Upon reading Sean’s blog entry on the newly opened Mikey’s Original New York Pizza in Bangsar, I told myself that I had to go try it at all cost. Sean’s blog does something to you, especially when he posts scrumptious-looking food photos in the middle of the night.
As Googling goes, New Yorker Michael Helfman brought Andrew Bellucci from New Jersey to help (ultimately) create a chain of New York-styles pizzas (including delivery) in South East Asia, starting in Malaysia. Thus Mikey’s Original New York Pizza was born with its first outlet in the prime area of Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru (opposite Antipodean).
Belluci, now 50 is famed for helping to re-open Lombardi’s Pizza, which was recognised as the first licensed pizzeria in the USA. There were a few other stories about him, but the most important takeaway is that Belluci is highly passionate about pizza. If you’d go through Pizza Making Forum, Belluci talks about the new venture with Helfman, the difficulties they came across and the art and challenges of making the best New York-style dough here in Kuala Lumpur.
In the forum, he claimed that he will put out the best product possible, given the environmental limitations (e.g. pork-free). In his own words, “It will be a GREAT slice. But it won’t be the best slice or pie I am capable of making and that is due to the ingredients I am forced to work with.”
I’m sold. There’s no way I can get through this week without eating this man’s pizza!
It was full house on Thursday evening. The place is casually decorated with images of the Big Apple and Sinatra all over the walls. Background music? Who the hell remembers??
The places operates on a semi self-service style. You order at the cashier, pay up front, then try look for seats (DON’T HOG THE TABLES PEOPLE!). The current practice is that they will bring your food to you. Not sure if they’ll change it to be more self-reliant, i.e. you get your food at the counter when it’s ready.
The good-looking (and happily married) Michael was at the counter, assisting with orders. He warned us that it could be up to an hour’s wait, depending on what we order. Fair enough; if you wanted a single slice that wasn’t already available, you’d have to wait. Fair enough!
Becky and I shared 3 slices and a serving of waffle fries. Mikey’s USP is that they sell by the slice, price starts from RM8.88+. Of course you can get the whole 18″ pizza from RM59.88+ onwards.
Isn’t that expensive for just one slice? I think it’s a matter of perspective and affordability. Mikey’s pizzas are cut into 8 slices per 18″ pizza. For comparison, Domino’s Malaysia’s Xtra Large is 15″. Also at Mikey’s, it’s a whole different ballgame of toppings all together.
What of the dough? It’s light, crisp with a bit of an elastic, chewy bite to it. The Classic New York is a basic combination of mozzarella, fresh tomato sauce, olive oil, grated Grana Padano cheese, RM8.88+ a slice.
Upgrades are available from RM12 onwards for waffle fries/ wings and a drink.
Mikey’s favourite is the Meatball Pizza (RM10.88+ per slice) and we can understand why. Flavourful own-made meatballs with fragrant roasted bell peppers, caramelised onions and lots of garlic. They are not stingy with the ingredients – every surface is heavily covered with something!
Andrew’s favourite (and now mine!) is Pizza Bianca aka 4-Cheese Pizza at RM10.88+ per slice. Get a load of cheddar, mozzarella, ricotta and goat’s cheese, black pepper, olive oil and garlic. Rich and decadent, worth the calories!
Becky saw me half-eyed slowly eating my slice and laughed, “I can see that you’re really enjoying this one.”
If you need more than pizza, Mikey’s offers waffle fries (good), buffalo chicken wings, nuggets and sandwiches. Budweiser is available… but why?
Mikey’s Original New York Pizza
17 Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru,
59100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603-2202 0080
Note: They’re new (just opened mid-April!) so do allow time for them to sort out issues, especially staff and communication.