Andrei Lankov on the “thriving” restaurant scene in the North Korean capitol of Pyongyang:
“Pyongyang has its share of restaurants serving foreign cuisine – one can enjoy Japanese sushi and assorted Chinese dishes as well as European-style food. A local Pyongyang pizzeria serves Italian dishes which can be eastern while listening to fashionable western music. Near Juche Tower the affluent and well-connected (as well as foreigners) can enjoy a great variety of beers in a pub with its own micro-brewery. The connoisseurs have assured me that the quality equals the best European microbreweries.
Yet it seems that North Korean-style cuisine still reigns supreme. The Korean food on offer in the North is different from the fare that can be found in the South. I prefer the Northern version, finding it less spicy and far more varied than its Southern counterpart. As for the quality, an American of Russian origin who had spent long time in Pyongyang once said: ‘I cannot recall a single case when I had a bad meal in a Pyongyang restaurant.’”