Saint Petersburg


Line Of Constancy


When compared with the seething and extraordinarily changeable Rubinstein Street the neighbouring restaurant artery — the Fontanka Embankment — is a paragon of stability. Many of its establishments have been there for over ten years — to the pleasure of their regular visitors and their owners.


One of these highly respected “long-term residents” is the excellent “Erivan” Armenian restaurant (51—53 Nab. Reki Fontanki. T: 703 3820) with its head chef Armen Pinachian, who has been in charge ever since the restaurant opened thirteen years ago. The menu includes both tried and tested classic Armenian dishes and original variations on traditional recipes: khash, khashlama, Armenian plov, Sevan crawfish, Artsakh shashlik, shepherd’s kebab, delicious homemade preserves (apricot, quince, cornel, white cherry, blackberry, rose petal, etc.)... They are all superb.

Excеrpt from thе “Erivan” mеnu:

Kebab of crawfish tails — 1,390 roublеs

Ijevan lamb — 990 roublеs

Khashlama — 750 roublеs

Artsakh shashlik — 750 roublеs

Khash — 590 roublеs


Another interesting long-term resident of the Fontanka Embankment is “Fiolet” (4 Pl. Lomonosova. T: 407 5207), one of the pioneers of Pan-Asian cuisine in the city. Just as it did ten years ago, when the Indian maestro Pawan Kumar Manghera was in charge of the cuisine (he is still working successfully in St. Petersburg, by the way), the restaurant serves Japanese and European cuisine, as well as dishes at the meetingpoint of several gastronomic cultures — for instance, steak marinated in miso paste with warm rolls of tobiko caviar, mango and zucchini, or chicken breast stuffed with spinach with a sauce of baked pepper and coconut and lightly fried egg noodles with vegetables... The head chef is Denis Fekliev.

Excеrpt from thе “Fiolеt” mеnu:

Salmon tartare with avocado and mango sauce — 590 roublеs

Warm chicken liver salad in a spicy sauce with tomatoes, chunks of chicken breast and a quail’s egg — 490 roublеs

Traditional Thai soup with tiger prawns, coconut milk and black wood mushrooms — 540 roublеs

Singaporean laksa soup with seafood — 620 roublеs

Wok-fried steak on a bed of vegetables with spicy tamarind sauce — 850 roublеs

“Wong Kar Wine”

Another Pan-Asian establishment, the “Wong Kar Wine” gastrocafe (14 Nab. Reki Fontanki. T: +7 (921) 943 1930), is much younger — just three years old. There is no Japanese or European cuisine there: it is pure “Pan-Asia”. The menu is laconic but varied nevertheless. There is ceviche (of salmon), a tear-inducing tom yam with seafood and wontons (crispy as they ought to be) with prawns (they go perfectly with a glass of Riesling)... The wine prices are really friendly.

Excеrpt from thе “Wong Kar Winе” mеnu:

Ahi poke with tuna, avocado and Thai dressing — 480 roublеs

Tom yam with seafood — 450 roublеs

Pad thai with prawns — 440 roublеs

Beef in black pepper sauce with steamed vegetables and rice — 590 roublеs

Halva panna cotta with vanilla pears, ice-cream and salted caramel — 320 roublеs


A branch of the “Nihao” chain of Chinese restaurants opened recently on the Fontanka (67—69 Nab. Reki Fontanki. T: 775 1062), treating customers not only to specialities of Shanghai, Zhejiang and Szechuan cuisine expertly prepared by the very experienced head chef Gao Chaoyang, but also to an extremely interesting selection of Japanese rolls. The cocktails based on traditional Chinese alcohol mixed by head barman Alexander Murachev are a story in themselves. They are certainly worth trying.

Excеrpt from thе “Nihao” mеnu:

Prawn salad with golden bean sprouts and zucchini — 318 roublеs

“Kou Shui” Szechuan-style boiled chicken — 298 roublеs

Thick rice soup with prawns — 397 roublеs

Zhejiang-style steamed pork ribs — 298 roublеs

Xinjiang-style fried lamb with onion — 589 roublеs

“Porto Maltese”

Fish cuisine on the Fontanka is mainly the province of “Porto Maltese” (81 Nab. Reki Fontanki / 57 Gorokhovaya Ul. T: 570 3451), part of the international restaurant chain. The menu includes oysters from Russia and New Zealand, a good selection of tartares and carpaccios, the complex buzara Balkan soup, sautéed seafood, pasta and risotto... The team of male waiters is a separate feature of the restaurant.

