The distinctive sign and name of Ух ты, блин.

Oh Wow Blini in Vladivostok

Published: November 7, 2011

 Ух ты, блин / Oh Wow, Blin (Dang)
9 улица Адмирала Фокина
Blini/Pancake House
Meals for $5 – $8

The mere name of the restaurant, Ух ты, блин, was enough to get me interested in this place. Set on Admiral Fokina, Vladivostok’s major pedestrian shopping street, the restaurant stands out against the horde of clothing and bootleg CD shops that surround it. Oh Wow, Blin (as I have translated, although, блин, the singular for blini is also Russian slang that means roughly “dang,” but which is perhaps a bit more offensive in Russian), is just a few blocks away from the major downtown bus stop, Semyonovskaya, and is less than 3 minutes away from the beach.

The outside of the restaurant is eye-popping with its bright yellow paint and distinctive sign. It’s hard to miss when walking down Fokina. The inside of the restaurant is best described as cozy. There were only about 6 or 7 small tables, pretty tightly packed together. Yet, this seemed to only add to the endearing nature of the little blini shop. The walls were painted with bright pinks and yellows, and decorated with ornaments making it all reminiscent of a tea room you might find in your great aunt’s house in America. While the restaurant is a sit-down café, you order your food up at the counter when you walk in. There they have two menus, one entirely devoted to blini, and the other with drinks and regular entrees. There were upwards of 20 to 25 different types of blini available, including blini with cheese, sour cream, vegetables, chicken, honey, condensed milk, nuts, and more. All of the blini ranged in price from 50-150 rubles (except for blini with caviar, which was 220 rubles). On the other half of the menu, you can find many different drinks, such as various teas, coffees, and cold beverages. In terms of regular entrees, they offer different soups and meats.

I was very pleased with my meal, which consisted of a pot of mint tea (55 rubles), a steaming bowl of borsch (84 rubles and it had some of the freshest vegetables I’ve had yet in Vladivostok), and a blin with honey and walnuts (64 rubles). Joss, a fellow student and my dinner companion, had an Americano coffee, a blin with honey and walnuts, and a blin with cheese, carrots, tomatoes, and chicken, all for less than 200 rubles. Ice cream was also on the menu, but after our meal, Joss and I decided to forego getting more sweet food. The prices for the ice cream were between 60 and 90 rubles, and it appeared that they had many typical flavors that you would find in America.

All in all, I would highly recommend  Ух ты, блин to anyone looking for really good Russian blini. I’ve personally never seen anywhere else with such a large variety of blini options. This restaurant is also a good place to relax and do homework. The atmosphere was very welcoming, and the music wasn’t as distracting or loud enough to make conversation difficult, as can be the case in some Russian restaurants. However, if you are looking for a place with a more substantial meal, for instance, with full meat and vegetable entrees, I would suggest finding somewhere else. In my opinion,  Ух ты, блин serves best as a place for a cheap meal or a relaxed date.

For groups and faculty-led tours, the little cafe can only hold about 20 people max.  It would be suitable for a smaller group of 4-5 people.


About the author

Michael Smeltzer

Michael Smeltzer has degrees in Russian Language and Philosophy from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He has previously studied abroad in Irkutsk and is currently spending an academic year in Vladivostok as part of SRAS's Home and Abroad program.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar: $10,000 to Study Abroad

View all posts by: Michael Smeltzer

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