Nov 05 2013

Halloween Pics

Category: Eating Out,Friends,Personal,PicturesChrisM @ 2:42 am

Again, this post has been created to amalgamate a couple of posts (I also need to check my phone for pictures that didn’t get instagrammed/checked-in with foursquare) that were created at Halloween.
Friday night a friend was DJing at a local restaurant, so we met up at SegaFredo first, then moved across to the restaurant next door (part of the Park Inn), and then apparently moved onto Goal Keeper. No photos of the last place, but I do appear to have lost my shirt (with a bit of cash and my decent headphones) along the way…

Earning my DJ assistant status (free entry 🙂 ) helping Craig Vapour set up. Good tunes, bizarre cocktails.

Tracing Sockets And Dials

Tracing Sockets And Dials

Halloween GoGo dancers at Park Inn

Grooving To Their Own Rhythm

Grooving To Their Own Rhythm

Waited For The Room To Clear

Waited For The Room To Clear

Saturday saw a Talking Club (the one I run every couple of weeks for InterHouse) Halloween-themed event. The actual discussion part at the beginning was a lot quieter than normal; I think the only light source being candles meant people felt comfortable not volunteering as much as normal to speak. However the students (we had a few new ones, the age range was about 7-21 I think) seemed to get more into the swing of it with the actual “party” section. With a little less than 24 hours warning (with no materials or spare cash) that costumes were hoped for, I decided to 1) Finally get around to shaving my head properly again 2) Remove all ear rings and superfluous rings 3) Wear smart trousers for once, and hey presto, Breaking Bad’s Walter White was decided upon. It would have easier for the students to guess this if more than one actually watched Breaking Bad, but there you go 🙂 Interhouse’s teachers really put a lot of effort into decorating the classroom (all the pictures involved my phone’s flash – the was spookily lit with candles), laying out sweets & treats, and finding appropriate scary music to play in the background. I was happy to judge some of the games, but the idea of participating in those that required coordination, in the dark, encouraged me to take a back seat!

Bobbing For Apples With No Water

Bobbing For Apples With No Water

Handing Out Of Prizes

Handing Out Of Prizes

Eventually English Was Dropped In Favour Of Russian

Eventually English Was Dropped In Favour Of Russian

Walter White

Walter White

Oct 06 2013

Dropped the kids off with in-laws, a rare lunch da…

Category: Eating Out,Pictures,TweetsChrisM @ 1:47 pm

Dropped the kids off with in-laws, a rare lunch date with Irina 🙂 (@ Astana Nury) [pic]:

Astana Nury

Location Of Nury Astana Restaurant

Aug 23 2013

Catching up with a friend at Cafe “Real”…

Category: Eating Out,Pictures,TweetsChrisM @ 11:02 pm

Catching up with a friend at Cafe “Real”

Cafe Real Astana Beer Vodka Coke Tea

Location Of Cafe Real In Astana

Feb 14 2013

Horse Meat – Much Ado About Nothing?

Category: Eating Out,Kazakhstan,PersonalChrisM @ 4:52 pm

OK, so let’s start with the basics…

In Britain, and a lot of the Western world, horses are not bred for, nor considered as an option for, their meal-time meat. (Though I’m aware that areas of France (especially if you include donkeys), Portugal and Spain include horse meat on their menus, my knowledge of Europe beyond the West is pretty scarce, especially when it comes to culinary conventions, sorry.)

Here in Kazakhstan, especially by Kazakhs, horse is considered to be a normal meat/edible flesh, in the same way as chicken, beef or fish is. Although horses bred for eating are treated very differently, and indeed look different, to those destined for racing or transport on the steppe, a horse is just another animal that serves a purpose.

Recently, investigations have revealed that some supposedly beef-based ready made meals in Europe (stories from Britain have cropped up most in my online reading) have contained very high proportions of horse meat. Now, to the people that keep horses as cherished companions/pets, especially around younger children, I can completely understand the revulsion many will have felt… However, to most of the other people now loudly exclaiming their revulsion online, and threatening boycotts, I have to ask, how many had already consumed these not-pure lasagne/bolognese/mince meat, and not noticed a thing at the time?
For anyone honestly able to recall a yuck-what-the-hell-is-this? incident PRIOR to hearing about the scandal, my sympathies are with you. To all the others, I would simply ask, do you not now consider horse meat to be a viable alternative? If not in your homeland, where social convention leads you to consider horses as some how more sacred than other mammals, then at least if/when you travel abroad?

