Saturday, December 11, 2010

Makeoli Salon, Seomyeon

There is a Korean review with loads and loads of pictures here. All of their pictures are better than this one, anyway.

This is probably the fanciest place you will ever drink makeoli. Fresh paint, no graffiti and no banged up kettles. Don't let the appearance fool you though, this place is dirt cheap. Actually, its cheaper than any other makeoli place I've found in Seomyeon. The staff are friendly, good atmosphere and a huge variety of makeoli for the connoisseur.

Directions: Two blocks from the Foxy Club in Seomyeon. Follow the sign to Angel Hotel, its on the same street. Its difficult to see from the main road though. Subway exit 2,4 and 6 will put you on the correct side of the street.

Prices: Dirt cheap!
Food: From about 10,000. The usual makeoli den specials.
Drinks: 1 litre jugs of makeoli from 4,000 won
English menu: No english!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wolfhound Irish Bar, Haeundae

The new Wolfhound Bar opened in Busan last Saturday and already seems to be a hit with the local expats. We were at the opening night and it looks like the've done a pretty good job. A big long bar, everything is nice and new and clean (unlike some other expat bars I could mention....), and there's plenty of space and seating. No pool table or darts though.

Service was excellent, even though the place was packed to the rafters drinks and even food appeared quite quickly and all the staff were friendly.

After a couple of ciders (they were flat, I don't know if that's the brew or not, but still, where else can you get cider in Busan?). They are only offering a limited menu at the moment, but the burgers we had were fantastic. The bacon ranch chicken burger is a wonder to behold, and no picture can do it justice...

 So I would say that the Wolfhound is worth braving the freezing Haeundae winds to get to,and you know its only going to get better as it becomes more established. Come and check it out!

Directions:  From Haeundae subway station walk towards the beach and we are located on the right side of the road about 50 meters before KFC. It is across from Fuzzy Navel slightly up the road towards the station. It is on the second floor.
Food: From 9,900
Drinks: Cass 3,500
A big selection of quality imports on tap from 4,000 up, including cider for 7,500
Vegetarian: Nothing on the menu, but you could probably ask.
English menu: Yes.
Check them out on FB!/profile.php?id=100001666094364

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sapporo Ramen (Sanpachi Ramen), Nampo-dong

The big Japanese Ramen chain さんぱち has opened a branch in Nampo-dong. Of course, there are many Japanese-style ramen shops in the Gukje market, and while I can't say which is the best, this is not a bad place to start looking. My preference is for tonko ramen (ramen with pork slices), and Sapporo Ramen has a great selection.

Unfortunately I didn't spot any miso-style ramen on the menu, but both their salt and soy-sauce styles (the two main styles of ramen) were pretty good.

They also serve some izakaya favourites, such as gyoza (Japanese style 만두) and karoage (fried chicken balls), but these side dishes are only available after 6pm.

Location: On the main street in front of the new lotte department store. Be aware that although the big english sign says Sapporo Ramen, the place is signed as "sanpachi" in both Korean and Japanese.

Ramen: 6,500+
Gyoza: 3,500
Beer (hite): 3,000

English menu: No. Staff speak no English... but some do speak Japanese.
Vegetarian options: No.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Toast story, Hadan

Yes, I am reviewing a toast place. Why? Because unlike your local Issac Toast, this place brands cute animal faces into your toast. Yes it does.

Unfortunately, despite its cutsiness and convienient florist I wouldn't recommend toast story for a first date. Why? Because as soon as you bite into one of these sandwiches, the sauce has got to go somewhere - and that somewhere is going to be your lap, your date's lap, or (if you're lucky) all over your face.

Location: At the bottom of the hill in front of Dong-A university, by the bookstore, near the subway station.
Toast: 1,000-3,000 won
Juice smoothies: 1,500
Coffee: 3,500
English menu: No. Staff speak a little English.
Vegetarian options: Yes, if you can bear to eat the cute little faces.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Breeze Burns, Nampo Dong

The popular burger joint Breeze Burns has just opened a branch in Nampo-dong, just down the street from the new Lotte Department store.

Suddenly, Nampo-dong has a bunch of great western food options. Not only do we have Breeze Burns now, but in the new Lotte Department store there is also a Quiznos, Auntie Annie's Pretzels and Irish Potato (Yes, Irish Potato).

