Flat Earth: Food, glorious food

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North Korea, of course, still has such robust Communism that half the population is dying of famine. But being a Stalinist means never having to demonstrate any shame. The other day Pyongyang was boasting of the delights available at its trendiest restaurant.

Shaped like a large sightseeing boat, Chongryu restaurant apparently specialises in national dishes, including a mouth-watering hotpot called sinsollo. This is made from more than 20 ingredients, including beef, pheasant, egg, abalone, sea cucumber, mushrooms, and over 10 kinds of spices. There are 120 other dishes, such as beef casserole, green bean pancake, and Pyongyang soup mixed with rice cakes.

Chongryu can seat 1,600 diners, so there will be plenty of room when it is discovered by the London food critics.