Walter, Thezaman, kdefay - thanks all for your kind wishes.
We had a family/friends preview on Monday and opened Tuesday at 6pm. We were hit hard from the beginning and couldn't keep up with the demand. Line out the door, but everyone was in a great mood - really great vibe.
Requests for interviews came in from local TV, radio, newspapers and the all-important food blogs, which rule here. We're having a press event next month, once we get a handle on everything.
But that didn't stop this person from doing a nice story:http://eatdrinkkl.blogspot.com/2014/04/mikeys-original-new-york-pizza-telawi.html
The place is a hit, last night was even better. We use the day for prepping so we aren't doing lunch yet, but the phone keeps ringing asking if we do. Right now it's 6-10 until I can set up a 3-man prep crew starting at 5am - then we'll open at noon. Probably 2 weeks.
The pies are coming out great - the oven is awesome, The metal plates I had custom made are real even and there's plenty of power to keep things going.
Updating a couple of issues:
I said earlier on this thread that we bought a used SIMTAC dough mixer from a donut shop that went out of business. And there were more than a couple of people who expressed doubt/concern that a "cheap" Taiwanese machine would hold up. So here's an update:
We've been doing 10k of flour (57% hydration) with no problems at all. We had our preview opening on Monday and opened to the public Tuesday, so now we're going through some dough. Yesterday I decided to throw caution to the wind and we double the batch - not quite a 50lb bag (20k) but close enough. Worked like a charm! Today as well. It's rated for 25 kilos of flour and it does a great job. Considering we paid about $1,000 for it and the Hobart here in Malaysia was $16,000, I'd say it was a steal. Not saying it's as good as a Hobart - I could really use a cheese-grating attachment and this one doesn't do attachments, but it's a really good machine.
Okay, as far as pepperoni, it's terrible here. Almost everything is chicken-based as opposed to beef because of price and availability. Lots of poultry, but all beef is imported, the good stuff from New Zealand & Australia and the cheap stuff from India and Pakistan. I used Hormel in NY and thought it was great, Carando was good too. Hormel has a beef only and a beef/pork if I remember correctly and I really liked both - but only if I cut it myself. Don't but pre-cut, it's nowhere near as good.
I solved my non-pork Italian Sausage dilemma simply: after trying many variations and not coming up with anything that I liked, we will not serve Italian Sausage. Period. I'm not compromising. I don't like the pepperoni, but we have only designed pies and the pepperoni appears only on the "Tony Soprano" pie, which is our version of a meat lovers pie. And that's our #1 selling pie after being open for 2 nights.
All to say, things are going even better than expected. And now, I'll get back to prepping for tonight!