Pyongyang Restaurant: The Epicenter of North Korean Delicacies
It all began in Siem Reap, Cambodia. After some 7 hours of bus ride from Bangkok, we were finally closing in on Siem Reap, the gateway to the wondrous Angkor temples. Around 3 kilometers before we reached the city center, I saw the street name: Cambodia-Korea Friendship Street. Nothing surprising. Maybe Korea helped Cambodia to build that road. No suspicison at all.
Oh boy was I wrong about it. It wasn’t not that Korea, but that Korea! Yes, that Korea! North Korea!
Why did I know that I’m wrong? It’s because of a peculiar building in that street. It’s called Pyongyang Restaurant. However, back then I didn’t think much about it.
Fast forward a month, I saw a Reddit post about that very restaurant. It’s not just a gimmicky restaurant hoping to attract curious and innocent tourist. It’s the real deal. See the Reddit post here: https://redd.it/4bt5rq. Way to get my attention.
The next thing I know, I was eating in Pyongyang Restaurant, Jakarta.
It was kind of surreal there. All of the waitresses are North Korean girls, I could tell from how they speak and how they look. LG television, showing North Korean show. Tense and awkward atmosphere. Dead quiet building. No photograph allowed. Iron-clad chopsticks. They sure feel weird compared to the outside world.
From the recommendation of my crazy-of-north-korea-ex-colleague, I ordered a bowl of cold noodle. When I heard it the first time, I thought it wasn’t hot. Wrong again! It’s literally cold. Like, refrigerator cold! I could imagine the harsh cold of Pyongyang winter when I touched the aluminium bowl containing the noodle.
Next, I tasted the Kimchi. From that, I could taste the intense sourness of North Korean enemy. It was too sour for me, I decided that I don’t like Kimchi after the first bite.
The squid and beef barbecue were good though!
The Pyongyang Restaurant is located in Jalan Boulevard Barat Raya, Kelapa Gading, Jakarta. Try it, for the new, never before atmoshpere. Pyongyang Restaurant could also be found in Cambodia and China.
Anyway, I shall give my crazy-of-north-korea-ex-colleague my utmost gratitude for today! I’m unlikely to experience this without him.
And that shall be the last food I ate in Indonesia for the time being. What a way to leave the country.