Monday, March 7, 2016


Astana does boast a few decent restaurants.  We hadn't found anything to write home about, though, until now.  I am so grateful for friends who held a birthday dinner at 514, which gave me the chance to first - know of its existence and second - try it out.

The name 514 comes from the Montreal ZIP code, and I now have it muddled in my mind but the chef and/or owner have connections to the city. The interior gives a definite "we're not in Central Asia" vibe with pulsating music, black walls, crystal chandeliers and fake trees lit up in white Christmas lights.  But what we really care about is the food.


The bread that comes to the table is freshly made, slightly grilled, and accompanied with an oil and vinegar dipping tray.  Terry ordered a "chicken salad" starter, which was a lovely lineup of roasted veggies with some roasted chicken pieces mixed among them.  He then continued onto the burger which was enormous and messy but he reported very tasty.  My main was in my mind the highlight of the entire restaurant:  slow cooked beef ribs. It is hard enough to get beef ribs in the USA; to have something so tender, so falling-off-the-bone, and so well sauced would have made my day in Washington.

The only downside as I see it is that they only have two desserts on offer each night and they are not often anything overly exciting. Tasty, sure, but lacking the wow factor of the savory food.

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