Still no mexican food though. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

For my womans

That's right baby.
My womans gots shrimps. 'Cos I knows what she likesss...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

고추튀김: Deep fried stuffed hot peppers

 Today school lunch contained a little surprise - much better than the usual surprises (unidentified hairs). Deep fried stuffed hot peppers! And you know the food's good when every classroom has a little sign above the lunch trays saying "you can only take ONE hot pepper".

I can't wait to find this stuff in the market so I can eat it all the time!

You can see the full process to make 고추튀김 here, on the webiste I stole this picture from.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wolfhound coming to Busan?

According to its website, Seoul's famous Wolfhound Irish Pub and Restaurant will be opening a branch in Haeundae in November.

I, for one, am looking forward to enjoying a shepard's pie with a glass of cider this winter.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Apparently the donut cheeseburger has made it to Korea.

 The burger, also known as a Luther burger, was once called "the world's unhealthiest snack" by CBS.

Of course, there's been nothing to stop Koreans make the donut burger at home, since all the ingredients are readily available. Hopefully soon lotteria will release a donut shrimp burger, and then everybody will be happy.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Whale... it's what's for dinner.

Today's JoonAng Daily discusses the nominally illegal trade in whale meat in Korea. The focus is on Ulsan, a traditional whaling city. Although I am Australian (and our people and government are well known for their strong anti-whaling stance), I don't really have a problem with whaling or people eating whale.

If you do want to taste the biggest creature in the ocean, there in this post by Brian in Jeollanam-do on how to find it in Ulsan. In Busan, lonely planet (and greenpeace) affirm that it is available at Jalgachi Fish Market, although I don't recall seeing it there myself. Might have to read the labels more closely.

Apparently, "It’s an open secret among restaurant owners that environmental activists from Greenpeace send undercover investigators to Ulsan every year. They come to check the origins of the pricey whale meat served in local diners. A news report last week revealed that local police had raided two unlicensed warehouses in the city’s main port, Jangsaengpo. The cops found 60 tons of minke whale meat" So it would appear there is some enforcement of the anti-whaling rules in Korea. Try dobbing in a whale-meat smuggler in Japan and you might find yourself in gaol, as two Japanese greenpeace activists recently discovered.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Morocco Casablanca Restaurant, Gimhae

I realise it is a bit out of Busan, but if you can get there on the local bus, then it counts in my book. And here is some great food worth travelling for!

The Morocco Casablanca Restaurant in downtown Gimhae serves an excellent variety of genuine Moroccan food, at quite agreeable prices.

The Chicken Tajine is to die for, and there are some great couscous dishes on the menu as well. Better couscouse, in fact, than I've been able to find anywhere in Busan. Of course, they serve lamb, and any of our regular readers knows we are big fans of lamb here. Furthermore, the bread, made in-house in the mornings, is incredible.

Service is friendly and fast, without becoming intrusive, and the atmosphere is, well, authentic - with verses from the Koran booming out from the cd player and soccer on the TV.

Definitely skip Gimhae's Clayarch Museum and head straight here for a culinary experience well worth the long bus ride from Busan.

Location: Downtown Gimhae ( Sasang-dong, 82-42)
Phone: 010 - 5631- 0539
Cost: Mains 7,000+

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Zooza, Seomyeon

Come hungry, leave happy?

Well, in any case, that the slogan of Zooza's, a new American-themed bar/restaurant. I don't think "leave happy" is quite correct... my feeling was more "leave wishing you'd ate somewhere else". This is Seomyeon after all. Unfortunately they've chosen to put Zooza's in Judie's Taehwa, which means you don't even have to leave the building to get better fare. Let me show you what I mean....

Ho-hum. Is this supposed to be carbonara? Make an effort next time, please.

OK, now what is this supposed to be. It looks kind of like a pizza. Well, not really. There are some toppings, most of which are onion, and some rather lost looking black olives. However, the real disgrace here is the crust. It's some sort of sweet pastry crust, like what you'd use it an apple tart or something like that. Seriously, I will happily eat pizza (even Dominoes) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week but I couldn't finish more than a slice of this rubbish. What were they thinking?

Well, the pizza was not the worst pizza I've has in Korea, but it was bad enough for me to say, don't risk it. Don't eat their food. Just eat somewhere else.

Some readers might think I'm being too harsh, but obviously they have not tried this crappy pizza. If you want me to say something nice about the place, well, they had some thick-cut french fries service that did not suck. There is a nice view from the windows and they have several TVs with different stations on them. And they have done a pretty good job of making it look like an Applebees or something.

Also, the staff smile alot, but they are really dim. They aren't even familiar with what's on their own menu. And service is painfully slow. You could order, get up, leave and order some real food, eat it and come back before your order arrived here. And that's what I'd recommend you do.

