Harbin has always enjoyed the nickname of “Moscow in the East” for its special history and location. It is a city with deep ties to Russia – the Russian-style architecture lining the streets of downtown Harbin gives the illusion that you’re walking in a Russian city. Thanks to its proximity to Russia and the long tradition of Russian immigration, Harbin is one of the best places in China for getting a more genuine taste for Russian cuisine. Here’s an introduction to Portman’s Restaurant and Huamei Restaurant, two of the oldest, and most popular Russian restaurants in Harbin.
Portman’s Restaurant 波特曼西餐厅 View In Map
Portman’s is one of the better known restaurants offering Russian cuisine in Harbin. Its menu has mainly Russian dishes, with a few unique creations inspired by French and Italian cuisines. Portman’s continues to impress customers with its delightful menu and unique Eurasian ambience. Guests here are encouraged to indulge in the cuisine, and all that “Moscow of the East” has to offer.
Russian décor is different from that prevalent in the rest of Europe – doing away with the grandeur and magnificence of the Rococo and Gothic styles of building and opting instead for the more solemn and dignified Byzantine. The environment here is chic and clean, with great lighting and comfortable seating. There is also a live piano performance at the venue each day, giving Portman’s a feel very much reminiscent of early 20th century Harbin. Especially good are the Russian-style shrimp in ceramic pots – the extremely tender shrimp are dipped in a special sauce and then eaten. Steak seasoned with black pepper is also cooked to perfection. The restaurant’s own house red wine (brewed on site) is very tasty, and goes well with the entrees.
Add: 53 Recreation Zone, Qidao Jie, Zhongyang Avenue, Daoli District, Harbin
Tel: 0451 8468 6888
Opening hours: 10:30-24:00
Getting there: Take bus No. 64, 88, 101, or 102 to Xinyibai
Huamei Restaurant 华梅西餐厅 View In Map
Huamei is spread across three floors, each with a different theme. The first floor is a bar modeled after a modernized country pub that one might find in the European countryside. The second floor is designed with a feel for the Russian royals and elites; fitted with a grand chandelier, snow white marble sculptures and quality wood flooring, it’s very much reminiscent of the famous Kremlin Palace. The third floor is designed with the theme of modern Russia in mind, and is fitted with two halls – the south hall is grand and magnificent, while the north hall is chic and dignified.
Huamei Restaurant mainly offers Russian entrees, but also has some other European-style dishes. Traditional Russian dishes served in ceramic pots are one of the most popular dishes at the venue. In the little ceramic pots the size of one's palm you can find tenderly stewed meat in a rich broth. There is also minced meat wrapped in baked cabbage leaves; called sarma, it is a very traditional Russian home dish. Another popular item with guests is the “Subo Soup”, a kind of borscht made with many different kinds of vegetables, including onions, tomatoes and potatoes. It must be brewed with just the right amount of tomato paste, and the flavor of this seemingly simple dish speaks loads about just how good the chefs at Huamei are.
Add: 142 Zhongyang (Central) Avenue, Daoli District, Harbin
Tel: 0451 8461 9818
Opening hours: 11:00-21:00
Getting there: Take Bus No. 113, 114, 2, 53 to the Zhongyang Avenue station, then walk another 166 meters to the restaurant
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Keywords: Portman Russian restaurant harbin best restaurants harbin Huamei Russian restaurant harbin harbin best western restaurants harbin best Russian food
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