Jun 24 2010

Restaurants in Astana

Published by admin at 1:34 pm under About Kazakhstan, Advice column, Restaurants

Last week I worked with the poeple from Spain who came to Astana to sign a contract with the Ministry of Agriculture. There were several surprises awaiting them, one of which is the service in a restaurant in Astana

Surprise #1 Menu is either in Russian or in Kazakh, but rarely in English.

If you don’t speak on of these two languages spoken in Kazakhstan you will have difficulties in ordering. In most cases  you will only find names of the salads or meaks, but not the ingredients, so you will have no idea what you are about to eat! Usually there are many traditional meals as well, such as beshparmak, manty or plov which will not make you any less confused.

Traditional kazakh food

Traditional kazakh food

Surprise #2 Waitresses don’t speak English either.

Well, maybe some of them do. But in 9 cases of 10 she will just keep on talking to you in Russian/Kazakh. Probably you will have to point out (using your fingers I mean) which dish you would like to have.  When you want to pay and leave, just waive to a waitress and pretend you are signing a bill in the air. She will get your message.

Surprise #3 Service quality is not quite high.

Just an example:

When ordering his steak „medium“, a foreigner was asked if he was referring to size…
BTW: some restaurants don’t accept credit cards, so before ordering  something, make sure you can pay for your food !

Surprise #4 Food is actually VERY GOOD!

So if you manage to read a menu in Russian, order your dish in Russian and communicate with a waitress somehow, you will be surprised at how tasty the food is!

Some useful words and phrases:

  • Hello! Zdravstvuite! Здравствуйте!
  • Do you have a menu in English? U vas est’ menu na angliskom? У вас есть меню на английском?
  • Do you accept credit cards? Mojno rasplatit’sya creditnoi cartoi? Можно расплатиться кредитной картой?
  • Some more, please. Eshe, pojaluista. Еще, пожалуйста.
  • Thank you. Spasibo. Спасибо.
  • Bill, please. Schet, pojaluista. Счет, пожалуйста.
  • Goodbye! Do svidaniya. До свидания.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Restaurants in Astana”

  1. Enriqueon 26 Apr 2011 at 2:14 pm


    I am Spanish and I am going to Astana.

    Any recommendation of romantic restaurant?



  2. adminon 29 Apr 2011 at 7:29 am

    Hello Enrique,

    Are you looking for a Spanish restaurant or just a good place? I could recommend a nice Italian place

    Enjoy your stay in Astana!


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