Are there any North Korean restaurants in Phnom Penh? In the good old days the simple answer was yes, there were lots. Cambodia and North Korea were big old buddies back in the day, specifically President Kim-Il-Sung and King Sihanouk.
You can read about their friendship here.
Then the bastard sanctions came along and they had to close around early 2020. Cambodia is no longer the land of Sihanouk and Cambodia is very much engrained in the world economy. Sad, but true.
Don’t they still have a Kim-Il Sung Boulevard?
They certainly do! Although there really is not all that much on the street. You can read about the street here (link). Actually Cambodia has a ton of cool communist street names, which include Mao and even Tito. Although they also shit ones like European Union Street.
So, if you were going to find anything vaguely resembling a North Korean restaurant you’d expect it to be here right? Are there any North Korean restaurants in Phnom Penh? The short answer is yes! There is kind of a North Korean restaurant here.
Blue Flower Restaurant and shop
So, as we have mentioned there are now no longer any official NorthKorean restaurants, but there is still a demand for North Korean food and many Korean Chinese. Blue Flower Restaurant shop is essentially a North Korean themed restaurant in Phnom Penh, with everything from the informs down to the fact theres a big old painting of Mt Kumgang giving you that feeling that you are in Pyongyang.
To rad about Mt Kumgang click here.
Oh and did I mention they have Taedonggang Beer, the export rather than the regular kind, but real North Korean beer none the less. This was my first time drinking it since I was last in Pyongyang for the mass games. Oh how time flies.
To read about North Korean beer click here
To read about why you should drink Soju click here
It was very surreal to have Taedonggang pure perfectly by a pretty Korean lady and then drinking it from a glass, although keep in mind it is $8 a bottle, that part was certainly not much like Pyongyang.
Are there any North Korean restaurants in Phnom Penh – and what is the food like?
So as for the menu in this Pyongyangesque restaurant? Very North Korean, goofed noodles, good potato pancakes, great duck, although not quite Pyongyang Duck BBQ standards to be fair!
To read about Pyongyang Duck BBQ click here .
A good meal, pricey by Phnom Penh standards, but a decent treat and change of scenery. Did the have Pyongyang cold noodles though? No, that did not, although it was on the menu If we had to fault them on one thing it would be that, but we shall be back.
To read about Pyongyang cold noodles click here
And the overall vibe to the Phnom Penh North Korean restaurant?
It was genuinely like being transported into North Korea, the managers had that friendly glow to them, people spoke Korean and Chinese, which was great for a little language practice and it felt a bit like something from a bygone era. When will we will be bale to go back to North Korea? Frankly no one knows and there does not seem to be any end to things in site, even if we are at least getting vaccinated in Cambodia. The world though will open up again
And they have a shop?
This was probably the tipping point that really made it pretty North Korean! At the front there was a weird shop selling not os fashionable clothes and other strange bits and bobs, not unlike most restaurants in Pyongyang.
If you need a North Korean food fix head to Blue Flower Restaurant and shop!