It surprises me how many people think they've never had Russian food, or don't know what Russian food entails. A number of my friends (not my housemate, whose family is Russian and was the one to suggest the restaurant) paged through the menu, unexpectedly discovering they actually knew many Russian dishes, such as stroganov, or Chicken Kiev.
Russian food is pretty cream and meat heavy, so I went for two things that V was pretty sure I could eat: pierogi, and vareniki, both filled with potato, and when I asked the waitstaff, they said there was no dairy so I went for it. The vareniki were fried and looked like curry puffs, and the pierogi were steamed, and they were all delicious. An entire meal of potato and pastry and I have no regrets.
The photos didn't turn out, little white things on little white plates in a dimly lit, smoke-filled restaurant, so here instead have a photo of our refreshments for the evening:
a bottle of vodka and some strawberry nectar, ordered from the menu. We were expected to drink the entire bottle, and we did, just five of us, and I desperately wish I'd brought Berocca to China with me when I woke up the next morning.
The meal was good, stodgy and filling on a very cold evening. Service was a bit average, but the prices were good (including vodka it came to about 60-70RMB each) and it's no more than a ten minute walk from my apartment. A definite revisit.
White Nights / 白夜西餐
13A Beizhong Jie
off Dongzhimennei Dajie, near the Russian Embassy
on PT: Take the subway to Dongzhimen Station, exit A, walk East along Dongzhimen Outer Street and take the second right. Stairs to get into the building, poor lighting, and the toilet is down some stairs and around a corner. Ordering and payment at the table. Menu is in English, Russian and Chinese with pictures. Waitstaff speak Mandarin.
Was it vegan rating: probably. I asked and was told what I ordered had no dairy, and I didn't get sick afterwards. I didn't ask about egg because V thought it was very unlikely.