I suppose you could just come here to drink beer, if you were willing to wait for it.

Location: 4th floor, Judies Taehwa Building, Seomyeon.
Phone: 051-667-7666 (That explains the pizza!)
Vegetarian Option: Yes
English menu: Yes. Some of the staff speak English.
Pasta and Hof food from 7,000
Pizza from 13,800
Set: (2 pasta, 1 pizza and beer) 28,500
There is steak too.... um... yeah.. good luck with that.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Kitanachelin Kankoku?

Apparently there is a hit new food show in Japan, Kitanachelin, which recommends restaurants where the decor may be rock-bottom but the food is top notch.

 I reckon anyone who loves Korean food must be sympathetic to this idea. It has always struck me that, in Korea, the crappier the room: the better the food. Not to mention the price!

I always worry folks won't believe me when I come across another graffitti-filled, greasy, hole-in-the-wall dump with a menu full of scrumptious food where there's not an item on the menu that's over 5000 won. But they are about. And not just out in the dingy suburbs. There are fantastic and dirt cheap Korean places everywhere - 2 minutes walk from Haeundae beach for instance.

So don't fret about the wallpaper, the noise and the menus scrawled in terrible korean handwriting, just sit right down on the wonky plastic stool and enjoy some unforgettable food.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Chicken champs?

Lately our favourite chicken shop closed down, and since then I've exchanged fried chicken for the roast chickens you can buy from the back of a truck.

Still, fried chicken perfect accompaniment to a cold beer, especially with both summer and the World Cup well on their ways. In that spirit, The JoonAng Daily has an article entitled "Who will be crowned chicken champ?"

The best part about the article is it breaks down which popstars promote which chicken chain. However, it fails to crown a chicken champ!

Nothing to stop us doing it though. What is your favourite chicken shop is Busan, and why? 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Taco Senora, Haeundae

So, previously I reviewed the lackluster mexican menu of Fuzzy Navel, not that it even needs a mention - it's even in the damn Lonely Planet. Here is an even better and cheaper option for mexican food in Haeundae - Taco Senora. Its well known in Busan, popular with allsorts, and only a few blocks away from Fuzzy Navel in Haeundae.

Marked by a serious overuse of post-it notes (that can only be matched by this), this little setup makes even your apartment look outsized. But that small room quickly somehow contains huge tacos! Such are the mysterious powers of the Taco Senora.

The solid little menu is all mexican: burritos, tacos, quesadillas, fajitos and nachos. And there is no skimping with the filling either.

This friendly, one-woman operation is everything you need and so much more than you expected to find when looking for Mexican food in Korea.

Prices: See right... not bad, are they?

English Menu: Yes

Directions: From Haeundae station walk past Sfunz and take a right. Continue down that street until you see this Beauty Zone. Opposite Beauty Zone is a little alleyway. Go down that alleyway - you won't see Senora until you're very close to it. Here is some alternate directions with a map.

All this reading when you could be eating delicious tacos! Get on the subway over to Haeundae, check it out, and enjoy some great mexican food to go with the start of the Busan summer.

You'll be kicking yourself if you've been waiting with the crowd for your burrito at Fuzzy Navel (though mind you, Senora fills up fast as well...)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kamustahan Filipino Restaurant, Busan Station area

Venturing into the seedy area around Texas street is not our favourite pastime, but we managed to find perhaps the only non-sleazy place around, Kamustahan, a friendly Filipino place.

We had the Chicken Adobo as recommended by the staff, which was absolutely delicious. It was cooked to perfection with a mouthwatering sauce.

However, I have to say that this place is pretty overpriced. Dishes are modest in size; the chicken was quite scrawny for 10,000 won; and 4,000 for the small bottles of local beer is pushing it in anyone's book. Hopefully we will discover a more reasonably priced alternative
soon enough, but for now, this is it.

Prices: Mains 10,000won, Beers: 4,000 won 

Some English is spoken by some of the staff.

Vegetarian option: Sorry, I didn't see anything on the menu without meat except white rice.

Directions: Just behind Texas Street (Choryang Shopping Area for Foreigners), near Busan Station.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Welcome Pho, PNU

PNU is by and far the epicentre of foreign food in Busan. Basically, if you want some non-Korean fare, this is where you will find it, be it Burgers, Kebabs, Indian Curry, you name it.

