Tuesday, 8 May 2012

MADD: gave me a mangover

Hey man, go!

Some of the most successsful niche markets are carved out by things we didn't even know we were missing. It's essentially how JML operates - who knew the world needed Ped Egg?

MADD in Soho falls firmly into this category. A year ago I'd have been lying if I said I thought that Soho needed an exclusively mango-based pudding and cocktail bar. But it turns out that did. London's pudding stomach has truly opened.

MADD follows on the back of those trendy, clinical-looking yoghurt shops that sprung up in London a few years ago. The idea of pudding cafes is Far Eastern in origin. In Japan, they play the role of the coffee shop: a place where you meet for a half hour to chat or seek shelter in cold weather. And that's enough to make them almost omnipresent. But MADD, being in Soho and more importantly in England, has to do make money in the evenings too, so it's also got a (mango) cocktail menu and music that is occasionally too loud.

The cocktails are decent, although they could do with a little variation and a few less sweet ingredients. But they are a side show, and with former-Yuatcha pastry chef on board some of them are exceptional. The owner was most keen for me to try the white-chocolate and mango mousse, which is coated in red semolina and looks like the miniature sandcastle - of course it tastes a little better too. It's delicious in fact.

So it turns out to be quite an indulgent place. You can get a jug of mango mojito, a ginger and mango cheese cake (my favourite) and settle in for a good long game of Uno or, better still, Jenga.

For those with a sweet tooth this is the ideal alternative to coffee and, let's face it, getting a good one can be rather trying in Soho. But I have to say, the best time I see a place like Mango working is as the next stop after dinner, when the pudding selection didn't quite tickle your fancy. Because believe me, mango fan or not, you'll love the desserts here. It could be the mojito talking, but it gave me a sugar rush.

Madd on Urbanspoon

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