One characteristic of huge metropolitans like Seoul is that land is so expensive, which forces building constructors to build upwards instead of sideways. The many skyscrapers in Seoul is an attest to this, and Ewha university’s surroundings is no different. If you do not keep your head up and look above the first floor when looking for restaurants, you might miss this gem of a restaurant above the Top Ten store after turning right when exiting Ewha main gate.
This Italian chain restaurant is located up on the 4th floor. Use the restaurant banners on the ground floor to find the elevator which takes you straight up to the door of Rimini. You will instantly realize which ingredient that Rimini appreciates the most, namely the olive. Not only is the olive highlighted in their food and the menu, but even the interior goes in tones of olive-green. Green pillows, flowers, lights made of green glass bottles and herbs hanging from the walls all create a cozy environment.
Although Italian food like pasta and particularly pizza often is overpriced in Seoul, Rimini manages to keep their prices down. We were first served a piece of olive bread with a dip of olive and balsamic oil. You could actually taste the black olives inside the bread, which complemented the dip perfectly.
Our choices fell on the gorgonzola calzone pizza with seafood rose pasta on the side, Vongole pasta and finally a cranberry yuza (citron) pizza. As soon as I took a bite into the pizzas I realized how different they are from other places. You can really taste that this is not that deep-frozen dough that so many other places use, but the Rimini chefs actually knead the dough and create the pizzas in an open kitchen before shoving it into the oven to create a perfect pizza crust. This was blatantly apparent on the calzone with those unsymmetrical shapes that only a human hand can create, and those blots of black that only a great oven can make.
The only thing I would have ordered differently is ask for a tomato, cheese, mushroom, ham calzone instead of the gorgonzola one we had. However, it was still delicious, and the salty gorgonzola made for a perfect complement to the sweet, sour and acid citron pizza that functioned more like an appetizer than a main dish (because of its absence of meat!)
Rimini is a perfect place that wants some economical Italian food that does not fall into the traps that many other pasta and pizza places do. The cooking is honest, ingredients are delicious and fresh and everything seems to be done by hand.