So its no surprise that PNU is also a great place to enjoy some Vietnamese style dishes. Welcome Pho is a very stylish and clean restaurant with a great view for people watching. The service is good and prices reasonable.

Most important, of course, is the food - and it is quite good. The spring rolls are perfect and come with a delicious peanut sauce. The pho is not quite up to the standard found in Vietnam itself, but is authentic enough to evoke memories of the gasoline stench from the motorcycle-filled streets of Ho Chi Min City; the sound of boats putt-putting down the Mekong delta, the colours of silk and vegetables in the crowded market...

As usual with Vietnamese food, you'll find more than enough here to sate your appetite. The usual assortment of sauces, spices and sprouts are provided for you to season your own meal. The only real downside to this place is there is no lime to flavour the dishes with, only lemon. For the moment, lime remains out of reach in Korea - even in Vietnamese cusine. Also, some Vietnamese beers would be nice - 333 or Saigon - but Korean beer is a pretty similar style anyway. In any case, they serve Vietnamese style coffee, the perfect accompaniment to a relaxing afternoon.

Prices: Pho/Fried Rice: 6,000+
English Menu: Yes
Vegetarian options: Yes
Directions: It's next door to Kebabistan, on the corner, 2nd floor.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Not for the faint hearted....

Now I eat a lot of "strange" food here, but this was no feast for the faint hearted. The local blood sausage, a squid stuffed with squid and blood sausage, kimchi, peppers and garlic. Or as they say in Korea, "the breakfast of champions".

To top it off, what I ordered was 돼지불고기. Obviously, this is not 돼지불고기. I was very clear in my order that I wanted 돼지불고기. As it sometimes happens, the older waitress decided that I didn't know what I was talking about, and she could pick something much better for me.

Naturally, I ate it anyway. With a serious side of makeoli.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fuzzy Navel, Haeundae/Seomyeon

The very popular Fuzzy Navel in Haeundae has been serving quality mexican food for some time. Now that Busan is finally warming up, its one of the best places in Busan to spend a Sunday afternoon relaxing, drinking and enjoing some hard to come by quesadillas.

To make things even better, according to this advertisment, they will are currently renovating Fuzzy Navel 1 (not 2) in Seomyeon (and in my opinion, changing anything about that nasty foreigner ghetto err... bar would make it less painful to be inside). Furthermore, not only are they renovating, but they are bringing over the amazing mexican menu from Haeundae. Best news ever! Of course, no doubt Seomyeon 1 will still be Fuzzy Navel, which means crowds of English teachers and tourists, and slow food service due to crowding.

Fuzzy Navel
Locations (for the mexican menu): Seomyeon, Haeundae - other locations have limited food menus.
Directions: Just follow anyone speaking English in a loud and obnoxious manner and you will be there in no time.
Open: 11am-6am

quesadillas: 9,900 won
draft beer: 3,300 won

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kebapistan Turkish Kebab House, PNU

In so many places in Busan, the food is just a means to an end - its just on the table to get you beer. Now, we'll introduce you to a place with food so good, you'll forget you even ordered beer.That place is Kebabistan, near Pusan National University.

Turkish food is becoming more visible in Busan, but anything more than a kebab roll covered in honey mustard sauce is still a rarity. After all, how many sheep do you see grazing around Busan? The answer to that question is... significantly less after this review.
There is a number of dips and starters on the menu (although not all of them may be available at a given time). The hummus is just as good as it is in your dreams, and will reduce an entire table to silence and drool.
It was so good that I only remembered to take a picture after the plate was completely cleaned.
All the mains here are good value, quality lamb with hearty sauces and an assortment of sides. The sides are obviously adapted to suit Korean tastes but a nice addition regardless.
However, this review is getting sidetracked from what must be its main focus, the delicious, delicious lamb.
Its so delicious that every time you stop at a galbi joint for the rest of your stay, you'll feel a little empty inside. Despite the tasty BBQ'ed meat, something will still be missing, and you won't quite feel satisfied. That something is lamb. Mmmmmmm....

The interior was quite nice, tastefully decorated in the turkish style, but the manager told me the whole place is about to be renovated, so by the time you read this review it could look totally different. Apparently Kebabistan will remain open the entire time, because otherwise -according to one staff member- "people get angry if we close".

Kebabistan also offers you the chance to smoke a shisha (hookah), and sells some other little turkish treats like apple tea.

Directions: From PNU station walk out exit 1 and go up the hill. Walk past McDonalds and continue over the main street, you should find it on your left.
English Menu: Yes . Staff speak English too.

