June 03, 2023

Afters of Evil: Kimchi in Cambodia, Lament in London

How does eating North Korean food overseas compare with eating it in North Korea? I had been in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh some weeks before I heard of the Pyongyang Restaurant, a somewhat unobtrusive looking place, found after a sweaty search along the capital’s sweeping Monivong Boulevard.

The place was empty of patrons and rather to my disappointment, no karaoke machine filled the dining area with such rousing anthems as ‘Reunification Rainbow’ or ‘We Shall Hold Bayonets more Firmly.’ Other customers have been treated to dancers in chosŏn-ot singing Korean folk songs or playing traditional instruments. This, however, was a slow night.