68 Sackville Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 3NJ
The St Petersburg restaurant in Manchester has been treating adventurous locals to royal Russian cuisine for more than 20 years. Inspired by food eaten in the glittering restaurants of Russia's second biggest city, St Petersburg is an ornate mix of linen-draped tables, plush scarlet chairs and sweeping gold curtains.
Diners can start the meal with a traditional Russian soup. Borsch is a bright scarlet beetroot concoction, while the Vladivostok revels in Far East influences, throwing together chicken, prawns and noodles into a warming broth. The Russian fisherman's favourite, ukha russkaya, also makes an appearance — it sees top quality salmon and cod cooked with a generous splash of vodka. Other starters include Russian caviar, cured meats and seafood salads. Particularly intriguing are the traditional Russian pancakes, which come stuffed with all manner of fillings, from chicken breast and onion to calamari and red king crab.
St Petersburg's restaurant in Manchester's menu of mains continues to carry the decadent theme. Peter the Great influenced the restaurant's steak selection — the Tsar was a great fan of tender sirloin steak grilled with mustard gherkins and a creamy onion sauce. Meanwhile, the Russian Duke Stroganoff gave the name to the famous beef stew, which is sautéed in a rich cognac sauce. Alongside the royal specials sit generations-old family recipes, such as steak cooked in home-made pastry. Then there's the baked sea bass, which is served the traditional way — stuffed with vegetables and set on a bed of rice or potatoes.
To wash down the meal in true Russian style, make sure to browse St Petersburg's accompanying bar. It promises the best vodka selection in Manchester, which is easy to believe when you spy the army of chilled bottles lined up behind the bar.