Vegetarian Option: Yes (Hummus!)
Open: 12-10.30pm

Mains: 9-13,000 (+4,000 will give you tea, dessert and sides)
Dips: 4-6,000

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Korean Food Survival (on Seoul Podcast)

In the new Seoul podcast, Joe from ZenKimchi discusses how to find unusual food in Korea... the lecture does not translate so well to a purely audio format (ie. At the start he discusses how to sharpen a knife), and there's lots of annoying questions/interjections/sidetracks, but some good suggestions here which I will summarise here...

- While we can't always get every ingredient we need here, some ingredients which would be considered gourmet back home, are available here cheaply... ie. mushrooms (as I discussed last post).
-Appliances and homewares like toaster ovens and coffee grinders are easily aquired 2nd hand online or at Homeplus/Lotte/Emart.
-Herbs are sometimes cheaper to buy as plants, than cut and dried in your store. So its often cheaper to buy the herbs from the plant shop... even if they don't survive very long.
-He talks about the foreign markets alot as well, but most of it is Seoul related. Of course, in Busan, the main foreign market is in Sasang.
-Open air markets often hide good bargains.
- "Be open to ingredient substitutions. Experiment with different things [...] be open to what is available." This includes meats.
Some of the substitutions he suggests:
Sesame leaves - fennel or basil
Yujacha- marmalade
Mandu wrappers - ravioli
-Soju is a good cleaner
-Get toasted is a good resource for using your toaster oven.
-A rice cooker can be used as a pressure cooker or crockpot... and more.
-It is possible to make your own food products.He also shows how to make your own goat cheese, here is one tutorial.

Most of the emphasis in the lecture is on food substitution - the more puritanical you are about your ingredients in Korea, the more they will cost you. It is possible to get good food locally, without heading to costco.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mushroom, mushroom!

I was lucky enough to find wild mushrooms on sale at the local market (1,500 won for a basket), so I've been cooking with them the last couple of days.

(Mushroom! Mushroom!)

On the left, you can see them sauteed in olive oil (perfect for tasting the wild flavour of the 'shrooms) and on the right, made into a spread. By the way, try finding a glass of wine that full in any restaurant in Korea. No matter how cheap the Jinro served....

Spread recipe

300g mushrooms (roughly chopped)

a dozen black olives (pits removed)

1 salad tomato, diced

a taplespoonful of onion, diced

a splash of red wine vinegar

olive oil

Sauté half the mushrooms in olive oil, and put aside. Be careful not to overcook them. Put aside. Sauté the other half of the mushrooms together with the olives, in olive oil and red wine vinegar. they are ready once the mushrooms take some of the wine's colour (be careful not to add too much vinegar.

Mix both sets of mushrooms, along with the uncooked tomato and onion, together in a dip bowl. Serve on crusty bread. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sorry about the lack of posts lately... all my spare time recently has been taken up by grad school.

Please trust that more reviews are on their way.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sono Pizza, Hadan

So a little while back I was a bit harsh on Benpiatto, and given that they do (for the most part) passable pizza and pasta. So now I think its time to look at a much better alternative for pizza lovers in Hadan, Sono.

Sono has a quite tasteful and very modern setting, which makes it a popular place for Dong A university students to go on date. Their service is excellent and the staff are really attentive. As you can see here, you can actually watch as your pizza cooks in the open oven, from the comfort of your chair. So there's no "did they forget my order?" moments here.

The pizza itself is delicious, made from quality ingredients on a thin crust. Not only is there no corn, but quality cheese! There is a good variety of pizzas on the menu and the cheapest, the garlic & bacon, is one of the best (below with wineglasses). The gorgonzolla pizza, which we also tried (14,000), is not quite as flavoursome but good enough that we almost devoured the whole thing before I remembered to take a photo.

Sono is also very popular as a cafe (perhaps due to their awesome teaspoons) and offers great coffee and hot chocolate as well as a selection of teas.

Next time you are in Hadan, stop by Sono for some of the best quality pizza you're likely to find in Busan. They have points cards for both the cafe and pizzas and with food this good, you'll be eating a free pizza in no time at all.

Location: Diagonally opposite the Hadan Mcdonalds, next to Wa Bar.
English Menu: Yes . Staff speak English as well.
Vegetarian Option: Yes
Open 11.00-24.00
Phone: 051-204-2443

Prices :
Pasta: 8,000+
Pizzas: 10,000+
House Wine: 4,000
Coffee: 3,000+

Friday, February 26, 2010

Gingerbread men!

