Roman Pan Pizza Master Alice Pizza Opens in Wan Chai with Crispy Thin-Crust Pizza Sold by Weight for Joyous Sharing
(7 September 2023, Hong Kong) – Top-ranked Roman pan pizza specialist Alice Pizza celebrates the soft opening of its debut Asian branch, located in Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, on 12 September 2023. It is renowned for deliciously thin, light and crispy pizza, baked in large, rectangular tins, sliced to order and sold by weight – a traditional Italian concept that allows mixing, matching and sharing for joyful pizza tasting and feasting with family and friends.
Hailed as Italy’s first pizza chain and named among the Top Pizzerias in Italy 2023 by ratings platform Gambero Rosso, Alice Pizza has been brought to Asia by luxury brand distributor Bluebell Group. With most of the ingredients imported from Italy and the Hong Kong pizzaioli (pizza makers) trained by instructors from the Alice Pizza Academy, the local branch is true to the brand heritage of authentic, artisanal Roman pan pizza purchased by the gram – with 7 million kg sold worldwide each year.
The Roman pizza ‘by the cut’ concept – freshly baked pizza, cut into pieces and weighed to order, in a legacy of its street-food origins – adds to the fun and variety of pizza indulgence. A standard slice will weigh from 100g-160g depending on the ingredients on top, with prices ranging from HK$25 for 100g of Margherita – a traditional favourite among some 24 daily choices – to HK$45 for 100g of Parma.
The oven is the heart of a pizzeria and the dough is the secret to its success. Alice Pizza Hong Kong benefits from an Italian-made multi-chambered electric oven identical to that used by its sister shops across Italy and around the globe. Pizzas are baked for about 9 minutes at temperatures ranging from 280 to 300 degrees, with electric ovens best for baking the brand’s signature thin, light and crispy base. Temperature and timing can be set individually within each chamber for perfect, precise cooking of each tempting flavour.
The most important ingredient is the dough since its quality and recipe determine pizza texture and taste. Beginning with Italian flour and extra-virgin olive oil, Alice Pizza’s high-quality dough uses a tenth of the brewer’s yeast typically found in a Roman pan pizza – a refinement accounting for the lighter, crispier, healthier base that has become the brand hallmark. Rich in oxygen, and therefore very digestible, the dough rises slowly for a minimum of 24 hours at a controlled temperature. It is kneaded by hand and rolled it out carefully to place within a lightly oiled rectangular baking pan.
Tomato sauce used to coat the dough is the second essential ingredient. Seasoned with extra-virgin olive oil, oregano and salt, this zesty sauce is the foundation for toppings bursting with fresh, seasonal ingredients from Italy or the local markets.
The pizza menu runs the gamut from classic flavours to vegetarian and vegan choices and innovative creations. The Traditional range are the best-sellers in Italy, led by Margherita (HK$25/100g) – a Naples classic, invented in 1889 and named after the then Italian queen. Italiana (HK$35/100g) embraces tomato, stracciatella (the inner part of burrata cheese), basil and extra virgin olive oil. The creamy favourite of Carbonara (HK$38/100g) uses pasteurised egg, mozzarella, Pecorino Romano cheese, guanciale (Italian pork cheek) and black pepper, while the Signature choice of Mortadella (HK$38/100g) features mortadella (Italian luncheon meat), stracciatella and pistachio.
Other Signature picks include Truffle (HK$38/100g) with mozzarella, mixed mushroom, truffle sauce and plenty of Parmigiano Reggiano PDO cheese; Parma (HK$45/100g) headlined by 17-month-aged Parma ham, mozzarella, Italian yellow cherry tomato and rocket; and the veritable country garden of Rustica (HK$32/100g) – broccoli, mushroom and potato topped by Parmigiano Reggiano. Diavola (HK$32/100g) – Ventricina (Italian spicy salami), mozzarella and tomato – and cheesy Gricia (HK$38/100g) – sliced guanciale (Italian pork cheek), mozzarella, Pecorino Romano cheese and a 4-cheese sauce – are two tasty traditional toppings.
Salmone (HK$38/100g), featuring the smoked fish accompanied by tomato and lettuce, tops the seafood pizzas, along with Gamberetti (HK$32/100g), which stars mazzancolle shrimps backed by tomato, iceberg lettuce and mayo. Vegans and adventurous eaters will relish Eggplant (HK$30/100g), doused in freshly made extra virgin olive oil sauce with plenty of chilli, and the must-try Potato Chips (HK$25/100g), flavoured with extra virgin olive oil and rosemary.
The most iconic topping of all is Nutella Pizza (HK$35 per piece), a sweet sensation easily spotted at the front of the counter since the brand’s earliest days. The Italian hazelnut and chocolate paste was created in Piedmont in 1946, and it is simply spread on the top of the pizza dough for pure joy.
When the first Alice Pizza shop opened in Via delle Grazie at the edge of Vatican City in central Rome 34 years ago, founder Domenico Giovannini vowed to bring the culture and tradition of Roman pan pizza to the world. His pizza was soon hailed by food critics as the best in Rome and the brand expanded across the country and overseas. The Alice Pizza Academy was launched in 2013 to train pizzaioli, maintaining the original, authentic, artisanal preparation of Roman pan pizza throughout more than 200 restaurants today.
“I am delighted that the authentic tastes of Roman pan pizza have now reached Hong Kong where I’m confident customers will embrace the spirit of pizza by the cut. It allows the happy sharing of different fillings, from traditional recipes to innovative new creations, all made using the finest, freshest ingredients and the passion of Italy,” says Alice Pizza founder Domenico Giovannini. “I am grateful to Bluebell Group for their dedication in steering Alice Pizza into Asia.”
“I am very excited to partner with the Alice Italy team to open the first restaurant in Asia, selecting Hong Kong as the first market in this part of the world; I was impressed by their success and fast expansion in Italy. The food scene in Hong Kong is ultra-competitive but we believe the Alice Roman pizza concept, offering high-quality Italian products at fair prices, will be well received,” says Bluebell Greater China Managing Director, Samy Redjeb. “I would like to thank the Alice team for their level of commitment and spirit of partnership which was a key element for this venture.”
The 800-sq.-ft length of the Hong Kong branch is flanked by a long window frontage with tables for 28 diners and a sleek counter. The brand’s signature hues of green, white and red appear in snazzy neon signage – ideal for snapping and posting – that highlights a love of pizza and Rome. White walls and floor, dressed with a jazzy line of tiles, create a bright, contemporary vibe. Adding to the homely appeal are the sights and sounds of an open kitchen and the vibrant colours and aromas of freshly baked pizzas waiting to be cut.
Alice Pizza Hong Kong is located at G/F, 92 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, and opens from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, beginning on 12 September 2023. For more information, please visit www.alicepizza.hk, call (852) 2518-3502, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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