more popular amongst the people!

nice blog you have got...cheers

Nelson said...

thanks for your comments, Manish. Despite what I said, I do believe 'fusion cuisine' has a long future ahead, simply because people are traveling more, migrating more. I'm even considering trying a Teriyaki Pizza, let's see. I've tried Chicken Masala a few times, but I can only wonder how an Indian Masala Pizza must taste.
Cheers, Nelson.