Emmet Fox once candidly said “It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
It’s a gorgeous wintry Friday afternoon and I find myself hungrily and patiently waiting for my meal at Mado. Nestled nicely in the Alargan Complex on the Bida’a strip (between Inspire Pure Fitness and the Nike store), there’s plenty of reasons to give up the serenity of your Friday and waddle through to the throngs of patrons at this place as the food here is stupendously delicious and does not disappoint.
Originally an ice cream parlor in Turkey, Mado was founded in 1836 by Yasar Kanbur and evolved into a café and subsequently a restaurant spanning out to over 300 franchises all around the world from the early 90s. Mado is a play on two words: Maras is the name of the city the eatery started in, and Dondurma is the Turkish name for ice cream. The menu features an extensive selection of desserts (for some reason this is featured first in their menu followed by the savouries – an homage, I’m assuming to their initial start as an ice cream shop back in 1836), salads, kebab entrees, authentic boreks, pastas, sandwiches and pizzas.
When this review was carried out, the restaurant was still in its soft opening stage (3 weeks in operation) and as such, some of the dishes I wanted to try were unfortunately not available.
Starting off my Turkish culinary journey, I opted for the traditional black tea. High in antioxidants, consumption of Turkish black tea has been known to aid individuals with hypertension, reducing one’s risk of cardiovascular disease, cancers and even promote dental health (the tea plants naturally contain fluoride in its leaves, helping your enamel resistant to decay).
I then chose the K.Maras Tava, Mado’s regional dish. Artfully presented, this entrée proved hearty, featuring pieces of lamb, onions, eggplant, tomatoes and pepper baked in a casserole and served alongside a cornucopia of mixed pickles, yoghurt (a Turkish must-have condiment chockfull of vitamins and probiotics that benefit your digestive system) and steamed rice. The reason for my entrée choice was simple. From a fitness standpoint this would be the ideal dish to have post-workout as it’s slow cooked in the oven. The lean pieces of lamb are a great source of high quality protein, Vitamin B and iron while the eggplant is low in calories (35 kcals/cup), high in fiber and can lower cholesterol. If you’re having this dish and are watching your weight, I’d suggest forgoing the rice.
With dessert, I’m happy to note that Mado does feature a ‘light’ version of their dondurma. At 57% less calories than their original counterparts, the selection of their calorie-light Turkish ice creams is endless and interestingly, they are sugar-free too. Furthermore, you have the option of choosing half a portion of a serving which is 2 scoops of creamy goodness rather than a full serving of 4 scoops if you’re watching your calorie intake. Regardless of which variety, Mado assures their dondurma are made using the freshest and finest of ingredients using natural methods, devoid of artificial flavors and preservatives.
If you’re wanting something sinfully sweet, then you’re in luck as their extensive array of baklavas, kunafes, tiramisus, fondues and other dessert masterpieces using their signature Turkish ice creams and Arabic sweets, will delight and tantalize your taste buds.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my Turkish culinary experience at Mado. It is understandable this eatery is a hit with patrons as the food presentation and taste are applaudable, not to mention their alfresco seating is blissfully comforting, what with cushioned seats, big bright yellow umbrellas and gas-heaters to keep you cozy as you dine. If you’re looking for a place to schedule a rendezvous or two (Valentine’s Day is just around the corner), I would definitely suggest this place as there is something for everyone.
Mado Kuwait is located in the Alargan strip of restaurants in Al Bida’a. Operating hours are from 9 a.m. to 12midnight every day. Follow them on Instagram at @madokuwait or visit them online at www.mado.com.tr.
Reshmi Revi is a NZCF Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Enthusiast and an Evolve Supplements Sponsored Athlete who competes in bodybuilding. Follow her on Instagram @Q8MissFit.