Nursultan Nazarbayev, 75, the president of Kazakhstan, allegedly gave diners at Mamo in Soho a bit of a scare with seemingly over-the-top security precautions.
Nazarbayev, who has ruled Kazakhastan since 1991, rolled into the high-end French restaurant with more than a dozen bodyguards, a doctor and a taste tester.
“He had eight people from the [US] Secret Service inside the restaurant,” a witness told the New York Post. “As well as 15 to 20 people from his own security detail. Outside the restaurant, it was insane.”
Waiters were told they could not serve Nazarbayev, who was served exclusively by his security detail.
“He had his personal doctor go into the kitchen, as well, to test all the food,” another source told the Post. The doctor placed food “into little tubes,” and then relayed information to the president’s staff in the dining room through an earpiece, the source added.
But if those precautions weren’t enough, Nazarbayev is said to have had all of his plates sterilized with vodka and someone tasting his food for him, apparently for impurities.
But all in all, it seems all of Mamo’s food lived up to Nazarbayev’s scrutiny. According to the post the president and a small party dinned on truffled pizza, penne with lobster, a burger and roast chicken.
Everyone looked “really impressed,” the Post’s source said.