Two recommendations from this beautiful once-closed Soviet city nuclear city in eastern Kazakhstan.
At Baiterek we dined, sitting on soft benches adorned with cushions in a room decked out in traditional Kazakh style, with carpets, saddles, long flowingand deep coloured robes. We began with Muhit and Egypitsky salads, vegetables and squid (ask them to leave off the mayonnaise); followed by a thin broth soup; then beshparmark, a succulent beef and vegetable stew; helped along with Irbis beer and Adil vodka — both inidginous to Kazakhstan — and served by Zaida and Saida. Out in the hall, a young man sang Karouake love songs to himself. Bookings are on 7232 24 98 49
For lunch we took the buffet at the palatial, shiny red-ceilinged Kopona, with its embroidered red-upholstered chairs, linen table cloths and ball room decor. Good place for big parties bookable on 7 232 26 34 03.
In both we were the only people there.