My name is Andrew Bellucci and I've come to Kuala Lumpur (KL) on a one year contract to open and operate a New York style pizzeria. Scott123 thought it might be good to chronicle my experiences in a thread, so here we go.
My quick background, I made pizza at Two Boots (gas oven) and Three of Cups (wood-fired oven) both in the East Village, NYC and then re-opened Lombardi's(coal-oven), in Little Italy, NYC.
The name of the operation is Mikey's Original New York Pizza and we're looking at a mid-April opening, with a soft opening and media invitation the week prior to the hard opening. The food bloggers seem to wield a lot of influence in KL, so they'll all get invites, as well as the traditional media outlets. My m.o. in dealing with the press is just be yourself, put out the best product possible and everything else falls into place.
The idea is to get this shop open and a second store open in December. This first location is in Bangsar, KL. Bangsar is a affluent neighborhood, mixed with ex-pats, foreign business people and the KL upper middle class. It's in a section of town that has four streets with only restaurants and cafes. There's a lot of night action - several places stay open 24 hours.
Our location will have indoor seating for 60, seating for 16 outside and we anticipate doing a brisk delivery business. There is pizza in KL and it comes in two forms: Domino's and Pizza Hut are the two big players; Papa John's has a presence but is a very distant 3rd. The Domino's here all have seating (unlike NYC) and do a big business, as does Pizza Hut. The other form are high-end Italian places, making Neapolitan style pies as part of the full Italian menu.
No one here does slices: that's what we're here.
I'll update this thread as we progress towards opening. I just came back from watching a spiral mixer in action (I've always worked with a 60-quart Hobart) and it looks like it can do the job, so we'll probably buy that one. FYI, a new 60-quart Hobart here runs about $16,000. The spiral mixer I saw can be had for $3,500 - the brand is Sinmag out of Taiwan - it's very similar to the Mechnosud IM44 in appearance.
I've included a couple of photos of the raw space and the mixer.
Until next time. . .