Backed by a local robotics corporation, Harbin’s Robot Restaurant is, well, a restaurant staffed by robots, with serving drones running on a circuit around the restaurant, a handful of robo-chefs doing some rather token cooking behind the bar and some loosely robot-themed decor (you can see pictures here).
While all the robots require a little help from their human friends, and the place, which opened in summer 2012, is already looking a little tired around the edges, the sheer novelty of the Robot Restaurant makes it worth a visit.
The food is standard mall food court fare, with a limited range of largely pre-cooked dishes, but watching the robots heat rice and dumplings in the kitchen, and collecting your dishes from the visiting server, makes it all worthwhile.
Expect to pay 25-40 kuai for a main dish, and 10-12 for a beer. The checkbox menu is in Chinese but waiters will check the right boxes for you if you point at the pictures out front: you’ll need to pay the cashier in advance.
Address: Basement, 51 Xi Liu Dao Jie (West Sixth Street), off Zhongyang Daojie, Daoliqu, Harbin
Phone: 0451 8898 2888