Sunday, July 25, 2010

Harbin Series: Russia Coffee & Food ♥


I am a sucker for bests.

Before I travel to a new place, I spend 2 weeks googling the destination’s bests. Best local delicacies, best restaurants, best dessert places, best hole in the wall, best food streets, best street foods, best food items to bring home, best attractions, best hotels. Yes, in that exact order.

When I google for Harbin’s, Russia Coffee & Food (or Russian Cafe or Cafe Russia or Luxiya) comes up almost always at the top of the list.

I am a sucker for bests.



Our first attempt, the restaurant was packed.

With a long waitlist.

I tried to make reservations for the next day. The owner/manager said they do not take reservations.

“Look how many people coming here. Look how many people waiting outside. ALL THE TIME. No, cannot take reservation.”



I tried again, giving him my most charming smile.


“Come before 11:30am. You will get a seat.”

At least he gave me a tip.



Fast forward 2 days, at 11:15am…

IMG_9489Russian Red Caviar – slightly salty, briny, and tastes of the ocean. Not all eggs have that crisp “pop.” Some are already soft and wrinkly.


IMG_9494 Beef and Vegetable Red Soup – you know this has been simmered for hours and hours because the broth is very tasty. The dollop of sour cream gives the soup a richer and creamier taste. 


IMG_9496 Cheese – I order this because the server claims it is one of their specialties. It’s processed cheese!!! As in Kraft singles. WTH! At least they had taken the time to cut the individually wrapped slices into triangular pieces.


IMG_9493 Imported America Striploin Steak – lifeless, dry, tough. Too bad because they imported this all the way from America.


IMG_9499 Fried Pork Pie – huge and filling. And no wonder it’s so heavy because it has rice inside, too. Fried pork and rice pie, a complete meal in itself.


IMG_9502Russian Cabbage Meat Rolls – if you don’t like fried and battered food, try this low carb version of the fried pork pie. No batter, no deep-frying, the same pork filling wrapped in cabbage leaves.


IMG_9505Russian Hamburger – mediocre at best


IMG_9508 Pot Lamb – messy but good


Nelson, Brian, Sherylou, Me


Another “been there, done that” on my tourist trap list.


Russia Coffee & Food 露西亚西餐厅: 57 Xitoudao Jie, Dao Li District, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China. 道里区西头道街57号. Tel: +86451-84563207

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