Counting your kopeks at SYR
A group of expat women met at SYR on July 18th for their monthy exchange. Nice enough ambience and attentive service. What surprised me at the first perusal of the menu was that a small thin crust pizza with salami, tomatoes, pepper and cheese cost 270 rouble whereas a standard margarita cost 300 rouble. All of this was preceded by complimentary bread and whipped butter. Followed by olive oil toasted bread with tomato topping. Very generous and uber fresh.
After 3 hours of catching up on our respective lives, and addressing issues that are relevant to expats living in Moscow, it was time to address the damage. When the bill arrived, it was noticed that margaritas were charged at 400 rouble a pop. Upon summoning the menu one more time to verify cocktail prices, the manager's attention was inevitable. The first page of the menu listed "new" prices for aperitifs where margaritas were priced at 400 roubles. I however, had missed the first page and noted the "old" prices of cocktails some 6 pages later, where margaritas were priced at 300 roubles.
As expected, the manager defended his prices whereas the expats defended consistency and that we had based our decision to consume based on 300 roubles as the price data. The manager agreed that the same menu card cannot have two prices, both the old and new, and graciously agreed to give a 10% discount on the bill which was acceptable.
Moral in Russia: Don't get too drunk that you are unable to count your kopeks as counting your kopeks is de rigueur.