Like a sultry stranger staring at you from across the room, Safran catches your eye from the offset. While housed on the ground floor of a rather shabby-looking Soviet block, the restaurant itself has been spruced-up at street-level to resemble a sand-coloured, Middle-Eastern fortress, emblazoned with Arabic script. In summer, the gorgeous terrace adds to the drama for one of Almaty’s chicest al fresco sun-traps. Head inside, and you really do feel like you’re in an Arabic dream. Decked out with a rich, earthy colour scheme – complete with trickling fountain and glowing lanterns – it’s a space for seduction and sumptuous suppers (preferably with someone special). The menu is mostly Middle Eastern with a little bit of Greek thrown in for good measure: the appetisers include Greek dipping sauces (tzatziki and grilled aubergine) with pitta bread, haloumi salad and feta-filled boreki; the main courses range from fish options to tagines and kebabs. Mere mortals can pick a wine on the standard wine list, while deep-pocketed hedonists can peruse Safran’s own wine selection. Although a little quiet, this is an atmospheric bolthole that’s tailor-made for decadent dinner dates.