Madeleine Café & Boulangerie
Chic café in The Dubai Mall serves up French fodder with a view 11 Reviews
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Stepping into Madeleine Café & Boulangerie is a welcome escape from The Dubai Mall’s glossy promenades: a friendly waitress clad in ‘traditional’ Gallic attire showed us to a table that looked as though it had been stolen straight from a Parisian pavement. Madeleine certainly looks the part, and struck me as the kind of place to peruse the morning papers, sip on coffee and nibble on croissants. In addition to its quaint interior, the faux-French café also boasts a prime spot next to The Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa and offers a sprawling terrace for al-fresco dining.
Sadly, all this charm is surpassed by the mediocre offerings on the menu. For starters, I went for Lyonnaise salad – a fresh, delicate ensemble of baby spinach, poached egg, pan-fried veal sausage and croutons, which would certainly suffice as a lunchtime feed (though arguably overpriced at Dhs44). My date’s warm goat’s cheese salad, however, didn’t fare quite as well – the first bite revealed that the cheese hadn’t been suitably heated and the salad as whole was in need of something sweet to balance out its more savoury flavours.
For mains I chose the cornerstone of French café cuisine – the humble crêpe. The dish that arrived, however, didn’t bear much resemblance to the smoked salmon and leek crêpe I thought I had ordered – fat, floury pancakes were hidden beneath a thick slather of heavy cheese sauce that would have been more suited to a rich Italian pasta dish. What was more disconcerting, however, was that the platter in which it was served was dangerously hot, while the food itself was luke-warm. My date was equally dissatisfied with her duck leg confit with roast potatoes and green beans – the duck’s stringy texture suggested it had been reheated just moments before.
While Madeleine doesn’t warrant an evening visit, its picturesque setting is likely to lure daytime visitors; the salads are sizeable and a coffee here is perhaps preferable to popping into Costa. However, with the likes of More just moments away, you’d be better off giving Madeleine’s food a miss.
The bill (for two)
2x Orange juice Dhs40
1x Lyonnaise salad Dhs44
1x Goat’s cheese salad Dhs48
1x Duck leg confit Dhs62
1x Salmon crêpes Dhs48
Total (including 10 per cent service) Dhs242
Time Out Dubai,
Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.