Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Best Pizza in Korea: d'Buzza in Hannam dong, Seoul


Caprese salad with a simple cheese-stuffed bread

The best pizzas in the country that Daejeon Access has found. If there is a better pizza in Korea, please tell us where to find it.

d'Buzza in Hannam-dong Seoul opened up almost two years ago and the place has knocked out pizzas non-stop. There has been a wait almost every day and the wait is long. LOOOOOONNNGGG! So long they had to open up a second location a mere five-minute walk away. Thank the Pizza Gods that they made a bigger restaurant as the original seats 24 people. 

If you are a pizza otaku, this place is your mecca. They have a lot of places in Seoul where people rave about the pizza. Let me give you the Seoul pizza breakdown.

Beer O'Clock: BLOWS
Hollywood: crunchy thicker style dough and inconsistent
Pizza Peel: So much promise and such a mediocre product. Pizza Gods should come down and beat them up. My friend Lauren McPhate once tasted my pizza and she said "This is better than Pizza Peel."

To continue would just bore the both of us. d'Buzza puts out a great product at a consistent level. Please trust Daejeon Access to not lie (okay, Todd and I argue about Taco K; he says "great" and I say "It tastes like he learned to make Mexican food in Illinois"). 



d'Buzza features traditional Italian-style pizzas baked in a freakingly hot wood-fired oven. Notice the fine char blisters on the margarita pizza above. They never skimp on ingredients and use only fresh mozzarella. The sauce is simple, just an accent to the base and the ingredients. There is a particular concept to how they have designed their pizzas and if you don't get it, you need to go to a pizza tasting hagwon. 

Served with your pizza is a plate with parmigianno reggiano, genovese pesto, and red pepper flakes as condiments. Bare tables, paper napkinsm four extra tables tucked around the corner by the walk-in fridge, this place has no pretensions about being a upscale place. The only thing they do upscale is pizza.

The closest to this pizza is Nuova Napoli and it is just close with their shredded mozzarella and poor table maintenance.

N.B. I love the Nuovo Napoli pizza. Very good product. I have been there more than once and now that I have moved back to Daejeon, I expect to eat there more often. But it's expensive, especially for what you get. Nuovo Napoli's prices are right around d'Buzza and they produce an inferior product. As for keeping the place tidy, the last time I was there, I ordered as a 6-top broke, the table just trashed with napkins, plates, glasses, and all sorts of debris. My pizza came, I ate, I got up to pay, and only then did the staff come out to clean the table. Wasn't busy, unless you count whatever was on their phones.




Monster Calzone


d'Buzza Pizza

Between Itaewon station and Hangangjin station, right behind the Audi dealership. Can't miss it.

Price: $$$ (out of $$$$$)

English spoken

Recommended: Pizza, any pizza.

Smoking: Like a church

Alcohol: limited wine and cocktails

Reservations: booked for the next two months, even with the new one open. Be prepared to wait whenever you go.

Sound level: You can speak comfortably. No on is screaming like in some other places.

Kid friendly: Didn't see any kids and didn't see any high chairs. The staff is nice so I am sure they would accommodate you.




Primavera Pizza



Lasagne, good but not great, at just under 19,000. 
Felt the same way after I had the Vato's burrito. (Great tacos, mediocre burrito.)


The cute to-go box.


Fried bananas for dessert.