It’s a Saturday evening and I am running late for the bonus supper in Auburn, cursing the western bound traffic on Parramatta Road all the way until I reached Mado Cafe.
Brian, K and KL were already waiting as I rushed in apologising before sinking into one of the booths against the side of the wall. Considering all the drama to get to Mado, the cafe itself was surprisingly quiet. We quickly ordered some mixed dips (humus, carrot, cacik and eggplant dips) and bread for starters to keep the hunger pang away. I secretly love the fluffy Turkish bread a little more than the dips, and I love the fact the bread basket was always refilled.
Nestled in downtown Auburn, Cafe Mado is one of my favourite places to eat in Sydney. The decor is rustic, but the atmosphere is always welcoming and the dessert…oh the dessert. But first we have the main to get through.
If you are new to Mado, I would recommend getting the mixed grill plate to get a taste of the various meat dishes. Otherwise most of the dishes are actually quite easy to share. We ordered the guvec to share (diced lamb fillets, tomatoes, peppers, onions and eggplant), and ordered meaty dishes for ourselves. I ordered the Kofte Izgara (charcol grilled minced lamb patties prepared with traditional spices served with rice, steamed vegetables) which was just a little too big for me to finish.
There was a heartiness in each of the main meat dishes that blends well with the crispy bean salad to the side. At the same time, the taste variety was rather limited (think grilled meat with very little sauce).
I need to hunt up my notes on what we all ordered a while back, but let’s be honest it was the dessert that we (mostly I) was anticipating. Mado’s maras stretchy ice cream was worth the wait. The solid vanilla block was solid enough to cut through and chew. Sounds odd, but it made absolute sense when you try it. Topped with pistachio and cherries it was a bit of heaven on a plate.
The first time I had this ice cream was at the coffee festival down at the Rocks. There was a little trolley and a man pulling a stretchy creamy substance, before slapping it on top of an ice cream cone and covering it with pistachio. It was instant love, and like the five year old who used to chase the ice cream truck, I followed the ice cream trolley to its source in Auburn.
Someone ordered the Kazandibi (burnt rice pudding), Supangle (chocolate pudding) with a scoop of Mado ice cream, a bowl of mixed normal ice cream and rice pudding. The variety of dessert had always been impressive, but nothing beats Mado’s ice cream for the “it” item to get when you are down in Auburn. To be honest I am not a huge fan of rice pudding, regardless of what incarnation it took…so I never tried very hard to broaden my dessert horizon beyond the Maras ice cream.
Next, going through my backlog of blog post from the last few months (gasp!).
63 Auburn Road, Auburn, Sydney
(02) 9643 5299