Ney­mar’s free kick chicken, Messi’s magic pizza: Menus get WC twist

The Hitavada - - WORLD CUP -

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 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 foot­falls.

‘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.

A pizza and a choice of beer pitcher can be rel­ished for Rs 499. Big screens, happy hours, pocket-friendly fin­ger food and a whole lot of cheer­ing is what Punebased soft­ware project man­ager Sub­habrata Chat­topad­hyay looks out for.

And the cel­e­bra­tions go a notch higher when you have sup­port­ers of two dif­fer­ent teams un­der a sin­gle roof, he says. NEW Zealand’s Amelia Kerr on Wed­nes­day shat­tered Belinda Clark’s 21-year-old record for the high­est score in women’s ODI as she smashed 232 not out in a match against Ire­land here.

The 17-year-old Amelia, open­ing the New Zealand in­nings, hit a whop­ping 31 fours and two sixes in her 145-ball un­beaten knock that took her side to 440 for 3 af­ter elect­ing to bat first in the third ODI here. The ear­lier record of 229 not out in the name for­mer Aus­tralian cap­tain Belinda was set when Amelia was not even born.

Belinda had made 229 not out against Den­mark.

‘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’ and some ir­re­sistible deals on beer and drinks will add to the fun quo­tient at the gastropub.

“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.

“The city of lights res­onates its love for the game and this sea­son we bring out the fer­vour in terms of our spe­cially crafted menu,” cor­po­rate Chef Sudipta Saha said.

While So­cial in Ban­ga­lore won’t be do­ing a spe­cial menu, it will host tour­na­ments of its own to set the mood. “There will be foos­ball tour­na­ments, FIFA PS4 tour­na­ments and FIFA quizzes dur­ing the sea­son,” said Anuj Sama. So, pull up your socks, pick up your team jer­sey, head to your favourite bar and get ready for the open­ing whis­tle to blow. FANS of the Mex­i­can na­tional foot­ball team can send up their prayers for the team’s good for­tune in the 2018 World Cup Rus­sia with Santo Nino de los Mi­la­gros (The Holy Child of Mir­a­cles), also known as the Santo Nino foot­baller, housed in San Gabriel Ar­can­gel Church.

At San Gabriel Ar­can­gel Church, lo­cated in the Tacuba neigh­boUr­hood, in the west of the city, Mex­i­can parish­ioners “en­trust” the Holy Child “to help the Tri­color” in their quest for vic­tory in the World Cup, re­ports Efe.

“The Holy Child im­age is open to the public through­out the year,” the sem­i­nar­ian Jorge Valdes said.

Gen­er­ally, peo­ple who ask for in­ter­ces­sion from the Holy Child are the moth­ers of sick chil­dren, those who are hos­pi­tal­ized or those who will un­dergo an op­er­a­tion as well as women who will give birth, he said.

“They would ask him for a child, and when their child is born, they would thank God and they would bring him a toy or a robe as a gift. And when it’s the World Cup, peo­ple would bring him a ball or a shirt from a team from the Mex­i­can league or from the Mex­i­can na­tional team,” he ex­plained.

Valdes said that since the 1986 World Cup Mex­ico, a group of parish­ioners pro­posed dress­ing the Holy Child as a foot­ball player so that peo­ple could ask him for his “di­vine” sup­port.

Mex­ico is part of Group F in the World Cup 2018 and will face Ger­many, South Korea, and Sweden.

(AFP)

Indian cap­tain Ajinkya Ra­hane (R) and wick­et­keeper Di­nesh Karthick at prac­tice ses­sion at Chin­naswamy Sta­dium in Bengaluru.

Prajnesh Gun­newaran

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