Sunday, February 14, 2016

Dubai's "best waitresses and pine mushroom"

On our second night we were promised a surprise for dinner. Coming from our "guide" this for sure meant some kind of unique experience!

After arriving he told us that this would go to an Asian restaurant. When we were arriving he asked us to guess and my best shot was "A Korean restaurant?". This would be one of those where you eat live squids/octopuses that get stick on your throat. This idea scared me (why would someone want to eat something still alive?!), so I was hoping to be terribly wrong. But I was only partly wrong. Looking at the uniforms of the waitresses I could recognise this symbol:

Resultado de imagem para north korea flag

Yes, this was a North Korean restaurant! And if there was any doubt, the menu provided an explanation about he origin of the restaurant and reassured that all "materials" were from North Korea. Well, at least it tried to, because the translation is, at the minimum a bit confusing! I think my favourite phrase is: "Since the leaders of a lot of countries and famouse people from South Korea has visited Pyongyang Okryu-gwan from many times (...)" Apparently this restaurant is more than an embassy joining together South and North Korea! :P


But just as we were still exploring all the food in the menu (there were a lot of choices!) the lights turn dim and the real part of the experience started!

The quality of the video isn't great because I had to do it in "stealth" mode

Apparently it was someone's birthday or some other kind of celebration and this is a song for that occasion! After the song was finished they put away all the instruments and I could see the disappointment on Pedro's face: "What about the show?" , "There is more?" we asked. "Yes, the real thing is much better!". To be honest, it was hard to believe...

After talking with one of the waitresses, we learned that on Saturdays (the last day of the weekend) the "show" is a bit earlier so we were too late. However, a smile here, a bit of conversation there and telling them that we were there mostly because of this show, she said they would do at least a song.

Twenty minutes later the lights go dim again and a few come in, with silver glittery dresses, bass guitars, microphones and the music starts. After the music, a performance dance, after that another song, and then other and yet another. At then end, we were given the opportunity of seeing the full show (no video this time because they caught me as I was preparing to film it!). The whole ambiance was borderline surreal. Maybe it was the multicoloured lights, the dresses, that this was happening in a restaurant, that the performers were the waitresses, the performances itself or just the fact that all of this was from North Korea. Most probably, it was the whole assemble.

The food itself was good, we ate a "do-it yourself" kind of barbecued beef and mushrooms whose flavours were good and not strange at all. However, all in all, this was an experience far better than what I had initially predicted, and that is saying a lot!

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