Recently we encountered a rarity in Korea,
Gingerbread Ajussis!

These are our self-portraits, no prizes for guessing who's who.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yukgogan BBQ, Hwamyeong

Hidden away in Hwamyeong-dong is one of the best value BBQ joints around. At only $10p/p for all-you-can-eat meat, Yukgogan is the perfect solution to all your meat eating needs.

And as you can see to the left here, Yukgogan provides over 20 varieties of meatables, including seafood. That's not just galbi, but marinated galbi, sausages, shrimp, even whole baby octopus.
There's also a solid selection of sides, soups and salads for you to ignore while filling up your plate with meat.

This is one of those places that, as an Australian, I am required to love - because they let you barbeque your own meat. Unfortunately, its just on a simple gas burner rather than the charcoal or hot stone arrangements of some of the fancier BBQ establishments.

On the plus side, the staff are way too busy (this is a seriously popular place with the Hwamyeong locals of every age) to ever bother you about your meat placement; habit of pouring beer on the grill; or whether or not you want to change the hot plate. Freedom and unlimited meat!

Some comments from my fellow diners:


"It's hard to describe the joys of this meat."

"You can't go wrong with anything here."

Of course, these good reviews might just be due to my BBQ skills.

The only warning I would give is that this place is really slow with drink orders. To avoid this, order drinks when you're first seated. If you need more, you'll have to suck it up, somehow dislodge your very full belly from its newfound home and chase down one of the staff.
Phone: 051-333-5999
Location: Refer to map...
From Hwamyeong exit 1 (map bottom left), go straight to the corner and turn right at lotte mart. Cross the street, and turn left at dunking donuts. From donuts, go straight and take the 1st left. The building is opposite a large chinese restaurant and next to the chicken (ass) restaurant. yukgogan is on the 6th floor.
English Menu: No. Staff speak no english.
Vegetarian Option: No.
Open 12.00-23.00
Prices :
All-you-can-eat-BBQ: 10,000 per person (wastage charge 1,000)
Soju/Beer 3,000

Monday, February 22, 2010

Benepiatto Italian Restaurant

Benepiatto, sometimes friend, sometimes enemy of the hungry foreigner.

On one hand, Benepiatto offers a selection of reasonably priced and edible italian cusine, in a fashion that brings to mind the excellent Japanese chain Sizzeria (unfortunately, no branches in Korea). Most of their food is just fine. The mozzarella & tomato salad looks just the way it should, and they have a selection of pizzas which do not suffer from corn-infestation. Overall, it almost tastes as good as the italian food you cook at home, and you don't have to cook it.


The first rule of Benepiatto is you must never, ever order the pizza known as "Primavero". It is, without a doubt, the worst pizza I have ever seen or tried - and once I ate a slice of custard pizza in Kyoto (don't do that either). One victim of the Primavero described her experience thus:

"When I saw it I just wanted to cry."

And I must say my experience with the Primavero caused me to feel the same way. The pizza itself was a horror to behold. How does one even describe the atrocity that was committed in that kitchen? I had night terrors for a week afterwards. Sometimes the cabbage still haunts my dreams. Sometimes I wake in a cold sweat, the laughter of the mad chef and his hunchbacked assistant still ringing in my ears, as he gives life to this unholy fusion of salad and pizza. The earth itself seems to cry out in torment, and the heavens angrily hurl thunderbolts and sleet. The creation itself sobs quietly, knowing even from the moment of its unnatural birth that a corn and cabbage pizza violates the laws of god and man, laid down from time immemorial....


Suffice to say, avoid the Primavero pizza, its not worth it. Also not worth it is the house wine, which is both lousy and served in thimble sized amounts. I have it on good authority that their coffee sucks too.

Finally, I must warn potential diners about Benepiatto's extremely poor service. The first time I went there the waitress poured half a jug of water on me, and then ran away. Outside of "refilling" your glass, the staff are loathe to do anything other than play with their phones, so avoid any extravagant demands for a menu, some food, or to pay the bill so you can leave this place. In the unlikely event that you do have contact with a staff member they are rude and sullen, not to mention slow, at best.

Obviously I can't really recommend this place. Some of their menu is worth eating, but there are so many better options in Hadan.

Location: From Hadan subway station, take the Dong A University exit and continue walking toward the university. Look for the big lime green sign and fake garden out front.

English Menu: Dish names are in English, ingredients in Korean.

Vegetarian Option: Yes.

Prices :
Pizza/Pasta: 7,000+
Wine: 5,000