Excеrpt from thе “Porto Maltеsе” mеnu:

“Porto” buzara white / red (prawns, mussels, Siamese fighting fish, scallop) — 990 roublеs

Sauteed octopus — 1,450 roublеs

Carpaccio of tuna, prawns and scallops — 1,400 roublеs

Yellow risotto with prawns — 1,250 roublеs

Tiramisu — 550 roublеs

“Vkus Yest”

Anyone interested in experiments with local produce should head straight for “Vkus Yest” (“Taste to Eat”) (82 Nab. Reki Fontanki. T: 983 3376). Regardless of who has worked in the kitchen (there have been several outstanding head chefs in the last three years) the food has invariably been fascinating, albeit questionable at times. The kitchen is currently presided over by Vladimir Trubachev, and people in the know recommend his trout with creamed parsnips and apple sauce, lamb tongues with green bulgur and baked pepper salsa and black spaghetti with trout and red caviar.

Excеrpt from thе “Vkus Yеst” mеnu:

“Bloody Mary” beef tartare — 440 roublеs

Trout with creamed parsnips and apple sauce — 480 roublеs

Lamb tongues with green bulgur and baked pepper salsa — 610 roublеs

Black spaghetti with trout and red caviar — 550 roublеs

Homemade “Tula Gingerbread” cheesecake — 390 roublеs


Connoisseurs of haute cuisine should not pass up the opportunity to try the dishes invented by Adrian Quetglas, the best chef in Moscow according to the WHERETOEAT prize in 2016. At the “SimpleWineBar” (52 Nab. Reki Fontanki. T: 363 2511) Adrian’s ideas are put into practice by a team of local chefs, and very successfully too. Dishes particularly worth highlighting are: beef tartare with stone ground mustard and flax bread, grilled octopus with creamed potatoes and orange jelly, grilled foie gras with wheat and plum risotto... And don’t forget to make a careful study of the wine list which includes around a thousand varieties.

Excеrpt from thе “SimplеWinеBar” mеnu:

Beef tartare with stone ground mustard and flax bread — 640 roublеs

Cream of pumpkin soup with quail, almonds and drops of chilli — 550 roublеs

Grilled octopus with creamed potatoes and orange jelly — 1,490 roublеs

Grilled foie gras with wheat and plum risotto — 1,550 roublеs

Chocolate ganache with cherry mousse and mint marshmallow — 420 roublеs


One of the friendliest places on the Fontanka Embankment is the “Mechtateli” (“Dreamers”) restaurant at 11 Nab. Reki Fontanki (Tel: (921) 761 3155). It has been successful for several years at an address where quite a few promising projects have foundered. Viktor Gusev, the current head chef, offers contemporary Russian cuisine — very technical and varied. However, virtually all the food is tailored to complement the wine list. The best choice on your first visit would include tuna with poultry aioli and rhubarb on rice crisps and duck breast confit with baked chicory, wine-liquorice sauce and cedar nuts. Incidentally, besides wine the restaurant is famed for its range of coffee-based drinks. The coffee, by the way, is among the best in the city.

Excеrpt from thе “Mеchtatеli” mеnu:

Strips of venison with morel mushrooms, fried sour cream and “black” sauce — 460 roublеs

Mille-feuille with salmon and sweetcorn ganache — 390 roublеs

Duck leg confit with baked chicory, wine-liquorice sauce and cedar nuts — 590 roublеs

Venison with creamed cabbage and “potato” cake — 640 roublеs

Ryazhenka mousse with matcha tea crumble and raspberry sorbet — 340 roublеs


And finally, the main “dark horse” on the Fontanka is the recently opened “Tawny” restaurant (20 Nab. Reki Fontanki. T: +7 (969) 709 1313). The accent in the menu is on Portuguese cuisine (head chef Roman Zhelonkin, brand chef Roman Redman), and, correspondingly, drinks from the Westernmost country in Europe. The owners are banking on particular popularity for the leg of meat tartare, marinated skirt steak with herb sauce, francesinhas (classic Portuguese sandwiches) and scallops with cauliflower.

Excеrpt from thе “Tawny” mеnu:

Tapas skirt — 200 roublеs

Leg of meat tartare — 320 roublеs

Francesinha — 350 roublеs

Cod and spinach escabeche — 320 roublеs

Flax ice-cream — 100 roublеs

Where St.Petersburg

September 2018

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