It’s grim up north

Its undoubtedly the liveliest and most popular Korean restaurant in town. Packed for lunch and dinner, the Pyongyang Restaurant is famous not only for its cold noodles and barbecue served with kim chi, but also for its talented wait staff, which when not serving are dancing to traditional Korean tunes played on violins and electric piano.

But the Pyongyang Restaurant in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh is no ordinary Korean eatery. For one, it’s owned and run by the North Korean government, a capitalist enterprise that sends its profits directly to state coffers in Pyongyang.

Asia Times’ Bertil Lintner covers the geopolitical implications of Phnom Penh’s weirdest food attraction: the North Korean-owned and run Pyongyang Restaurant. This seems to be the only Cambodian eatery that plays the food-as-propaganda angle, and does a roaring trade attracting South Koreans into its razor-wired compound. Not much mention of the food but plenty of juicy political tidbits to make it worthwhile.

See: Asia Times’ Dining with the Dear Leader