In welcoming foreign guests, we need to offer not only the warmth of friendship by tasty cuisine. During the Championship, Minsk’s Prospekt cafй plans to dress staff in uniforms bearing Belarusian national motifs, as well as decorating its interior like a cosy village tavern.
Menu for hockey lovers
Pizzas, hamburgers and sushi are unlikely to surprise visitors from Europe or Russia, while most would probably like to try Belarusian cuisine. Gambrinus restaurant is offering such national dishes as zhur soup, vereshchaka, dumplings with meat and mushrooms and pyzy (filled potato cakes). Local chef Alexander Chikilevsky is a master when it comes to national dishes. He tells us that, in the time of the Radziwills, Belarusians were buckwheat eaters rather than ‘bulbash’ (‘potato eaters’). Accordingly, he plans to offer buckwheat on the menu during the tournament, believing that visitors are more likely to return to Belarus if they have good experiences of being well-fed. Aginski restaurant’s cuisine includes tea made from Belovezhskaya Pushcha herbs: especially popular with Russian tourists.
Moderate prices essential
The Trade Ministry believes that most public catering facilities should enlarge their menus — especially those in small towns. Meanwhile, restaurants and cafйs are realising that menus should be written both in Russian and English. Lyubov Maximova, of the Tourism Department, notes, “Many tourists will be coming to Belarus by car, so road-side services should offer English language menus, to make them feel welcome from the outset.”
Many public catering facilities are already selling souvenirs, while their waiters and barmen are busy polishing their English. A special phrase book has been published for such staff, in readiness for the World Championship.