It’s apparent on entering that Barbaris is one of Almaty’s most exclusive – and eyewateringly expensive – places to eat. The opulent décor takes a mix of styles and colours – think New York penthouse meets French château with splashes of purple and orange – that somehow work together to create a seriously alluring space. Asian-European fusion is on the menu, so besides sushi and sashimi expect superbly-cooked meat and an abundance of fish, flown in fresh and simply prepared, or with the occasional unusual ingredient thrown in for good measure. Eel with gorgonzola, anyone? The wine list name-drops celebrated French châteaux including Margaux, Petrus and Lafite Rothschild, all with price tags to match, along with numerous Italian and New World producers – and unsurprisingly contains what is perhaps Almaty’s biggest Champagne selection. It is possible to avoid blowing a week’s wages on dinner with judicious ordering, but if you are watching your wallet may we suggest making like a glamorous Almaty socialite with a delicious cocktail at the restaurant’s glitzy Barberry bar instead.