Kaesong Restaurants

  • Gaejangguk, or dog meat soup
    Gaejangguk, or dog meat soup
    by wabat
  • Dessert - Birthday Cake
    Dessert - Birthday Cake
    by wabat
  • Royal Pansanggi Banquet - Pouring Soju
    Royal Pansanggi Banquet - Pouring Soju
    by wabat

Most Recent Restaurants in Kaesong

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    Kaesong Folk Custom Hotel: Royal Pansanggi Banquet

    by wabat Updated Aug 7, 2014

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Having been a royal capital for over 500 years, Kaesong has a highly developed cuisine with a presentation style fit for royalty.

    Our meal at the Kaesonng Folk Custom Hotel was a traditional Royal Pansanggi banquet consisting of numerous dishes each presented in a small metal bowl. While my first picture shows 11 dishes per person, additional dishes provided during the meal brought the number to over 13, the number traditionally served to royalty.

    The dishes served, with an emphasis on vegetarian, included fish, fried eggs, beansprout salad, dumplings, kimchi, cucumber, pickles, bean curd jelly and stewed beef, with rice served at the end.

    The serving of rice at the end of a meal was standard practice everywhere we ate. I found it frustrating and annoying, as I like to eat my rice as part of my meal. The reason it is served at the end is that it is seen as a space filler to be eaten only after you have enjoyed the main components of the meal.

    In addition to the usual beer and water we had as a part of all meals, here soju, a traditional Korean rice wine, was also served. While most of the group didn’t rate it highly I found it quite drinkable – perhaps this says more about me than the soju?

    The highlight (though for most it turned out the lowlight – if that is a word) of the meal for many of the group was to be a rich soup known as 'Gaejangguk' (which cost an additional 5 Euro). While it includes numerous ingredients the one of interest to those ordering it was dog (picture 4).

    While I do not take the moral high ground and decry people eating dog (in cold hard terms what makes it different to eating any other animal?) I personally will not order it (though I have tasted it elsewhere) given that I, like many readers I imagine, see dogs as somewhat special and cannot imagine eating my own pet!

    Traditionally Gaejangguk, or dog meat soup, is a seasonal dish served only on the three hottest days of the year. It is believed to protect the recipient from sunstroke or dizziness caused by the heat.

    Few of those who ate it in our group would have it again. One of those things you should try once was the general conclusion.

    Deserts served with our meals in North Korea were, in general, remarkably unremarkable and unmemorable. But this evening things were different as one of our group was celebrating his birthday. Two beautiful cakes (picture 5) appeared. They had been brought down from Pyongyang and were delicious, not at all like normal Asian attempts at western style cakes. There must be a French patisserie hidden away somewhere in Pyongyang. A challenge for my next visit!

    The cakes were undoubtedly the highlight of the meal. While the meal itself was beautifully presented and it was nice (though at times painful for a long legged western) to eat it from a low table while seated on the ground, the food was average.

    The lights went out a couple of times during the meal but that was not remarkable, in itself, and the situation was quickly saved by torches which we carried for such an eventuality.

    Traditionally in restaurant reviews we say whether we would eat in a restaurant again or not. In that regard I will say yes (more for the non-food experience/atmosphere than for the food) but add that if you are staying at the hotel you will have no choice in the matter, this being North Korea.


    Next review
    After dinner and a nice stroll in the hotel grounds I tucked into bed for the night. The following morning after a very basic breakfast we checked out and departed for the Tomb of King Kongmin.


    Favorite Dish: The birthday cake

    Royal Pansanggi Banquet Royal Pansanggi Banquet - Table for Two Royal Pansanggi Banquet - Pouring Soju Gaejangguk, or dog meat soup Dessert - Birthday Cake
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    Not the Tonggil Restaurant: Pansanggi Restaurant in Kaesong

    by Orchid Updated Apr 7, 2013

    Like many other times in the DPRK when we stopped for lunch, the bus just pulled up in from of what looked otherwise like an apartment building. When we trooped inside we found tables set up with a multitude of little brass dishes. Always an odd number apparently. We got 13. At the rear of the room was a mural of Mt Paektu.

