A good pizza is always difficult to find in the ROK, and since I’ve heard fairly good things about Crow’s Nest, and it was open at noon for lunch, I decided to give it my patronage. Unfortunately, my patronage comes at a price. A very steep price.
How to get there: Take the subway to Itaewon Station (Line 6) and depart from Exit 2. You will walk only for about 10 feet, and then make a left. You want to go behind the Hamilton Hotel. When you are in the alley behind the Hamilton, make a right and head down the alley. The Crow’s Nest will be on your left on the second floor.
Atmosphere and Service: The atmosphere at The Crow’s Nest was schizophrenic. On one hand, they tried to be a nightclub, judging by the Jay-Z and NAS being pumped out of the speakers. On the other hand, there seemed to be a lot of families there, and the staff was dressed casual as though they worked at Chuck E Cheese. Vintage photos of New York, Paris and Rome and various other Western cities decorate the wall, and a big screen television shows an endless loops of Korean dance and/or variety shows.
The service was also a mixed bag. The food was delivered quick and precise with no errors. Whenever we needed something, there was always someone on hand to answer the call. However, there seemed to be a bit of a language barrier which resulted in a pizza that was meant to be for takeout, arriving at our table for us to eat. Now, I understand that we live in Korea, however, my student who was with me at the time repeated the order in Korean and the waitress still didn’t seem to understand. Humm..
However, the Crow’s Nest did have an open kitchen and that is always a plus! I like watching them toss the dough in the air. Also, you can watch them prepare your pizza. Always a positive experience when these small, but significant moments happen.
Food and Drink: We ordered three pizzas: pepperoni, half and half and a meat lovers and three Cokes to wash it down. All three pizzas were 14 inches in diameter and the Cokes were in cans.
Pepperoni Pizza (Approximately 28,000KRW): First impressions of the pepperoni pizza was that it was full of pepperoni, unlike some places which seem to have a set amount of pepperonis, such as 2 per slice. The chef here looked as though he just tossed it on, and was generous in doing so. The crust was a little undercooked for my liking, which made it a little pasty. The sauce had a nice tomato zesty taste and was spread appropriately. The cheese was just okay. They advertise that they use real cheese, which assumes that other places use “fake” cheese? Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference between the cheese they use and the pizza cheese we use at home. The spices were sprinkled on the top and not in the sauce, which I found a little odd.
Half and Half (Approximately 27,000KRW): The next pizza we ordered was a half and half pizza. On one half we ordered pepperoni and on the other half we ordered meat lovers. Now, it was strange because they only gave you a few options to choose from for your half and half pizza. The four selections were: cheese, pepperoni, meat lovers or deluxe. Humm… Okay. The beef was fresh and well cooked. The onions were actually well cooked and the mushrooms were big and fresh. The crust again was a little undercooked for my liking and pasty. That said, the toppings made up for the crust and I was satisfied.
Meat Lovers Pizza (Approximately 29,000KRW): We brought a meat lovers home for momma Jill. The meats included were beef, pepperoni, and bacon. The veggies were mushrooms. Again, the cheese was the store-bought variety that you can pick up at Home Plus or Emart. Now, I wouldn’t make a big deal about it, but they advertise their cheese as being high quality. Honestly, for almost 30 bucks for a 14 inch pizza, you have to question the value of this. The spices and herbs were once again on the top, but they were unevenly distributed. The peppercorn was on one slice and Jill actually bit into it and it felt like biting into a rock.
Value: The whole bill came to an eye-watering 91,000KRW with 8,281 of that being tax. That’s a lot of money to be spending on three pizzas, which were at best, mediocre. The atmosphere was okay, and I would definitely bring the kids there, despite the hip hop blaring from the speakers. That said, I don’t think we will be going back anytime soon, because there are lots of better options for pizza such as Brew 3.14. If you are in the Itaewon neighborhood and you’ve got a hankering for pizza, check out Sin Bin’s Buffalo Chicken Pizza one of my personal favorites!
Who Should go to The Crow’s Nest: Late night in Itaewon? Really want some pizza? Have some extra money in the pocket? Check it out.
Who Should Avoid The Crow’s Nest: Tight on a budget? Stay away from this nest my friend. There is no value here sir.