Fancy dining in Pyongyang

February 26, 2008

By John Herskovitz 

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North Korea may be suffering from a chronic food shortage but that did not stop the impoverished state from throwing a lavish dinner reception for the New York Philharmonic for their first night in Pyongyang.

When visitors arrived at the banquet hall, they saw tables were covered in fancy dishes, bottles of booze and even a chocolate cake that had the word “opera” written in the icing. The main dish was a selection of cold meats and baby corn that was described as a “floral basket-shaped turkey”. 

Waiters in white dinner jackets and bow ties served dishes that included roast salmon, roast mutton, lady crab au gratin, a peasant’s soup and fried rice.

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The high-powered local wines, beers and and ginseng liquor served up also left a few diners loopy.

Seoul correspondent Jon Herskovitz is travelling with the NY Philharmonic

PICTURES: My dinner! And at right, traditional North Korean performer dances during a show at the Mansudae Art Theatre in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang for the members of the New York Philharmonic.

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