Food + Soju + Good Times
Last week some coworkers and I checked out Blacksmith’s Oven Pizza, regarded by many as the best pizza in Korea.
NOTE: this is NOT the new chain of Italian restaurants (by Cafe Bene) that are sprouting all around Seoul.
It’s located on a small side street in Insa-dong (인사동) and they don’t even have a sign on the building or a logo on the door. It’s a very small restaurant and reservations are a must!
The counter/kitchen and the oven. It’s not a brick oven but it must generate some serious heat because the pizzas came out very fast.
I think they are going for an eclectic, vintage look with the interior. All the lights and candles make the space feel warm and cozy. This place would be perfect for a date on a cold snowy night.
They have about 6 different pizzas, 1 calzone, 1 salad, and some drinks. A concise and simple menu, I like that.
The gorgonzola cheese pizza (KRW 16,000) was really great! They piled on a mild gorgonzola and I thought it was the perfection balance of saltiness and the “bite” you get from a bleu cheese. In Korea they always give you honey with gorgonzola cheese pizza, do they do that in other places? It’s actually not a bad combination but here the pizza was so good, nobody bothered with the honey.
The calzone pizza (KRW 20,000) was respectable but I thought it was bland. Since a calzone has twice the amount of bread it needs extra seasoning and that’s why they usually give you extra sauce on the side, but not here.
The rucola pizza (KRW 18,000) was my least favorite of the 3 pizzas. So many Italian restaurants in Korea have these “salad” pizzas and I think its absolute non-sense. The foliage they pile on top adds no value to the overall taste of the pizza. It makes it a mess to eat, forcing you to use a knife and fork, and we all know pizza should be eaten with your hands.
Overall I think this place knows what they are doing and they make a good pie, but I am very curious to know where they learned their pizza. It’s not the thin crispy New York street slice, it’s not the deep dish Chicago style, and it’s not the fancy artisanal pizzas they got in L.A. It’s kind of like the pizza you get at the bowling alley but made fresh (not frozen) and done very well.
The gorgonzola was easily the best pizza I have had in Korea and in my top 10 list of all time. Trust me, I have eaten ALOT of pizza and I consider good pizza to be an art form. If I had to rate this place just on the gorgonzola I would give it a 9 but they have 5 other types of pizzas and based on the calzone and that silly salad pizza . . .
Rating: 7 out of 10.
Blacksmith’s Oven Pizza (대장장이 화덕피자): 02-765-4298