According to the locals, it is one of the two restaurants, together with the Ch'ongryugwan Hotel, which has "forged the culinary identity of Pyongyang" for almost forty years. The official speech of the regime describes it as a "living museum of culinary art". The building, like all the official buildings, is imposing and is characterised by traditional architecture and curved green roofs that create a pleasant harmony with the environment that borders the river. Okryugwan is known for some of its dishes such as:
the naengmyeon, a North Korean speciality of cold noodles in a kind of bronze bowl: it is the most well-known dish and it is the one that one needs to try;
the soups of mugils accompanied with steamed rice,
the galbitang (a delicious beef rib soup),
green bean pancakes (it is rather a snack and not a real dish),
the sinseollo (a soup composed of meat, fish, vegetables, pine nuts, Ginkgo biloba seeds and mushrooms),
freshwater turtle dishes.
The restaurant's directors are known for their constant need to improve each detail and to offer new dishes: they regularly send cooks to other areas of the country to discover new recipes and new ingredients.
The restaurant is open to foreign and locals guests. There are small rooms that are reserved for tourists and contact with the locals (who can only come with a "ticket" and a grant from their employer, it is a kind of reward) is quite difficult. Veterans of the Korean War who live in Pyongyang are entitled to a free noodle dish once a year, on the occasion of the day of celebration of the Armistice of Panmunjeom (North Korea holiday).
Some more descriptions in figures to describe Okryugwan:
12,000 m2 that Andrei Lankov, a Russian historian specializing in the country, described as "a majestic place reserved for large meals as there are in many Communist States".
more than 2,000 seats.
20 euros per person for a good meal.
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