Last night I took my Grandmother out for dinner for her birthday. After making reservations at Tukka I realized their degustation would have to wait, we were on a time schedule as my sister had purchased tickets to Romeo & Juliet at QPAC for 7.30pm. So at 1pm yesterday, I was frantically searching on urbanspoon for somewhere to eat. Aha Mado Restuarant… looks great. Originally I was thinking tapas, but then changed my mind to Turkish. I adore Turkish food. I find it very comforting. I wondered if my sister or grandmother had ever eaten Turkish food ?? I didn’t think so (and I was right) so I made the executive decision, telephoned up, made a reservation and that was that.
Mado is extremely easy to find – located on Tribune Street, right at the start of the Southbank esplanade. One of the first things I noticed about Mado, is how colourful and nicely decorated the dining area is. The restuarant is plastered with antiques, beautiful colourful material furnishings, cushions laid out on bench seats, candle holders, lanterns and hookah pipes
Because we had dinner so early, the dining area was empty, so we had the opportunity to choose where we sat – inside or outside. I loved the way the back booths looked, so we chose there. They were super comfortable with long bench seats, plenty of cushions and cosy lighting.
We were quickly provided with a highchair for my baby, given menu’s and a chilled bottle of water to share. Me, being uber organized had already decided that we were going to order the Anatolian Banquet.. at $49.00 per person I was happy with that. The banquet consisted of plates of freshly made Turkish bread, with four dips, a meze platter and a mixed leaf garden salad, marinated calamari, spinach pide, oven cooked vegetables, a mixed grill platter and for dessert baklava, authentic turkish delight and fruit platter with tea and coffee.
I was so impressed once the food started rolling out..
Have I ever told you about my love for fresh hot Turkish bread ?? WOW. Turkish bread is definately on my most wanted comfort food list. We were also provided with 4 ramekins with 4 different dips.. Carrot, Hummus, Eggplant and Cacik (a turkish variety of a tzatiki like dip) Bart fell in love with the carrot dip, it was sweet, creamy and delicious. The meze platter was a simple platter full of antipasto, my favourite being the pickled roasted capsicum, it went beautifully with the turkish bread and eggplant dip. My sister, whom I like to acknowledge is the most pickiest eater that I know on this planet, is also the hardest person to impress. When I mentioned Turkish, eggplant, olives, or artichoke her face screwed up like she had eaten a lemon.. But I saw her have two olives (even though she was confused about the “nut” in the middle), and she tasted the eggplant dip and said “not bad” – I was waiting to see her reaction once the main came out.. And crossing my fingers that she would eat it. Both the dips and meze platter were accompanied with a side salad of mixed leaves, cucumber, capsicum and tomato.. This was a nice treat to play aside the bread, dips and antipasto 🙂
After we stuffed ourselves with beautiful Turkish bread, dips and such, we were worried that maybe we hadn’t left ourselves enough room in our stomachs for the main event. Luckily 15minutes passed between meals. Empty plates were replaced with full plates. First was the spinach pide. My sister, Alice, asked what it was – all I could simply say was “kinda like a pizza” – when it arrived on the table she responded “kinda like a pizza pie”. Yes, kinda like a pizza pie.. o.0 We all enjoyed spinach pide, even Parker 🙂
Then the calamari arrived. I love calamari, but one thing I despise is overcooked calamari – or any seafood. Alice, my sister, apparently doesn’t like seafood. This was new to me ? After a lengthy discussion about whether or not she had eaten calamari before, and what calamari was, and what it tastes like she had some, and enjoyed it. Parker, Bart, Nanny and I enjoyed it a lot. Crispy golden batter, soft white insides and the tartare-like sauce that accompanied was creamy and tangy.
Drumroll please… The grill platter arrived on our table and I couldn’t wait to dig in. Chicken shish, lamb shish and lamb patties served on a bed of rice, with a pot of roasted vegetables. The chicken and lamb shish were cooked beautifully, meaty, seasoned well and tender. However, the lamb patties had us really confused and were a huge let down.. they reminded me of the sausage patties at a well known burger chains breakfast menu. The rice was lovely and we tried to eat as much of that as possible but the Turkish bread was swelling in our bellies, which also meant we didn’t touch the roasted vegetable pot either.
We soon knew, dessert was approaching.. Looming in the distance. Bart, Alice, Nanny and I all had the “I don’t know if I can eat anymore” look in our eyes. Thankfully, dessert didn’t arrive for 20minutes. Some might think this is poor service.. But we were very thankful because once it did arrive we used the small amount of space we had left for a little piece of baklava, Turkish delight and some fruit – which was nice and acted like a palate cleanser.
Because my dear sister is so hard to please, I offered to buy something out of the dessert display cabinet. She chose the Chocolate Mousse Cake.. All I can say is very rich and extremely decadent. Whoa!
Then suddenly, the lights dimmed, the music was turned down ever so slowly, and ‘Happy Birthday’ music was played. Three waitresses returned with another piece of baklava with a single lit candle and a special cup of Turkish tea. I was very thankful they did this for my Grandma, she’s a special lady, and this was very thoughtful.
As I went to pay, I thanked the owner/manager for his hospitality. He then said, that as a gift my Nanny could have a key ring off the wall adjacent to the reception desk for her birthday. How nice!! 🙂
All in all, we had a wonderful evening, filled with wicked food, great customer service and a very charming and warming atmosphere. This venue would be great for celebrations of all kinds, birthdays, engagement parties, Christmas, mothers day. Hey! Even my sister enjoyed it! And she’s hard to please. 😛
Thank You Mado Restuarant for hospitality and helping me shout my Nanny a wonderful birthday 🙂