Squid Game nights sell out at Korean restaurant in Vancouver

A Vancouver restaurant is going all out to offer Squid Game theme nights.

Sai Woo, a modern Korean restaurant located in the Downtown Eastside, has been running evening events that include a meal and a series of games, similar to those played in the Netflix hit series Squid Game.

Squid Game, a dystopian series about a group of cash-strapped adults in South Korea who accept an invitation to compete in a deadly underground competition involving children’s games, is Netflix’s all-time number one original show.

The major difference, of course, is that nobody gets killed playing the games at Sai Woo.

On Saturday evening, servers and bartenders at Sai Woo dressed up in teal green tracksuits like those worn by the players in Squid Game, and in bright pink tracksuits like the show’s soldiers who run the children’s game.

Guests were challenged to the red-light green-light game conducted by a staff member dressed as the statuesque robot that runs the game in the show. They were also invited to play ddakji (the card-flipping game played on a subway platform in Squid Game), marbles, and the dalgona honeycomb cookie game.

“Customers, they're going to get a tin, and inside there's a honeycomb (cookie), but they don't know which shape, (each one) is going to be different,” said Sai Woo head chef Han Seung-min.

Guests will also be given a needle, with which they are expected to try and extract the imprinted shape from the rest of the cookie without breaking it, just like in the show. At Sai Woo, anyone who manages to do that will get a prize.

Seung-min also dressed up as the head enforcer and played some of the games against the guests.

A ticket to the event also includes a six-course Korean meal.

A first-generation Canadian-Korean, Seung-min came to Canada 15 years ago, and had never expected that Korean culture – first with K-pop and now with Squid Game – would become as popular as it has.

“I’m so proud,” he said.

Tickets to the Squid Games at Sai Woo sold out quickly, even though the restaurant offered the event for three nights in a row, with three separate sittings per night.

“We would love to do this again,” reads an apology note posted to the restaurant’s Instagram account on Friday.

“So sorry we could not fit everyone in! And we are still responding to (reservation request) emails as the days go by,” it continues.