Pyongyang Okryugwan Restaurant

Grand Millennium Al Wahda.

Food: 4 Entertainment: 5 Value: 4

After reading that Okryugwan has opened a branch in Abu Dhabi (Grand Millennium Al Wahda) I couldn't wait to visit! I've been to the Deira branch a couple of times, plus spent almost a week in the DPRK.

We made a booking for Friday night, although the restaurant was empty at almost 8pm. This added to our excitement as it's a pretty typical scene in the tourist restaurants in Pyongyang. A few tables filled up not long after. The decor and ambiance transported us back to Pyongyang, so authentic for what tourists see of North Korea.

They start with free small snacks, typical for any Korean restaurant. We ordered the beef barbecue (comes sizzling to the table, not cook yourself), fried dumplings, rice with herbs (bibimbap) and the spicy noodle soup. All the food was tasty, my favourite being the rice. It's also licensed with a small selection. But the main reason we went was for the entertainment! The ladies all sing, dance and play instruments, with costume changes! They even walked around giving plastic fruit during a song. Wonderfully Korean and so much fun. I'm not sure if the entertainment is every night, so make sure you check first, it's the highlight of the night!

The staff are all North Korean, it's an honour for them to be selected for an overseas posting like this and they are happy to strike up a conversation. Be respectful and don't bring up anything negative about Korea, also don't refer to their country as "North Korea". Either say the DPRK or Korea (although I'm sure they won't mind if you slip up, as I did 🤦‍♀️). Our waitress was excited that we had visited, and we happily showed her our photos and chatted about where we went.

We left with smiles and full bellies, a brilliant evening!

#reviews #korean

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