I don’t often get to head out to Auburn, but when we do, I like to make it count. So the obvious thing after an Afghan dinner at Khaybar with Simon and Christine is ice cream at Mado Cafe. Especially when it’s “the only ice cream in the world eaten with a knife and fork”.
Cay (Turkish Tea), $2
Apple Tea, $3.50
Kesme Maras, $7.50
The only ice cream in the world eaten with a knife and fork
The dessert of the hour, the Kesme Maras, is meant to have a thick, chewy texture that makes cutlery a requirement. Served in a large block, it reminded me of the ice cream sandwiches of my childhood, were vendors slice it up straight out of the cardboard prisons that barely restrain the creamy treat.
Oh yeah, didn’t I mention that ice cream sandwiches in Singapore are served in bread like an actual sandwich. None of that copout cookie business here!
Anyhoo. The Kesme Maras in this case wasn’t quite as chewy in texture as I’d hoped, like the one from Hakiki in Newtown. It ate like rich block of vanilla ice cream, topped with sauce and pistachio. Not bad, but not that special either.
The Kunefe sat in a similar league for me: I’ve come to love the rich, cheesy, oozing Knefe that I’ve had from other Lebanese places, covered in semolina and orange blossom syrup, and this one was just a little on the light side. The crispy pastry added a nice texture, but where my cheese at??
Oh, there you are!
As you can see, not very heavy in the cheese department.
The baklava wasn’t my favourite, either – I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure the texture was a little bit powdery. At least, for my taste.
Oh but do get yourself a Turkish tea whilst you’re there. Just a little something to cut all that sweet.
They were fairly efficient and friendly, but I did feel fairly embarrassed when I asked about the difference between Turkish Tea and regular tea (they have it specifically labelled on their menu), and our waiter said, “uh, it’s just tea. Like, black tea”. Well, I’m sorry i didn’t know!
The embarrassment wasn’t enough to ruin the evening, but it was enough for me to remember the service by. So…not bad, but not great, either.
Value for money:
I don’t know how I feel paying $10 for that Kunefe and $7.50 for the Kesme Maras. I get that it’s a dessert and all, and it’s pretty reasonable for a dessert pricing, but at the same time, I’m not sure that for what I got I was happy with the value. I’m not bitterly mourning the loss in my wallet, but at the same time, I don’t think that I’m going to be running back anytime soon, especially if I’m feeling broke and selective about my food.
Value for money: 0/1
Walking into Mado Cafe was like walking into someone’s house. I’m serious. The chairs were upholstered with boldly printed fabric, and there were embroidered tapestry runners laid under glass tabletops. Jaunty pop music played softly from the speakers (I thought I heard me a little Uptown Funk?), and it really was like relaxing at a friend’s house.
It was also really nice that they didn’t chase us out as we sat there for a couple hours chatting. An added bonus to a very relaxing evening.
It’s really such a shame that the famed Kesme Maras wasn’t as mind-blowing as I thought it would be. It was still a nice place to sit and relax after dinner, but Auburn is filled with bakeries and middle eastern sweet shops that I wouldn’t necessarily label this one a must-go.
Bonus points: 0/1