North Korea Opens International Restaurant Chain

Bizarre but seemingly true: Karaoke! Espionage! Haute Cuisine!: Adventures in the North Korean Government’s Restaurant Chain.

Named Okryu-Gwan (but the coming Netherlands location will simply be called Pyongyang). The story in the link claims there’s a branch here in Thailand, but everyone I know is scratching his head trying to figure out where it could possibly be. Never heard of it. The new Dubai branch is a big focus of the story, which mentions a report on it in Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper. I just happen to know several of the staff at The National, and they confirm that branch is real.

Love this gem: "The restaurants have also been also tied to the murky world of intelligence and espionage. A North Korean man defected to India through the Kathmandu restaurant. The man was reportedly the former manager of the Kathmandu Okryu-Gwan and fled to India with a large amount of cash taken from the restaurant."

Sure, I always likes me a little espionage with me haute cuisine. :smiley:

And I thought it would be about Kim Jong-il becoming Iron Chef.

Why is he contemplating an ear of corn?

I would so go there if I still lived in China.

It looks fascinating…and rather odd.

He may be trying to decide if it’s too luxurious a food for his people.

I went to a North Korean place in Ulan Bator back in 2006…the tiny ‘friendship’ center in the back is an interesting addition.

Well, I may have found the Thailand branch. There’s a local story that appeared three years ago: Edible “Sunshine”.

Must be that one. It’s called Pyongyang Gwan. Despite supposedly getting rave reviews on Thai blogs, I’ve not come across anyone who’s actually heard of it. Seems to be very obscure. The place is on the very edge of the city, making it only slightly more difficult to get to than Siberia. And there’s a branch in Pattaya.

This part is definitely outdated: "And with the North’s government less bellicose lately, perhaps now is a perfect time to see North Koreans promoting their traditional culture and cuisine - and showing that K-pop need not all come from the South."

He’s always photographed looking at something. There’s an entire website full of just such photos. (sorry don’t have the link)

The restaurant must be the best restaurant because North Korea is Best Korea!

Is this it?

Kim Jong Il Looking At Things

That’s… OK.

Backs slowly away from campp

I don’t know why but that’s fucking hilarious!

North Korean restaurant chain? This reminds me of the jokes people used to make about Ethiopian restaurants during the 1984-1985 Ethiopian famine. I thought North Korea still had a problem feeding its own people.

The photo of Kim Jong-il looking at wheat truly shows him to be “out standing in his field.”

We have Ethipoian restaurants in Bangkok. (But then, I saw them in Dallas too.)

Uh, we have quite a few Ethiopian restaurants around here. They aren’t popular, but they exist. I’m in Michigan, by the way.

I didn’t mean that Ethiopian restaurants were non-existent in the USA back then, I meant that people would make jokes about the food you would find there, since the Ethiopa famine was in the news.

The Korean tensions are turning into restaurant wars. In Cambodia, at least.

Excerpt: "Ongoing tension on the Korean Peninsula has reached Korean eateries in Cambodia, local media reported Thursday, with boycotts of North Korean restaurants by South Korean tour groups and allegations of reprisal raids on South Korean restaurants by North Korean ‘agents’."

Kim believes he made the hamburger. I do think the descriptions of the food will be interested :slight_smile:

Umm, ok, fight my ignorance, what is North Korean ethnic cuisine like?

The corn-on-the-cob photo looks disturbingly phallic. :eek:

Pity there’s no photo of Kim watching Team America: World Police while wearing an “America, Fuck Yeah!” t-shirt.

In a world full of Photoshop, it’s only a matter of time.