Netflix hit Squid Game gives boost to city's Korean restaurant owners

Squid Game has brought back childhood memories for the owners of The Kimchi restaurant in Norwich

Squid Game has brought back childhood memories for the owners of The Kimchi restaurant in Norwich - Credit: Archant/Netflix

It is the Netflix phenomenon that is gripping viewers across the globe.

But for the owners of The Kimchi, Norwich's Korean restaurant, Squid Game has that little bit of extra significance.

The buzz created by the series, which is set in the couple's native South Korea, has given a welcome boost to the family.

The pair say that their restaurant is always busy so a direct uptick in footfall can't be measured - but that they've had many customers asking them about the series. 

Korean restaurant The Kimchi opened a year ago selling authentic dishes and even its own version of

Junghee Park and Bongha Kim, owners of the Kimchi - Credit: Archant

Junghee Park, co-owner of The Kimchi, said: "I am not sure if we have more customers because of the show as we have been quite busy anyway, but I have definitely noticed a lot of people talking about the show.


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"As a Korean, it is always a good feeling to know something from Korea has had a positive influence on people's lives.

"I can't help but feel proud when I see things and people from South Korea making their way to the mainstream media over here - I want to see more of them."

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The series features players drafted in to compete in a series of sinister challenges based around Korean playground games from years gone by.

And this brought memories flooding back for the Brigg Street restaurateur - though happily without the frightening elements. 

Squid Game has proved a smash hit for Netflix in recent weeks

Squid Game has proved a smash hit for Netflix in recent weeks - Credit: Netflix

She said: "Now my husband and I are in our 50s, when we watched the series together we talked about how often we used to play the games ourselves.

"We used to play almost all the games when we were young, although it wasn't violent or hostile like the show.

"We used to play the 'red light green light' game almost every day after school with our friends. The only one we never played was the one with the glass bridge."

"It brought back a lot of memories."

Meanwhile, the series has also been embraced by the Korean Society at the University of East Anglia - which has opted to theme its taster session for new members around the show.

The event held this week will see students participate in versions of the games played by the cast - minus the bloodthirsty consequences.

Childhood games for season two?

Squid Game on Netflix has brought childhood memories back for the owners of The Kimchi in Norwich

Squid Game on Netflix has brought childhood memories back for the owners of The Kimchi in Norwich - Credit: Netflix

The series features a variety of games played by children in Korea.

These include Red Light, Green Light, Tug O War and Ppopgi, which involves trying to remove a shape from a piece of honeycomb.

But what if the second series was to include some games from our own childhoods?

Here are just a few ideas:

  • What's The Time, Mr Wolf? - A similar approach to Red Light, Green Light, with a wolf taking to role of the menacing giant doll from the first season
  • Stuck in the Mud - another playground classic - with devastating consequences for anyone stuck in the mud when time runs out
  • Conkers - It's the right time of year for it, after all
  • British Bulldog - Much like What's The Time, Mr Wolf? This could also be adapted in the Red Light, Green Light approach 

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