If you just want Gobazhou (sweet and sour pork), go to a “chifanka” (a kind of Chinese diner) at the market on "Sportivkа". However, if you want Gobazhou and festivity – go to a Chinese restaurant. Most Chinese restaurants in the city are little more than enhanced versions of “chifanka”– but there are exceptions.
“Oriental Tea House” is the oldest Chinese restaurant in the city, operating since 1996. It not only prepares consistently delicious food, but is also constantly improving the menu and coming up with new dishes – for example, the latest innovations in "fusion" style, such as battered prawns in a mayonnaise-sugar sauce with French fried potatoes.
The restaurant’s chefs are from northern Chinese provinces, so dishes generally correspond to norms of Chinese cooking, but they are adapted to the Russian palate. Some well-known dishes, however, are exact Chinese recipes such as "Harbin" salad – which is called "Vostochniy" (Oriental) here.
The pride of the restaurant is its interactively entertaining "Chinese Samovar” – usually ordered by a group of several people. They bring guests a simmering pot of broth and various ingredients - from vegetables to seafood – so everyone can create their own soups.
On Fridays, Saturdays, and public holidays – music and dancing provides entertainment for the evening, with nostalgic Russian pop the dominant style. There is also another pleasant feature of traditional Chinese restaurants: if your food order is over 1 200 rubles per person, you can bring your own alcohol.
15 Vsevolod Sibirtseva Str., phone: +7 (423) 222-21-65, hours: Noon to Midnight
According to public polls on the Net, "Tsap-Lya" has been recognized more than once as the best Chinese restaurant in Vladivostok. The interior, looking like it is outside, was inspired by the location of the restaurant in the historic quarter of the city that was called "Millionka." Indeed, a million Chinese lived here, and eateries were literally at every step.
Northern provincial fare is not the only style on the menu; there are also Sichuan, Cantonese, and Shanghai delicacies, as well as Thai and Malaysian dishes. Chef U-Yuilun worked for a long time in Beijing at The Great Wall Sheraton, and he still returns home regularly for new recipes.
To achieve authentically flavored dishes, spices and special ingredients are brought from China. For example, shark fins come to the "Tsap-Lya" kitchen from Hong Kong in dried form.
Live music plays every evening in the restaurant from eight o’clock on. It is necessary to book a table in advance since "Tsap-Lya" is popular among local residents, so there might not be availability. Groups of eight or more are permitted to bring alcoholic beverages with them (excluding sparkling wine and beer) when the total food order is more than 1200 rubles per person. The BYOB fee on bottles of sparkling wine is 500 rubles.
10 Pogranichnaya (Border) Str., phone: +7 (423) 220-52-94, hours: 12:00–01:00
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Rule number one — reserve a table in advance!