The Telegraph
Wednesday , June 11 , 2014
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Where to go when football makes you hungry

- Theme Fifa to rule steel city hotels, capital counterparts rue late-night television broadcast timings

As Brazil versus Croatia kicks off Fifa World Cup 2014 on June 13, if you are in Jamshedpur, your favourite hotel will help you pretend you are rooting for your team from Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Even though most Fifa matches will be aired live on television very late in the night or in the afternoon, owing to the difference in time zones GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) and IST (Indian Standard Time), hotels in Jamshedpur are busy recreating the ole ola magic on their menu.

The Wave International on NH-33 has ordered large cutouts of soccer star on the front lawn, as well as two goalposts on either side of the greens and a giant projector to beam the matches.

“For Fifa World Cup, the idea is to give our guest the feel of watching the fixtures live in Brazil as it happens, which is something we did during IPL too,” said Raja Singh, Wave International owner.

On what the food will be, Singh grinned. “It’s football, so you don’t want dainty fare. The emphasis will be on kebabs and starters, finger foods that groups can munch on while enjoying the soccer fever. We will hold a meeting with our chefs to how to plan the new menu during the soccer season,” he said.

Hotel Yashwee International, Sakchi, will start a mouth-watering sizzlers and dessert festival from June 13 to June 22 in which waiters and hotel staff will don footfall jerseys from participating countries.

Yashwee International’s sports bar and RAW, the restaurant, will also put up multiple screens. To keep the soccer fan well-fed as he madly cheers for striker Neymar for a trick shot or goalie Julio Cesar for a brilliant save, there are 12 kinds of vegetarian and non-vegetarian sizzlers — from murg nawabi to Italian steak — and eight desserts.

“We have designed the a-la-carte mixing and matching various tastes. You have Indian, Italian and Mexican tastes. The only problem for the hospitality industry is the odd timings of matches according to IST. Still, we are sure that football fanatics will be here with us to enjoy the game,” Anirban Banerjee, Yashwee International operations manager, said.

Hotel Dayal International, Sakchi, is planning to present soccer related mementoes to child visitors.

The Sonnet in Bistupur will celebrate football season at its bar, The Adda, with special drink packages.

In Ranchi, a city that still sleeps early despite its recent mall-plex-and-stadium boom, the late timing of the Fifa matches has made most hostels go slow on designing packages around the soccer season.

Dipankar Kumar, executive at sales section who handles special activities at the city’s starriest address Radisson Blu, set the tone when he said: “As of now, there isn’t any special line-up at our hotel for the World Cup.”

Manager of Capitol Hill, Sameer Cyril said they hadn’t planned anything. “We may not do anything special for this event as the matches are from late night till the small hours of the morning.”

Dhramveer Kumar, BNR Chanakya’s F&B manager said they might install a giant screen outside the restaurant but “nothing beyond it”. “While many cities have planned big events, we can’t risk keeping our restaurant or banquets open for the whole night due to security reasons,” he said.

Where will you and your friends head to for great food and greatest football?


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