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Blog, Non-Korean Eats

Koreazy Korean Pizzas with Ribs and Egg Rim

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You just gotta love crazy competitiveness between the pizza companies to add more and more ostentatious toppings in order to create a sense of value for their consumers. I guess it is the only way for the big pizza shops to create higher margins (these pizzas go for 30-40 usd a pie). These calorie bombs look interesting but I am on a diet these days so I am not willing to waste a day of working out for a pizza topped with ribs, mayonnaise, different types of cheese and a steamed egg crust. I guess the way that Koreans eat though one pizza would feed 8, because of the family-style way of eating. (In my house we would order 2 giant pizzas and wings and breadsticks and soda to feed our family of 5.)

Anyway, I was passing by Mr. Pizza to see their new pizza offerings. Their new pizza is the “Eggta” which is a like a egg tart in a pizza. The rim is streamed egg and below that they have lots of cheese like a Chicago deep dish and then it is topped with “real steak,” potatoes, Brie cheese and veggies. Yeah. Heart attack.

They have others such as the Ohmy Rib which is pizza topped with ribs.

Not to be outdone, Pizza Hut has the “Crown Pocket” which has a sweet potatoe crust topped with a dollop of cream cheese.

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Central Seoul 2, Non-Korean Eats

Review: Trevia Pizza di Roma 3-stars

Pizza at Trevia di Roma in Gyeonidan

Rating 3 Stars: Highly Recommended (Fresh and Exciting Toppings, crisp pizza, open atmosphere.)
I have found my new favorite pizza place.

Honestly, I had given up on pizza in Korea. I often find the crust too soft or cardboardy and the toppings blase or simply bizarre.  I think it also has to do with the fact that growing up with good pizza (Lorenzos in Philly, Joe’s Pizza in NYC, etc.) makes me unwilling to put up with bad pizza. The other place up the road, Pizzarium is too doughy for me and although I like the people at Beer O’Clock, it is just delivery pizza (but it is nice they deliver beer).

Trevia Pizza near Noksopyeong station offers crispy pizza on homemade dough with wonderful toppings.  The Siciliana Pizza has pala dough (hand pulled dough) which is cheeseless pizza that has capers, real sicilia olives and black olives (I wonder how they got them, cause they are expensive!) and real anchovy. This was my favorite pizza of the bunch.

The quattro formaggio had 4 chunks of different cheeses: brie, gouda, gorgonzola, and fresh mozzerella on each mini slice- also excellent. The final pizza we got was the mushroom pizza that had a variety of plush and chewy mushrooms with cheese.

We got the pizza with the green salad- which was also very fresh and big and this was a meal big enough for 2- I was quite stuffed. The total cost for food was about 24,000 won.

The atmosphere is quite nice as well, but the concept is definitely self-service. You won’t have a waitress bringing you drinks or pickles, or pizzas or wine. You get it yourself and I think that is how they can focus on food quality while keeping prices reasonable.

 I definitely think you should go check this place out.

Trevia II Pizza di Roma
557 Itaewon-dong Yongsan-gu
02-794-6003
Directions: Go out Noksapyeong Station (line 6) Exit 2 and walk 5 minutes. Cross to the other side of the road.

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Central Seoul, Non-Korean Eats

CLOSED 1 Decent and 1 unusual (blueberry!) Pizza at Pizza di Pane

Pizza di Pane

Rating: 1 star out of 4 (good for the money, nice service, nice atmosphere)

The street perpendicular to my cooking school is slowly becoming hip. There is a chocolate cafe aptly named the “Chocolate Cafe” across from the Rice Cake Museum. The Chocolate Cafe makes…chocolate that is brown and shiny- sorta like the chocolate bunnies you would get during easter. There is also bakery that makes mediocre bread and a cafe that serves…coffee. Ok, it’s not a culinary gem yet, but it’s in the state of development. There is a Nescafe that has opened on the corner and a Family Mart as well. On the main street are some decent Korean restaurants such as Jongro BBQ Bossam, and several Korean raw fish restaurants. Adjacent to the main streets are where the food shines. Here you get authentic pork (garmaeggisal) restaurants and there is also a very famous knife-cut noodle shop as well.


The other new addition to this street is a pizza shop named Pizza di Pane. The place is cute. It has a nice interior, a porch and a pizza oven. The coffee is pretty good as well and damn cheap. You can get an Americano here for 1,800 won. Oh, but remember, this is a pizza place. How is the pizza? Hmmm…It’s a mixed bag. The toppings are flavorful and inventive. They have onion and red onion pizza, chicken curry, cheese, and even blueberry rucola.

The pizzas are a bit overly sauced- these pizzas require a knife and fork. The onion and black olive pizza is topped with a sour cream, cheese sauce with finely shredded cheddar cheese and parsley. The crust is where this restaurant is best. It is like a foccaccia pizza, it is crispy on the bottom and a bit doughy. It’s not bad and decent for the money (5,000 won).

