As many of you know, I’ve lived my whole life in New York City. Now, I don’t claim to be an authority on food to any degree, nor do I have a background in culinary arts, business, hospitality, or anything of the like, so take this with a grain of salt as an amateur connoisseur/expert food eater when I talk about our next subject: Pizza. I’ve simply been around it a lot and have consumed quite a bit in my few dozen years alive. In all shapes and sizes, heritages and styles. You name it, I think I’ve had it. From local mainstays like Classica to Nick’s to Grandma’s and Lucia’s and Steve’s and Gino’s and other spots that just tug at your tastebuds every so often that lure you out for a piping hot slice to fold, bite, and enjoy. To major players that you’ll find in every tourist guide book for “NYC Pizza” like Lombardi’s (“oldest pizza place in NYC”) and Grimaldi’s (under the Brooklyn Bridge–but if you don’t care for the scenery, also enjoyed in Douglaston, Queens) and Joe’s, where I learned the importance of full-fat mozzarella cheese and San Marzano tomatoes. From way too much Pizza Hut as a kid to Dollar Pizza as a busy midtown commuter, to the novelties like Koronet (ah, memories of HS eating contests), and a little more out of the box like Korean-style which is pretty wonky to the average New Yorker considering the ingredients chosen. The average pie has lots of sweet potato and combinations of kimchi and cheese of which I’ve never quite been able to tolerate, but is largely eaten only as a snack, so you see Domino’s in Korea and Pizza Maru in Flushing, which are basically catering to the same palate who tone down the saltiness in favor of sweetness. Regardless of preference, each place has its own twist, its own legacy as to how it came about and a different labor of love, whether its to pay one’s bills and feed the neighborhood, keep it classic with Grandma’s recipe, stake a claim on the largest pizza slice, or simply take over the world with capitalist interest (I’ve got a bittersweet relationship with the trifecta of Domino’s/Pizza Hut/Papa John’s–oh my).

Now take the memory-laden significance of this food for me, and enter Pizza Craft. Opened just a few months ago, it’s a budding establishment in Damansara Uptown (Petaling Jaya) specializing in creative recipes that combine the unlikeliest of ingredients and make them friends. It’s honest, it’s hip, and definitely not pretentious (cough, Williamsburg). Most importantly: it’s delicious.

Like Grimaldi’s and other such places, one does not order individual slices, as each pie is made fresh to order. Pizzas come in two sizes–personal and medium–and range in price from RM15 to RM28 ($3.50-7 USD). We ordered three medium pizzas for five adults who were probably at moderate hunger level going in, plus two orders of garlic bread, and we were sufficiently full. The pizza dough is made from scratch everyday and when cooked, comes out as a nice thin crust that is sturdy enough to maintain the integrity of the toppings and inconspicuous enough not to distract from them. Speaking of toppings, the pies we got were Flaming Pepperoni, Blueberry Beef, and the Seafood of the Day. Inventive, innovative, yum. (See photos below. And pardon the quality. Just take my word for it that presentation was top-notch.) On top of it all, the garlic bread is served warm from the oven, with the chef’s own garlic butter recipe slathered on each slice.

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Menu
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Seafood of the Day: Fresh local scallops, tiny cherry tomatoes, with fresh basil, served with a lime wedge. Have I already said fresh? As you can tell, we gobbled this one up before a photo could be taken!
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Blueberry Beef: Meatball, mushroom, green pepper, blueberry jam, garlic. Worlds collide with this one which is just the right amount of salty-sweet, and creamy-garlicky.
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Flaming Pepperoni: Beef pepperoni, red onions, jalapeños, olives, and hot sauce. You’ll want a tall glass of something cold after this one–the spicy level is kicked up to No Joke.
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Happy mealtime with one of spouse’s oldest friends

There is something on the menu available for every palate, whether you favor a sweeter or more savory herbaceous flavor, or you lean more towards kick-you-in-the-shins spicy. We only ordered a handful of items off the menu, and there are still more we haven’t tried, as one can only eat so much in an afternoon, but I am eager to taste the other combinations. At the same time, there aren’t so many selections that make your eyes glaze over and your mind go numb because the good folks at Pizza Craft don’t try too hard to do quite everything, the result being that the specialty pizza recipes are intentionally designed to be great every time.

One can’t really categorize this as strictly Western food or as Asian as one might be tempted to. I would hesitate to even call it fusion. You can’t quite put this in a box because it crosses boundaries and defies categorizations of what one might think pizza and ingredient families are or should be. It’s simply something new and well done.

There are a couple of takeaways that left an immediate impression on me. The space is open, inviting, and unintimidating–simply casual, like when you see an old friend. I could see the space being easily reconfigured as an event venue for private booking or even local gatherings for the public. The location is just across the street from offices and apartment buildings, and they deliver. (For me, delivery pizza has saved the day more times than I care to count. Plus it’s pizza.) Moreover, there are no pork products in any of the menu items, so no one is excluded from eating here!

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