Li Du / Ли Ду
В.О. 1-я линия, 18/2 (See Map)
Traditional Chinese Dishes
Meals for $8+12 and more
Li Du attracts my friends and me for a few different reasons. Firstly, its location is extremely convenient: a five-minute walk from class, ten minute walk from the Institute, and directly in front of our bus stop to get home. Secondly, we discovered it was quite difficult to find good Far East Asian food in Piter – Li Du has fantastic Chinese food. Thirdly, there are always a good number of Asian students from our Institute dining at Li Du, thus it must have good, authentic cuisine; they also employed a native a Chinese waitress. Lastly, and most importantly, you get every kopek worth of food in any dish you order. This is the main attraction, especially for us poor SRAS college students.
The name “Li Du” is apparently taken from a Chinese General who lead the resistance against a Japanese-installed Chinese government in the 1930s. So, it has a bit of history behind it that you can impress your friends with when you take them there.
We have been to Li Du many times and have ordered a variety of dishes. Justin always gets this hot and sour chicken soup, a great mix of flavors and spicy enough to quench his cravings for hot food. Furthermore, the portion is quite large; often he makes a meal of out of the soup itself. For Nathan’s birthday, he splurged and ordered a nice meal of duck with Chinese mushrooms. This was fantastic – the spices, mushroom, and unexpected sautéed pea pods perfectly complimented the flavor of the duck; it did cost a bit more, 300 grams for 500 rubles, but still not a bad deal.
I normally order sweet and sour chicken with rice – very typical American Chinese food. However, the dish is totally worth ordering. The chicken is very lightly fried and the sauce is flavorful and savory. The first time I ordered another side dish, thinking I would not have enough food. I was completely wrong, felt full before I finished my chicken and yet and I could not put down my chopsticks until I’d picked up every morsel.
Li Du does lunch specials until 4pm, which are a good choice of meals at a great value. I also highly recommend the spring rolls – crunchy, crispy, and extremely tasty, while not too greasy. These are often an excellent compliment to our meal and one order comes with five spring rolls at a measly cost of 120 rubles. I also recommend the white tea, which comes in a cool Chinese tea pot with a large flower floating inside it. A large pot of tea costs 150 rubles, but it is easily enough for three people to pour a few cups each.
Li Du’s menu offers a large selection of very good food. It’s quite easy to spend 500 rubles there, especially if one ventures to their more exotic dishes consisting of duck or frog; however, it’s also possible to eat on a budget of 300-400 rubles, if one orders just one dish and a drink, which is usually enough anyway. Like our Georgian experience, this is also a great restaurant to try a bunch of different dishes and share them among a group.
All-in-all, I highly recommend this restaurant. One can see a great mix of native Russians and Asian exchange students. I highly doubt one will be disappointed in the service, food, or prices!
For groups and faculty-led tours, Li Du advertises banquet services and could handle small and mid-sized groups of students. However, while the food is good, it is exotic to St. Petersburg and well-known to most Americans. Thus, it is probably not the best use of time to introduce students to the Russian culture and the city of St. Petersburg. Head for some of the many Central Asian cuisines if you are looking for something exotic!