Aug 23 2007

My Very Own Restaurant

Category: Eating Out,Friends,PersonalChrisM @ 12:56 pm

OK, not quite, but the name of the place we went to last night is not a million miles from my surname…

?????????? Restaurant Astana Kazakhstan 2007

?????????? which (very) roughly equates to Meramhana, which is pretty damn close to Merriman 🙂
Anyway, we met up with Walton and Assel, who we had not seen since he went away to Kyrgyzstan with Tom to help teach some Afghan teenagers.

Assel ?????????? Restaurant Astana Kazakhstan 2007 Walton ?????????? Restaurant Astana Kazakhstan 2007

The last time we tried to go to this restaurant, the whole place was closed to the public, as there were some government big wigs in attendance at someone important’s birthday. That probably should have given us a small clue as to the price range, but we ploughed on regardless… Whilst we waited outside for Walton to arrive, I took a quick shot of the patio seating, though this now being the end of August, no Kazakhs were in view, as it is too cold to sit outside. Apparently.

Outside The ?????????? Restaurant Astana Kazakhstan 2007 Irina Outside The ?????????? Restaurant Astana Kazakhstan 2007

When we went in, the interior looked quite impressive, and the staff were actually pleasant to deal with; none of the oft-encountered ‘I am doing you a favour serving you’ sort of attitude. I had a nice fried cheese starter, and a pepper steak with chips. Sorry, that should have been a PEPPER steak with chips. (The amount of pepper corns I scraped off the meat would have lasted me a couple of years in a pepper grinder at home.) Walton and Ira had the same dish, though Irina has mushrooms as her garnish. Even Ira noted that the sauce on the meat was really quite hot. Half through the meal I literally had tears coming from my eyes, and this was after shaving the top, bottom and sides of the meat, to try and minimize the strength of the pepper sauce. I enjoyed it, but would not recommend it in a restaurant that was not air conditoned 😉

Pepper Steak With Extra Pepper Then A Bit More Pepper ?????????? Restaurant Astana Kazakhstan 2007

Please excuse the messy plate – I forgot to take a shot until about 1/2 through the meal. Whilst we ate, there was a live band playing downstairs, who were pretty talented, even if a little loud. The violinist had a stronger talent for playing her electric violin than singing, but their repertoire involved a wide selection of Russian and English songs, that did not exclusively involve female lead vocals, so overall, their input was most appreciated.

In House Band ?????????? Restaurant Astana Kazakhstan 2007

So, we finished off the meal with a nice dollop or two of ice cream, and said our goodbyes. It was really good to have the four of us back together again, and to hear (a little) about Walton’s time at the camp.

Ooops, apparently ?????????? is actually the Kazakh word for restaurant… not the name of the establishment itself. That is now three words of Kazakh I know 🙂

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