English Menu? Yes
Kids’ menu? No
General kid friendliness of menu: A lack of English descriptions will leave parents stumped about proper portion sizes for their children, but the mouth-watering pictures will make them want to order more and more.
Staff: Waiters show initiative by checking up very regularly throughout the meal, but there are only two English-speaking servers on staff.
Bathroom: Clean squatter located upstairs. Children should be accompanied up the steep steps. No changing tables.
Best dishes for kids: Boneless Flaming Dragon Fish, hot candied sweet potato, small lamb kebab
Kids’ play area? None, but the atmosphere is kid-friendly. Waiters exuberantly entertain upon entrance by vigorously spinning cloth napkins until they’re flat as freshly made bedsheets on the tips of their fingers. Some staff members even break into Northern Chinese opera choruses at random times. All of this is more amusing for adults than rambunctious kids, but the wait time for dishes is often minimal to keep children from growing too impatient.
Seating: Several high chairs are available, and the walls are lined with low kang tables where diners sit cross-legged.
Smoking/Non-smoking: Smoking is permitted on the first floor only. The other floors are all private rooms.
Price: RMB 150-200
Accepts credit cards? Yes
Must-order item: Stewed spare ribs with string beans, a traditional staple dish in Northeast China.
In a nutshell: The enthusiastic staff matches the bustling atmosphere that seems to have blown in a fresh gust all the way from the northern tip of Harbin. Hearty, piping meat dishes are the perfect inner insulation during the winter. Some parents may be annoyed by the first floor tables packed with baijiu swilling chain smokers, but there’s plenty of room upstairs to bask in the glowing scarlet décor and equally beaming, enthusiastic staff.
Daily, 11am-10pm. A1 Xinzhong Jie, Dongzhimenwai, Dongcheng District (6415 2855) 东北人,东城区东直门外新中街甲A1号