I have eaten horse meat more times than I can specifically count, and the only problem I have with it is the method… beshbarmaq is flat sheets of pasta (not too dissimilar to lasagne, in that respect, spookily enough) with onions and boiled horse meat. Other than crisps (I failed to find images of these online, sorry), this meal is the only time I’ve knowingly encountered and consumed horse meat. Besides a big joint of ham, all meats should be baked/grilled/fried as far as my fussy taste buds are concerned!

Anyway, if you couldn’t tell the difference when you consumed a “tainted” UK ready meal, perhaps it is time to consider whether horse meat always belongs on your no-no list?

Oct 11 2012

Less than impressed with the a…

Category: Eating Out,Pictures,TweetsChrisM @ 12:07 am

Less than impressed with the amount of meat in this “chicken” pie!

Izbushka's Virtually Meatless "Chicken" Pie

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Sep 14 2012

Del Papa

Category: Anna's Photos,Eating Out,Personal,PicturesChrisM @ 10:54 am

Right, before I forget to include it, here is a map showing the location of Del Papa, assuming I have embedded it correctly (thats Respublika Ave on the far left, to give you some sense of where it is)…

View Larger Map

We had already visited the restaurant when Irina and I took Tim (Anna was at playgroup) to have some ID photos taken (Irina went to Almaty in the week to apply for her and his visas). This time around it was all four of us, having a nice Sunday lunch (again this post has combined a few tweets to improve the flow of this site). As we weren’t in a rush this time, we could properly sample their food, drink & not have to zoom off afterwards!

Anna, A My Little Pony & Irina At Del Papa

Anna, A My Little Pony & Irina At Del Papa

Anna had a cheese and meat pizza (we helped her to finish it off, is there any better an indicator of your love for a child 😉 ), we will pretend that the chocolate milkshake was hers as well (!), and I had a Long Island Iced Tea (once we had ascertained how many millilitres of spirits were included, it worked out to be cheaper than beer or vodka (Tenge per ml using a standardized formula to allow for different ABV %ages)), as Irina had volunteered to drive us back. The pizza was one of the best I’ve had in Astana so far! I had a spaghetti carbonara with some garlic bread (not bad, Ira liked it, I thought it was too dry).

Sunday Lunch

Sunday Lunch

The carbonara was delicious and the Long Island Iced Tea just right, except the Coke was flat. Atmosphere wise, it was very chilled in there, and I’d happily revisit or recommend to friends and this site’s readers!

Carbonara, Garlic Bread, Anna's Pizza

Carbonara, Garlic Bread, Anna’s Pizza

In conclusion… Del Papa – a very strong 8.5/10

Del Papa's Sign

Del Papa’s Sign

Aug 22 2012

Muzak changes to live singing …

Category: Eating Out,Tweets,VideosChrisM @ 8:24 pm

Muzak changes to live singing at tre korana 🙂

Muzak changes to live singing at tre korana  :-) on Twitpic

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Aug 22 2012

Last minute decision (no1 fanc…

Category: Anna's Photos,Eating Out,Pictures,Tim's Photos,TweetsChrisM @ 7:30 pm

Last minute decision (no1 fancied cooking) 2try out tre kanor again, not been4years, since Walton&Assel were still here

Tre Kanor Outdoor Seating Panorama

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Aug 11 2012

Saturday Yurt Pictures

Category: Eating Out,Friends,Personal,Pictures,VideosChrisM @ 10:48 pm

On Saturday, Irina’s Mum had her birthday celebration at a yurt near the Kaz Munai Gas building, on top of a restaurant. I’ve compiled the tweets into one post to tidy up the blog once more. I tried out the panorama mode on my phone’s camera, and shot a quick test video as well (I wanted to compare it to the old Touch Pro2’s videos. Igor, Natalya, Losha, Balzhan, Ildar, Dr Natalya, Sveta, Aunty Sasha and the Petropavlovsk side of Irina’s family all attended, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The service was good, and as each party has a yurt to themselves, we were able to keep the air con on for a while to prevent anyone from passing out in the heat 🙂

After a few toasts, those who aren’t playing outside are in this video…

After a few toasts, those who aren't playing outside are... on Twitpic

Aug 10 2012

At Brioche with Irina & Ti…

Category: Eating Out,Personal,Pictures,TweetsChrisM @ 11:33 am

At Brioche with Irina & Tim (Anna at playgroup), celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary.

Brioche Omelette And Milkshake

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