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“Good place for family” 4 of 5 stars
Review of HuaMei Western Restaurant(Central Avenue)

HuaMei Western Restaurant(Central Avenue)
ZhongYang Main Street 112, Harbin, China
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Ranked #13 of 703 Restaurants in Harbin
4.0 of 5 stars 24 Reviews
Cuisines: Fast Food
Restaurant details
2 reviews
“Good place for family”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2014

I probably have been to every table of this restaurant. My grandma's favorite restaurant. Cheap price for usually family meal, the dish size were huge for me and my grandma haha

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24 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Hong Kong
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Terrible service!! Rude and lazy waiters who prefer to stand around and chat”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

This restaurant totally demonstrated what people said about China having the hardware but not the software. We were rudely told to go upstairs for table of two. We were pointed to a table. We asked for the menu and waited for 15 minutes. We asked 6 waiters and waitresses to take our order but everyone asked us to wait. For what? For them to gather by the cashier and chat and joke with each other. We ended up leaving without lunch. Never go back again

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milpitas, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Huamei Restaurant, Russian Restaurant?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

My 33 yrs of marriage to my husband who is a 1st generation Russian-American was celebrated with a trip to China. His father and grandfather lived in Harbin from the time the Russians and the Chinese joined together to built the original railroads between the two countries to promote trade in the 1900's. His grandfather was a priest for one of the original Russian Orthodox Churches. His father and his 4 Aunts were all born and raise in Harbin until 1949 until China's cultural revolution. They migrated to other countries, mostly to the United States. There is nothing better or more delicious than HOME COOKED Russian food cooked up by his 4 Russian aunts. They were a social lot. They would throw nice tea parties, birthday parties, celebrate Russian holidays....it was a treat when there is phone call that one of his aunts is throwing a social gathering. You want to know WHAT REAL AUTHETIC RUSSIAN FOOD IS AND TASTE LIKE? Try Russian Pelmeny: It's hand rolled dough pelmeny (meat-filled little sailor cap shaped dumplings which looks like Chinese Won Ton but the dough is slightly thicker) cooked in broth, served with sour cream and a side dish of freshly cut up cucumbers served with mayonnaise or served with slices of garlic and soy sauce. The little dumplings just burst in your mouth when you bite down releasing savory sauce!), Another favorite of mine is Russian Herring Salad which is composed of herrings, beets, potatoes, chopped up cold cut meat, apples, eggs...all chopped up in mayonnaise. Let it aged for several hours or overnight. (It is SO GOOD!!!) My husband's mother makes a poor man's version of caviar with baked eggplants, cut up and mixed with tomatoes, onions, basil, oregano, ketchup, mashed into a spread and served on stale bread. It was GREAT times at my husband's aunts houses when we visit them. Great Russian food, Great conversation, one of my husband's aunts on the squeeze box, singing Russian songs, the men folk would pass around glasses of Volka,...those were great old times. Of course, it's not a Russian event unless there is Beef Stroganoff . Everyone claims that THEIR version is the AUTHETIC version of the Beef Stroganoff recipe that was prepared and served to Russian royalty in the days of the Tsars of Russia!! It's actually a 19th century dish created for Count Stroganoff, a dignitary at the court of Alexander III) It is a very basic recipe of thinly slices of beef and onions pan-seared in its own juices converted to a thick gravy served over rice or in later recipes over French fries as with the Ukrainian Russians). Other basic (non-gourmet) typical Russian dishes would be Borscht (Red beet soup), Meat Cotelettes (Giant Russian meatballs), Chicken Cotelettes (breaded Chicken nuggets) Chicken Kiev,,and of course, Piroshki. They are ALL SO DELICIOUS!!

You would expect those basic standard Russian dishes (mentioned above) to be standards at any Russian restaurant, however at Huamei Restaurant, it served NONE of the above items which is hard to believe. We went to Huamei Restaurant (NO. 142, Central Avenue (ZhongYang DaJie), Lidao District) because my Russian husband and I crave Russian Food since his father and his 4 aunts have long passed away. They all were all born and grew up in Harbin so in honor of them, we wanted to eat a Russian meal. When we sat down to look at the menu, there was no Chicken Kiev or Cotelettes or Borscht or Beef Stroganoff listed on the menu so we were forced to pick what is available. There SHOULD have been at least a Pelmeny dish: Russian Dumplings which all the other Asian restaurants in Harbin has on their menu. We were sadden by the lack of Russian dishes offered.

We had heard some good reviews on this Huamei Restaurant. We read that this is the place to go for Russian food so we decided to take a chance and try out some of the dishes. So my husband ordered the pork chop. When it was served, was a small portion. It's a very thin pork chop on a small plate (size of a dessert plate) with a some sort chopped up tomato chutney on top. I ordered the "breaded" Chicken breast, when arrived, is 3 small finger food size what look like 3 pieces of McDonald's Chicken Mc Nuggets. There was no sauce or condiments served with it. I had to eat it dry. It was very disappointing. Both dishes should have been presented in a more appealing plating. It should have been served on a bigger plate with 2 side dishes such as a scoop of rice or mash potatoes and a little green salad. It would not have cost the restaurant that much more expense to add 2 small side items to balance the meal out. The price for the lunch was very expensive for the amount of food that was brought out....over 100 RMBs plus the tea.

We were still very hungry after we ate this meal which looks like only appetizers. So we went over to No. 81 Central Street (same street as Huamei Restaurant) to the Oriental King of Dumplings. We ordered two plates of dumplings, one with beef filling (Moscow style) and one with pork and cabbage (Siberian Style). They come pretty close to the Russian Pelmeny dumplings. (delicious). The cost is 12 RMB per plate. We ordered 2 plates = 24 RMB ($4.00 USD) .....and we walked away, happy, content and stomachs full!!!

If we had known that the food at the Humei Restaurant was so disappointing, we would not have gone there. It should have been a clue to us when none of the basic Russian dishes were listed on the menu. The chef. staff and most of the patrons are all Chinese and Chinese speaking. None of them had actually eaten authentic Russian food so they have no comparison between REAL AUTHETIC RUSSIAN food and a CHINESE version of what they "think" is Russian food.

It's a shame that the restaurant doesn't send its Chefs to learn Russian Cooking. If expense is the object, they don't have to go very far. There is an active Russian/Ukrainian Church in Harbin. The Holy Protection of the Virgin Church stands in the heart of the city at 270 Bolshoi Prospect. The Priest there is Russian. I'm sure he or anyone of his Russian congregation (not Chinese people but actually has blood line to Russian family members or grew up in a Russian household) could show the Chefs at most of the so-called Russian restaurants how to make authentic Russian food. They will gladly accept donations to help with repairs to their church.

All I can say is that our experience with Huamei Restaurant was very disappointing ..and what's worst is that it's like throwing 100 RMB out the window.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A must? maybe”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013 via mobile

One of the oldest western/Russian restaurants in Harbin if not the oldest. You don't come here for the service or the queue. You come for the food and atmosphere. Probably the most authentic Russian you can get in China. Harbin is a major food destination in the North of China, and this one is certainly not your typical Chinese restaurant. Worth a try!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Okay fare, nothing fantastic”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

The food here is alright, but nothing fantastic. The service is slightly forgetful with just a hint of rude. There are no bookings, and you often have to wait for a table, we waited half an hour. Of the dishes they recommended as being very good, they were decent. From my experiences eating here, I don't believe Harbin to be a major food destination.

Visited January 2013
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