I was pleased with this one, so I decided to go back and give the blueberry rucola pizza a try. It was so wacky that I simply had to. This one is an interesting experiment, but I don’t think I will try it again.
To note, it shows that the chef is creative (maybe too creative :) . The concept of tart blueberry and green and bitter rucola actually works- it’s the execution that is lacking. The blueberry is in the form of sweet blueberry yogurt over bread topped with tomatos, rucola, and shredded parmesan cheese. Blueberry and tomatoes actually work as well. I mean I think I might try and make a salad with the elements of these ingredients but with fresh ingredients and take out the sweet blueberry sauce.

I know what the chef is trying to do. He is trying to make a healthy pizza (I know a paradox).

This place has potential. The people that work there are very nice and they are very hard working. I will give this place another chance. I think I’ll get the chicken curry pizza next time.

Pizza di Pane
Subway, Jongro 3-ga (line 3) exit 6 walk out and walk about three minutes.

Blueberry Rucola Pizza
Pizza di Pane
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Central Seoul 2, Non-Korean Eats

Bate’s Take: Pizza at the Crow’s Nest

It’s not delivery…
Written and Photographed by Jonathan Bates

It was just another blustery and frightfully cold weeknight when I got a call from a friend to come meet him. I knew what this meant (beer and pizza) and without him even touching my rubber arm, I contently acquiesced. I had heard about some good pizza in Itaewon from a few friends about a place called The Crow’s Nest – so we said “eh, why not?” and decided to meet there.

Walking up the frigid stairs to the pub, the first thing I noticed was the window in the stairwell giving the perfect glimpse into the kitchen where you could see the cooks at work. It was like the pubs rendition of the infamous Krispy Creme “tour” you could go on in the States (only you don’t get a free pizza at the end of it). Walking in, it had a very fresh feel to it. The tabletops were all painted in neon colors and the walls splashed in white and covered with various memorabilia. In my opinion, it felt and looked like a mix between a child’s playroom and a modern pub. At one end of the pub was a medium sized bar and a few large screen TVs mounted to the wall playing various sports games and matches.

My friends and I were seated quickly and it only took us a few moments to decide that we came for the pizza. The variety of pizzas was good – you could even pick and choose your own toppings. When it came time to order, we asked the waitress if we could do half pepperoni and half mushroom and pepperoni. Dully, she said “no.” Being visibly shocked at the refusal of what I can only assume is a common question, I politely asked her to see if it was possible. Almost immediately the owner came out and said that it was absolutely “no problem” but that the extra topping would be a scant 3,000 won. Easy as pie (pun intended), I thought. While we waited we enjoyed a pitcher of beer and some soju over a soccer match. In a matter of minutes our pizza came out! I couldn’t believe how fast it was.

The pizza itself was gargantuan size of American proportion. Luckily we only had three people at our table because the pizza literally took up more than half of it. It looked and smelled delicious – just like a pizza from back home. The crust was nice and thick on the ends and of medium width under the rest of the pizza. It was pleasantly cheesy and was adorned with a bounty of pepperoni and mushrooms on it, which in Korea is a rarity. We steadily polished off the whole pizza and were left feeling stuffed and wanting more drink. After, the owner came over to ask how it was. He certainly got no complaints from us.

Considering that the place was nearly packed and it was only a Tuesday was a good first impression. As home to Korea’s largest pizza, my expectations were high. I was hoping I had finally found a place to have pizza like the pizza back home. I was victorious in that respect. Even despite the frightfully chilly bathrooms (they weren’t heated) and the less-than-flexible waitress, I will definitely go back for more.

This place definitely knows what it is doing in terms of its pizzas. However, if pizza isn’t in the cards for you they also offer a myriad of salads and pastas. Pizzas ranged from 16,000-26,000 won, add 3,000 for every additional topping you choose to add to your customized pizza. Salads and pastas range from 12,000-22,000 won. They have a fully stocked bar that serves everything you could want to wet your whistle. Tuesday night is ladies night; between 7 and 9 pm all ladies get one free drink.

How to get there. Take line 6 to Itaewon Station, exit 2. Out of the exit take a left at the first alley and then a right at the end of that alley. The Crow’s Nest will be on the left about 20 meters. The pub is located on the second floor – you can’t miss the sign. Phone: 02-749-7888.

My grade: B+

Come take a cooking class or take a Culinary Tour in Seoul! http://www.ongofood.com

Pictures are taken either with my Panasonic DMC-G2 Camera with 20mm Lens or with my iPhone 4G


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Non-Korean Eats

Beer O’Clock: Delivery Pizza in Gyeonidan

Beer O’Clock is known as one of the best western bars in Sinchon. It is run by my buddies, Clarke and Trevor and they decided to expand into the heart of where foreigners live in Gyeonidan. What they decided to focus on here is pizza and that’s all that they do. The place is small but they do a variety of different pizzas ranging from bbq chicken, Hawaiian, Meatza, Double Cheese, and the works. The pizzas are sizable and pretty good. I mean it’s like dominos but at half the price and with normal toppings. You won’t find shrimp tempura, potato wedges, or honey mustard on your pizza pies here.
Like I said, not bad and I really like that they will let you have cheddar cheese on your pizza. (Double Cheese doesn’t mean extra cheese. They mean cheddar plus mozzarella.) 
Located in Gyeonidan across from the Family Mart and the Kimbap Chunguk.
02-792-0007
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