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Fish Type: Walleye     Price: $13.00

Overall, I would not recommend this Fish Fry.

Fish Score: Good
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Fair
Bread Score: Poor
Miscellaneous Score: Excellent

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Comment: Once in a while you run into a place offering a new take on the classic Fish Fry. It is always a gamble to mess with a classic; sometimes it works out, other times it doesn’t. The “Friday Night Fish Fry” at Dobahn definitely falls into the latter category. I have seen a variety of things at the Fish Fry over the years and several different renditions of the Wisconsin delight. Never have I seen something to rival this take on the tradition.

Based on the fact that Dobhan is a Tibetan/Nepalese restaurant I would never have guessed they even offered Fish Fry on Friday nights, but I read somewhere this was the case and that it was actually quite good. I was intrigued by the prospects. I called Dobhan to verify that they indeed did have a Fish Fry and was reaffirmed that they did and this Friday the fish of choice was Walleye.

The Atwood neighborhood was alive on this foggy Friday night due to the BoDeans concert taking place at the Barrymore. We had to park a couple blocks down the street and arrived at Dobhan about 7:30. The street was hoppin’ but the restaurant was relatively quiet and we were able to get seated pretty much immediately. Our perky, dreadlocked waitress was at the table within minutes. She went over their specials and mentioned the Fish Fry but said it was Cod rather than Walleye. I was slightly confused but ordered it nonetheless.

As a precursor to the entrée there is a soup/salad option. The salad was good with a delicious honey-poppy seed dressing, but the soup was even better. It was some kind of traditional Nepali soup and had a perfect blend of spices. We also ordered a plate of flat bread which was served with 3 spreads (hummus) and was phenomenal. This was possibly the best bread I have ever eaten, I sh*t you not. Unfortunately since it was not included with the actual Fish Fry it doesn’t count as part of the bread score.

After having great bread and salad the actual Fish Fry was a bit of a let down. The Walleye (yes it was Walleye, not Cod) was basically one tiny filet with a strange crumbly batter. It was definitely pan-fried and not deep fried which made it slightly mushy and very atypical of a Fish Fry. It tasted okay but was puny and just not up to snuff. The French fries that accompanied it were delicious but also served in the smallest quantity imaginable. The “tartar sauce” tasted good but was not even actual tartar. It was more of a vinegar and oil dressing with cilantro and some onion in it. It was very strange and barely counts. Needless to say with the small potions I was still hungry when we left and for $14 that should not be the case.

The atmosphere at Dobahn is great. The Asian theme is well incorporated and since it is a new restaurant it is still very clean and nice. The service was also good and the food is very high quality. Unfortunately there is just no way I can recommend this Fish Fry. It is a nice effort to incorporate a Wisconsin classic into a menu where it doesn’t seem to belong. The way they did the Fish Fry just didn’t work. I will certainly be back at a later date to try some of their other Nepalese dishes though. The things we did have off the everyday menu were very good and I think I would be able highly recommend Dobhan, just not for a Friday Night Fish Fry.

The worst part about having an offbeat, subpar Fish Fry at Dobahn was having to walk past Wilson's afterward on the way back to the car. Torture.

2110 Atwood Avenue
Madison, WI 53704

(608) 242-4448