June 03, 2023

Afters of Evil: North Korea’s Overseas Restaurant Odyssey

Tom Farrell reviews overseas North Korean restaurants in the first of a three-part special feature; 'Afters of Evil'.

The era of the red star seems to giving way to that of the Michelin star as, all the way from the temples of Cambodia to the suburbs of Amsterdam, Kim Jong Un’s regime seeks to promote North Korean cuisine. More and more tourists, ambling amongst the capitals of Asia, are encountering culinary outposts of his domain.  But potential diners might be advised to ignore whatever belly rumbles the thoughts of northern dishes such as Mul Naen-myun or onban might induce.

At least some of the money paid for these gastronomic delights makes its way into the coffers of the neophyte ruler. Needing to buy the loyalty of the families who dominate North Korea’s party and military hierarchy, Kim no doubt appreciates the revenues accumulated by the ‘Pyongyang’ restaurant chain.