Want a taste of the FIFA World Cup without actually having to spend for a ticket to Russia?
Then head straight to the many restaurants, bars and cafes around the country that have decked themselves up with fancy menus and fancier themes to drag in the football fans when the ‘greatest show on earth’ kicks off on Thursday in Moscow.
For Kolkata-based Waled Adnan, watching a football match at a sports bar is the closest one can get to being at the stadium.
“It’s the feeling of unspoken camaraderie that you go for.”
The idea of walking in, awkwardly sitting and scanning who’s supporting who, and then making a team of your own is what drives him to a bar instead of watching a match at home with friends.
“Usually, a missed goal or a foul or even better, an actual goal, is a good way to find your team, if they’re not wearing jerseys to begin with, that is,” he told PTI.
To cash in on this very sentiment, restaurants have come up with creative ideas to ensure maximum footfall.
‘After Stories’ in the city has come up with a pizza menu inspired by popular teams – Peppy Portugal, German Magic, Belgium Rush, French Connection, Argentinian Ooze and Brazilian Treat being some of the options one can check.
‘Monkey Bar’ in Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Bangalore has introduced a ‘half-time’ menu for the month long tournament.
Football snacks from around the world including ‘Football Farsan’, ‘Mexican Wave’, ‘Kahn’s Hot Dog’ and ‘No. 10’ are some of the items on their menu.
“The menu is designed to encourage community dining with easy to consume dishes that complement the beverage selection,” Dheeraj Varma, Head Chef, Monkey Bar, said.
They will also be splitting their space in two, for football fans to pick a side to root for.
‘The Park’ in Hyderabad has also curated a special menu with dishes inspired by legends of the game.
There is the Lev Yashin pigs in blanket (Russia), Muller’s striking sausage and sauerkraut turnovers (Germany), Neymar’s free kick chicken and palm heart pasties (Brazil), mesmerizing Messi’s corn and cheese empanadas (Argentina) and a lot more.
Chaibreak in Kolkata too has named items on their menu after players – Messi’s magic calzone pizza and Ronaldo kick Mexican quesedilla.