Understanding Chinese restaurants is not a task for weaklings (in every sense): the same Chinese lanterns at the entrance, a menu in broken Russian (and even then, not always), a variety of strange food and unusual smells, a peculiar atmosphere. This image detachment can be easily explained: basically, these places are designed for Chinese tourists, who, even on a trip abroad, prefer national cuisine.
Lai Falun, manager of the Nihau Chinese restaurant chain, believes that the situation needs to be corrected and the image of Chinese cuisine among the city’s residents should be strengthened. Having started as a translator, he plunged into the restaurant business, going from a waiter to a manager, and established communication between Chinese chefs and Russian guests.
As a representative of his nation and, most importantly, his profession, Lai Falun has thoroughly studied all the establishments of Chinese cuisine in St. Petersburg and knows exactly where it is better to order spicy Sichuan cuisine, and where – homemade noodles. Releasing his personal top 10 national restaurants with first-person recommendations.
“There are a lot of Chinese institutions on Vasilevskiy Island, because there are many Chinese people living there, mainly students. Mi Fan is distinguished by the right approach: this restaurant is aimed at both expats and Russian guests. Therefore, a lot of traditional dishes are slightly adapted here: usually, authentic Chinese food is not very popular with Europeans. It is hospitable and tasty, but not cheap: the price tag is rather average. But one position is enough for the eyes.
Especially good, in my opinion, is meat and fish, which are served in a special hot frying pan. By the way, the name of the restaurant is translated as “rice” and it is quite justified: it is prepared excellently here ”.
“This is the oldest restaurant chain in St. Petersburg, almost 20 years old. They were the first to introduce the city to Chinese cuisine and all my fellow countrymen know them. I myself have often been to the institution located on Vasilevskiy Island, especially when I just moved here in 2010 and missed my native cuisine.
In terms of furnishings, the restaurants of the chain differ little from each other: they are traditionally decorated, in red colors, with tablecloths on the tables. Many Chinese people appreciate this place for its large portions and delicious food. Cheap and cheerful – just about them. Tang Zhen has a mixed menu, but still, most of it belongs to the northeastern direction. Plus, I’m sure most of their chefs are from the Northeast.
They try to make exactly authentic food and adapt it a little. I can safely recommend Peking duck here: although it turns out and not quite the same as in China (nevertheless, there are other products here), the technology is consistent. And from the dishes of northeastern cuisine, I advise you to try Go Bao Zhou – pork in batter and sweet and sour sauce. ”
“A large restaurant with a classic Chinese-style interior: there is both a banquet hall and booths for small companies. Many Russian guests come here, and most of the dishes are adapted for them, although there are some authentic options.
On the menu, I could recommend Sichuan duck, traditional Shanghai lamb, and fried tofu, a hot hot dish that also includes beef and onions. As an appetizer, you can take fried tomatoes with an egg and green onions – a simple but very beloved dish by the Chinese. Also, the restaurant prepares Japanese and Thai cuisine, there are inexpensive business lunches. ”
“Premium Chinese restaurant. Among its undoubted advantages are very good service, atmosphere, rich interior and thoughtful presentation.
In general, this is not Chinese cuisine in terms of authenticity, the portions are small (and this is one of our main features), but at the same time they cook well and qualitatively. Tso Fung is more focused on Cantonese cuisine: a lot of dishes, such as dim sum and fried rice, are made in this style.
And, although the menu says: “Peking duck”, they cut it in Cantonese – that is, they remove the skin from it before serving. From what I tried in the restaurant, I liked the fried rice with pork sausages and the very tender Gu Lao pork. In addition, Tso Fung has a large selection of dim sums, I advise you to try with shrimp and asparagus and fried with beef. ”
“All the founders and chefs in this restaurant are Chinese, but Meat Line is not marketed as Chinese. They specialize in trepan, a large stainless steel plate mounted on a table. In front of you, a specially trained chef fries ingredients, adding different sauces to them, and then all the guests try it at a common table. This technology is originally from Japan, but the restaurant uses Chinese sauces, spices and basic products. It turns out fresh and tasty.
I think Meat Line has a great concept: in China two or three years ago such restaurants were very popular. I think this format will be successful in St. Petersburg as well, but it still needs time to develop. An important inhibiting factor is prices. It’s not cheap here, but there is no doubt about the level of local cuisine, and everything is fine with the atmosphere too. By the way, the menu also includes sushi and rolls, and they are also excellently prepared, but first of all it is worth going here for dishes on the trepan – after all, this is their specialty. “