玉流馆饭馆: Sandy Alexandre Perkins – Beijing, China, June 2020

我上个月去了北京的一家朝鲜饭馆。这家饭馆在望京,叫玉流馆。因为欧洲没有朝鲜饭馆,所以我去玉流馆之前没吃过朝鲜料理,因此我听说北京有一家朝鲜饭馆以后就决定一定要去那儿尝一尝炒咸菜。其实,我想去玉流馆不只是因为想尝尝朝鲜料理,而是因为我对朝鲜这个国家很好奇。朝鲜是个很神秘的国家,平时只能靠看新闻报道的猜测来了解这个国家的情况,连一个朝鲜人我都没遇到过,所以我以为去一个朝鲜饭馆是个很好的机会来了解一下朝鲜的文化。

周六晚上我跟一些朋友到了玉流馆。玉流馆是一个比较大的餐厅,里面的装饰比较豪华,在那儿吃饭让我感到一种仪式感。我的朋友说玉流馆有点像一家中国八九十年代的人民饭店这样的地方。所有的服务员都是朝鲜人,但是他们的中文说得相当流利,水平比我好多了。我们吃得料理跟韩国料理很类似,有很多海鲜和各种各样的泡菜。说实话我也不太了解韩国菜,所以不好说朝鲜和韩国菜的区别。不过顾名思义,平壤冷面肯定是朝鲜的一道地道菜,而且平壤冷面很好吃。

在玉流馆的一边有一个舞台。我听说在玉流馆平常可以看一些传统的朝鲜舞蹈或者表演。可惜的是,因为疫情的缘故,玉流馆暂时停止了演出,所以我们没有看到一场演出。话又说回来,我们在玉流馆里吃得很满足,而且体验了一下朝鲜的气氛,所以是个很好的经历。

A North Korean Experience in Beijing

Last month I visited a North Korean Restaurant in Beijing. The restaurant is located in Beijing’s Wangjing district, its called Yuliuguan. As far as I know the UK doesn’t have a North Korean restaurant, so I had never had the chance to eat North Korean cuisine before. Hence, when I heard that Beijing had a North Korean restaurant I knew I had to go and give it a try. As well as wanting to try North Korean food, I also wanted to go because I’m curious about North Korea. North Korea is a very mysterious country; usually we can only rely on the inferences of news reporters to understand the situation there. Having never even met a North Korean person before, I thought visiting the restaurant would be a good opportunity to experience North Korean culture in person.

On a Saturday night I headed to the restaurant with a few friends. Yuliuguan is located in a large dining hall with a plush but old fashioned decor, giving the place a ceremonial feel. One of my friends said that the restaurant reminded them of a typical “people’s restaurant” from 1980s China. The staff at the restaurant are all North Koreans but they speak fluent Chinese, certainly better than I do. The food we ate felt quite similar to South Korean cuisine, with a lot of seafood and all kinds of different Kimchi. As I’m no South Korean food expert, I can’t be sure of the exact differences between North Korean and South Korean food. However, we did eat Pyongyang noodles, which is a very tasty cold noodle soup dish unique to North Korea.

Located at one end of Yuliuguan’s dining hall is a large stage. I’ve heard that normally there are performances such as traditional dancing held there that patrons can watch while dining. Unfortunately, the performances were not running when we were there because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, we had a great evening at Yuliuguan and it was great to experience a slice of North Korean culture first hand.

 

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