Mad for American diner food?

A new city centre restaurant inspired by New York’s culinary scene opens on Friday

Americans like big portions, don’t they, or at least that’s what we all think when we head to New York salivating about the feast we’re going to spoil ourselves with in the diner that gave Meg Ryan an orgasm. 


Only, it wasn’t an orgasm, New York portions aren’t that much bigger than Copenhagen’s (Texas is where you go to always fill your doggy bag), and Katz’s Delicatessen, where they shot that scene in ‘When Harry Met Sally’, is an over-rated tourist trap.


Fortunately, there’s nothing fake about MAD, a new American-style diner opening in the city centre on Friday November 15. Standing for Modern American Diner as well as being the Danish word for food, MAD spans two floors and seats 160 indoors at its premises in the newly-renovated Industriens Hus on Vesterbrogade, right next door to the main entrance to Tivoli.


Open from 8am until midnight, it will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, encompassing a large range of American diner fare that includes steaks, sandwiches, burgers, omelettes, bagels, cheesecakes, pecan pies and milkshakes. Many of the ingredients are directly sourced from America, as are two of the chefs – California’s Jim Wallace and Tara Svensson, who specialises in pastries – and that famous American hospitality. 


It’s taken six years of planning to make the dream of MAD come to fruition.


“We really look forward to bringing this classic icon to Copenhagen, which we see as lacking from the restaurant scene over here,” enthuses co-owner Malik Helal, the manager of the Australian eatery Reef N’ Beef  for the past 20 years.  


“MAD is our idea of a modern American diner experience where you can get all kinds of food and drinks from dawn till dusk. In a modern cosmopolitan setting where everyone can meet, hang out, chill out, have a great meal or get takeaway to bring home.”


Helal along with co-owner Anders Taunø, a marketing expert, visited 70 diners in New York as part of their research – invaluable experience, perhaps not for their waistlines, but for their bottom line as MAD seeks to fill a hole in the city’s culinary scene.