    The style of restaurant is called Pansanggi, and is a Kaesong specialty. This was one of the more interesting spreads we had on our tour.

    By the way, this restaurant was not the 'Tonggil' restaurant which is loxated in a hanok building near the Folk Hotel. It serves similar food

    Korean Tapas - Pansanggi
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    Kaesong Cultural Hall: Chicken Soup Sangettan

    by o00o Written Sep 28, 2011

    All you can eat, variety choices of local spice and local home food.

    Favorite Dish: The most highlight of food was when the chicken soup (Sangettan) was served.
    Enjoy the soup before you have too many swallow into your stomach.
    The chicken was boiled with herb medicine for at least 3 to four hours.
    The chicken was soft as silk, the taste was just like heaven.

    My favorite
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    Ton-Chan (Piggie): Must try item

    by o00o Written Sep 28, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ginseng, Matsutake Mushroom in North Korea worth No.1 in the world. The price may simply goes up 100 times once exported out.
    Once travel to any part of North Korea, order some food relating to Ginseng, Matsutake Mushroom.

    Favorite Dish: Ginseng rice

    Mini Ginseng
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    Ton-Chan (Piggie): Crabs

    by o00o Written Sep 28, 2011

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Crabs consider is one of the luxuries food here in North Korea, however, the price is about US8-US20 but it depends on weight.
    The waiter will shows you few crabs, pick up any sizes you want, they will cook for you, either with tomato eggs, sour source, chili peppers, or just boil. You even can order them to serve in raw as sashimi.

    Favorite Dish: I order crabs in sashimi, all serve in raw.

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    Ton-Chan (Piggie): Local see local do

    by o00o Written Sep 28, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The only restaurant nearby to our hotel where the staffs could speak Chinese language for communication.
    US dollars is acceptable here in this restaurant and it opens from 9:00am till Mid-night.
    Such a great convenience to us.

    Favorite Dish: Popular Korean Icy Noodle topping with spice Kimchi and slices pork.
    Side dish was boiled firefly squid and salad.

    Neng Meong
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    Tongil Restaurant: Traditional Korean pansanggi

    by Willettsworld Written Sep 7, 2008

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This restaurant was right opposite where we were staying at the Kaesong Folk Hotel and we came here for lunch after visiting Panmunjom. The meal we ate was a traditional Korean one called pansanggi which consisted of 13 small brass dishes, each containing different types of food such as kimchi, rice, pickles and vegetables. A pansanggi meal was usually only eaten by royalty.

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    Food at Kaesong Folk Hotel: OK but not great

    by Willettsworld Written Sep 7, 2008

    You won't be allowed out of the Kaesong Folk Hotel at night but don't get to alarmed as it does have a restaurant where you sit on the floor at low tables which is the traditional Korean way of eating. The food was just OK and nothing special unlike in the restaurants we had eaten at in Pyongyang.

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    Paek Song: Surprisingly great!

    by schwein Updated Jul 14, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not given the choice to eat anywhere else, I was pleasantly surprised with the food here.

    Not loaded with red chili powder, (like almost everything served anywhere in South Korea) each item's individual flavour comes out in the meal. Delicious, one of the best meals I've yet eaten in all of Korea.

    Favorite Dish: You have no choice in the menu, everyone is served the same set.
    You receive a bowl of rice, two different bowls of soup, ten side dishes, and tea.

    Almost all of the dishes were vegetables of some type, with one dish of fish, and one other dish of meat and veggies mixed together.
    I really liked the mushroom/cracked black pepper combo. And the cookies for dessert. :)

    Paek Song Paek Song Paek Song
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    It doesn't matter because there is only one: Lunch Kaesong style

    by Backpackin_Mac Written Jan 10, 2004

    The Kaesong style of eating is to eat many small dishes. As I went to North Korea alone I had the to eat alone so I didn't have anyone to share the experience with. The guides only ate with me a couple of times.

    Favorite Dish: All

    (nearly) looks too good to eat
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Kaesong Restaurants

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