All the steps of slaughtering the sturgeons, taking eggs and salting the eggs were performed at the dining tables in front of the participants. Caviar was served with vodka and by Russian waitresses.
The dishes served here reportedly have the price of $10,000 at minimum. The restaurant, after a short marketing period, reportedly has received orders from four VIP clients in Hanoi and HCM City. A party costs $20,000 at least, while the most expensive is about $50,000.
Analysts say the demand for sturgeon caviar is very high in Vietnam. The rich people are willing to pay big money for caviar, which they believe is very good for health.
Scientists say sturgeons have been existing for the last 300 million years. They live in the open sea, but flow to the fresh waters in the birth season. A sturgeon only gives eggs after 4-20 years. Therefore, the eggs are very precious and expensive.
Sturgeon caviar has been well known throughout the world as the most expensive food, called “the black diamond.” A kilo of caviar is priced at $1500-6,000 in the world. The price could be $10,000 for Beluga or Kaluga.
Le Anh Duc, General Director of Ca Tam Vietnam, said a kilo of sturgeon eggs is selling at VND25 million in the market. However, some people still order one kilo for one week use, which means that they spend VND100 million every month on sturgeon caviar.
According to Duc, only the rich can afford sturgeon caviar. They are the “big guys” in many business fields, from banking, insurance, information technology, to aviation. The demand for the luxurious food is so high that a restaurant can earn billions of dong a month if it serves several groups of the VIP customers.
One of the VIPs said he needs sturgeon caviar for daily meals. In the past, when caviar was not served in Vietnam, he had to order caviar with French, Russian and Swiss suppliers at the price of euro2,000 per kilo, or VND60 million.
Vietnam’s black gold
A report said the world needs 3,000 tons of sturgeon eggs every year, while the total output is just 100 tons. The short supply has prompted Vietnamese farmers to farm sturgeon for eggs.
Vietnamese, after a period of farming sturgeon, have realized that sturgeons can grow well at the temperature of 25-27oC and can be farmed in the hydropower reservoirs with high water capacity and clean water. Sturgeons can spawn after 4-6 years of farming.
While Vietnam has a lot of hydropower reservoirs in the northern, central regions and Central Highlands, it would be ideal to farm sturgeons there.
A report of FAO released in 2012 showed that Vietnam has listed itself among the 10 biggest farmers and producers in the world.