Mango Madness at MADD

Of all the bars in all the world, this one had to serve desserts. Arriving at MADD, you’re blitzed by bright colours and a display case featuring cupcakes, ice cream and all things sugary.

It makes for a welcome contrast to the area surrounding the bar. MADD on Soho’s Rupert Street is a small island of sweetness in an ocean of gaudy seediness and sin on tap. I used to work in the area and would walk along Rupert Street on my way to get lunch. There would be thinly-attired women hanging around in doorways, barely able to rouse the interest to raise a smile, let alone beckon me in. Rupert Street is an epicentre for peep shows and shops that sell specialist literature. And by specialist literature I do mean magazines where you can see people banging each other.

However, MADD is far removed from all of this that. The set-up is neat and well-ordered. There is an emphasis on having fun, which you can see from the amount of card games that are left on the table. My companion informed me that these sorts of place are big in Asia, and this rang true with the Hello Kitty vibe to the place. The whole concept of a dessert bar is a neat contrast to a lot of Soho bars with a welcome lightness and a relief that you’re not about to be accosted by a coked-up moron who proclaims that he’s working on ‘this real intense film’. Yes, I’m sure that the world of film publicity is insane. Now go away.

The concept of MADD is very simple. You pick your dessert, which are divided into mango and non-mango. Sorry, did I not tell you about the fascination that MADD has with mangos? Boy do they love their mangos and they’re proud of it too. They have mango mousse, mango cheesecake, mango tart, mango upside down cake and even a mango crème brûlée.

They do have other desserts such as their decidedly non-mango raspberry panna cotta, brownies and waffles. On top of these, you are invited to add a number of toppings, which include blueberries, kiwi fruit and Oreo cookies.

I settled on a mango tart with raspberries whilst my companion went for the mango mousse. The mango tart was sturdy with the raspberries providing a decent contrast. My companion was effusive about her mango mousse, remarking on its freshness.

MADD don’t limit themselves to putting mangos in their food. They’re also keen on getting them into drinks too. They boast a decent range of cocktails, which are mango versions of classics, as well as shooters. I went for a mango margarita, intrigued as to how mango could be incorporated into a concoction which is normally quite sour. It was like the Scissor Sister’s take on Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb; some of the edge taken off but pleasing nevertheless.

MADD is not normally a place where I would go and visit. But it’s charming, friendly and ideal for a good time out with friends.

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