I discovered Pyongyang thanks to a reader's comment on this blog who described the place as the best Korean restaurant in Jakarta.

While it may be exaggerated, Pyongyang is still a must-try, off-the-beaten-track dining venue, mainly because this is probably the closest you'll ever get to experience North Korean culture.

Pyongyang is not unique to Jakarta: It is a chain of restaurants, operated by the North Korean government, with branches all over Asia. They have been accused of being used for money-laundering, and you cannot help but wonder about the freedom of their imported, North Korean staff (read this wikipedia article for more information "Pyongyang (restaurant chain)".

From what I saw, the restaurant is divided into a 40-seat dining area downstairs, and private rooms upstairs, for both eating and karaoke. I wanted to visit but they were all full unfortunately. In the main area, the decoration is rather discreet, with only a few paintings of North Korean landscapes. On TV, they play a sort of documentary/commercial about the beauty of North Korea... Truly fascinating...

The waitresses, all of them pretty and devoted are North Korean, and once in a while, they take the mic and start singing on the podium. It is amusing, a bit like that Mandarin place I went to in Kota called De Volvo.

The food is typically Korean, with some local specialties, such as the Cold Noodle Soup (Naengmyon). From other reviewers, I've read about a dog meat soup, but I couldn't find it on the menu.  We tried three dishes: Kimchi (fermented cabbage, Rp44,000++), Bibimpap (mixed rice with vegetables, Rp68,000++), and a Mixed Mushroom Casserole (Rp160,000). The taste of the food was excellent, though a little different from what we are used to in South Korean restaurants. The Kimchi for instance was much less spicy, and the Bibimpap undercooked. Here are some pictures (I'm missing the Mushroom soup):
Appetizers (free)

Bibimpap (Rp68,000++)
Kimchi (Rp44,000++)
Overall: Pyongyang serves delicious, authentic Korean cuisine, and if you are lacking ideas for original dining, its atmosphere is unique. Recommended.
Opening hours:
Everyday from 11am to 10pm

Pyongyang
North Korean Restaurant Jakarta
Jalan Gandaria No.58, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta
Phone: +62-21 7280-0889
Fax: +62-21 7280-0885

11 comments to '' Pyongyang (North Korean Restaurant & Karaoke) "

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  1. if you spent money in this restaurant, it's means help to the last Commuist country & crazy war holic in the world.

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  2. By spending money in this restaurant, others may say you encourage North Korea to open up to the outside world.. Isn't it what happened with China?

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  3. Food is not political! Let's it eat, pray & love! Mk

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    1. When it funds keeping a population as prisoners it is!

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  4. Hope to visit during my coming trip.Only wish to have a chance to chat,sing,dance with the Agassi,food delicious or not is not important.

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  5. Fantastic place. Don't wiss the waitresses karaoke show, from 20H to 20H30. It's magic.
    For the food, I enjoyed the appetizers and the Bibimpap.

    Rating : 9/10 for me.

    SZ.

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  6. "crazy war holic".... North Korea?? C'moon... there's only ONE country who loves war for the sake of showing off their latest military technology: US of A.

    If you think dining at a North Korean restaurant is so wrong, then beat this: I've been to North Korea on a 7-day tour and spent around 2000 Euros. Sue me in court!

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  7. before you waste your time and money, read this article!!

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/10/15/north-koreas-overseas-restaurants-used-for-espionage-and-gaining-hard-currency/

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  8. To 'Anonymous' above me, why the hell would you still believe Fox-so-called-News?

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  9. The restaurant location has changed to Kelapa Gading... The concept is still the same though...

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