Ezdan Mall branch of the famous Istanbul café
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Time Out Says

When I first heard everyone raving about Mado café, which was made famous in 1992 Istanbul, Turkey and now has a branch in Al Gharafa’s new Ezdan Mall, I expected a menu packed with hearty Turkish cuisine. In fact, Mado is noted particularly for its ice creams (with hard options you can actually bite into) which is bound to make it a popular choice in Qatar.

My dining companion and I decided to give it a whirl during one busy lunch period to test the quality of not only its notable sweets but also to see how it fares as a café.

We love the décor – it’s quaint with light purples and floral patterns – plus the desserts on display look absolutely fantastic.

We’re drooling before we begin.

So we take a look through the epic menu, that’s filled with the sweets, juices, Turkish-inspired and international meal options, and a friendly waitress also tells us there are lunch specials – the most popular of these, she says, is a lamb kebab plate. So my companion decides to go for that, while I order a simple lentil soup and a rather exciting sounding salad packed with interesting ingredients.

While we’re waiting for our meals, we munch on the soft, delicious Turkish bread and it doesn’t take long before my soup comes out. It’s presented beautifully in a silver bowl on a silver platter with pots of mozzarella cheese, massive tasty-looking croutons and some lemon wedges. It also tastes great – it’s a wonderful example of lentil soup from the region with a nice flavour balance, not too much oil and the additional ingredients make it a decent meal.

My friend’s lamb kebab comes with fried potatoes, a couple of grilled veggies and a dollop of yoghurt dressing, also served on a silver platter. He digs in but is unfortunately perturbed by the springiness of the meat and lack of flavours.

My salad, which looks lovely and fresh, and tastes good too, comes with a bunch of ingredients that aren’t listed. Where I was promised items such as mint leaves, scallions and a pomegranate-sumac-oil dressing, I was instead presented with halloumi cheese, walnuts and a tart lemon-and-oil dressing (although there was a sprinkle of sumac on the cheese). It still tastes fine, however, and is a good option for a light lunch.

We then move swiftly onto dessert, as we’re most excited for this course. We try ordering the intriguing sounding ‘Mystic Kesme Ice cream Plate’ which is supposed to come with a special presentation that includes smoke cascading on our table. But unfortunately we’re told that while we can have the ice cream, they cannot present it the way it’s supposed to be. Instead we go for ‘Traditional Naturalness’ with a thick slice of plain kesme ice cream accompanied by orange and cherry jam, and seasonal fruits. It comes, again with different jams to those promised on the menu, but it’s fantastic. This is where Mado comes into its own and we’d recommend it for a dessert any day.

The bill (for two)

1 x lentil soup QR25
1 x Agirdagi salad QR30
1 x Kebab platter QR60
1 x Traditional Naturalness QR35
Total QR150

By Time Out Doha staff  | 26 Feb 2014

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Doha, Gharrafa, Doha, Qatar

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