North Korean restaurant: What to expect

Would Kim Jong-Un endorse the kalbi?
Would Kim Jong-Un endorse the kalbi?
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With the secretive government of North Korea reportedly eyeing Scotland as the possible location of a state-backed restaurant, it’s safe to say that most diners wouldn’t know what to expect.

An existing branch of the restaurant chain, Haedanghwa, in Amsterdam marks a departure for North Korean enterprise by setting up house in the west.

And the lone European outlet has already garnered some surprisingly positive reviews.

Promising “not only culinary delight”, but also “the chance to learn about the ancient Korean culture”, the restaurant may be considered a gateway to the North Korean way of life - although a very carefully sanitised one at that.

According to food review site Yelp, the restaurant has been given a rating of three and a half stars out of five.

The upscale eatery is apparently fairly pricey, but offers a polished and upscale dining experience.

The Kimchi - a fermented vegetable side dish - is said to be less spicy than it’s South Korean counterpart, while they also offer kalbi; a kind of Korean bbq pork or beef dish.

Highlights of the Amsterdam branch’s menu include:

• Pyongyang Raengmyon: Cold buckwheat noodle soup topped with Haedanghwa Kimchi and various garnishes in copper bowl.

• Jonghab Bulgogi: Assortment of 5 different kind of meat marinated with specially formulated sauce served with lettuce and Korean bean paste.

• Myongtae Janggwa: Fried pollack coated with homemade sauce.

• Babjogae Bokum: Fried scallop, tree ear and mixed vegetable.

One review online praises the staff, who wear traditional dress: “Randomly throughout the night, they sing karaoke, dance, do some drum dance, and play piano. What other entertainment could you want?”

However, until Kim Jong-Un confirms any outlet opening in Scotland, you can still broaden your palate by sampling one of Edinburgh’s South Korean restaurants.