French food is back, we tell you! No longer the fodder of a Julia Childs film, or a cook from the seventies devoured by moths and stains from years of duck l’orange cooking sessions, French food is making a serious mark on the Brisbane foodie scene.
And boy, did we need it. When we heard Madame Rouge was opening we were very excited—our mouths watered with the promise of steak frites and crème brulée and we scoured the internet for more info—but, when we heard about the restaurant’s backstory we got pretty darn excited. Why? Because it’s from the masterminds of e’cco and, it’s based on a mysterious redhead from an obscure part of France. Sounds like a winner to us.
Needless to say, we checked Madame Rouge out as soon as they opened.
The venue acts as a time-travel machine, we’re sure of it. Once you step inside the doors your faced with a vision of 1920’s Paris. Think twinkling candles, red velvetbooths and dark wooden touches. Safe to say, it feels pretty darn Parisian. With the option to sit a communal table—how very, very French—a booth, or at the bar the atmosphere at Madame Rouge is buzzing. Yep, even on opening week. French vibes? Nailed it.
The food though, is next level. We opted for the gruyere beignet as our entrée and, f**k, it was delicious. Did we regret ordering just one? YES. Order at least twenty if you want to satisfy your cheese desires. It’s a deep fried (yet not greasy at all!) ball of melty-cheesy goodness. We also went with a baguette and butter to start—is there anything more French? And yes, it was also delicious. How they manage to make bread and butter taste so good we’re not sure.
When it came to mains we kind of had to order the steak frites, because France. The verdict? So. Damn. Good. The frites were hand-cut and had the perfect amount of crisp while the steak was cooked to perfection and topped with a delightful sauce. All we can say is yum—they nailed it! We also opted for the lamb breast which, quite literally, melts in your mouth. It’s cooked overnight, and you can tell. It’s so deliciously soft and tender, yet topped with crispy skin. The potato dauphinoise was the side we opted for, and OMG it was serious potato goals. While we were stuffed full and seriously satisfied, each dish that was walked past us to other tables looked so good; food envy was real.
When it came to dessert it honestly would have been rude not to order the crème caramel. Crème caramel is a hard beast to tame, I’ve been subject to some less affable versions in my time, trust me. But Madame Rouge pulled out all the stops with this one; the sauce was perfectly salted and sweet, and the ‘crème’ was deliciously wobbly.
Long story short? We’re so excited about this opening. Madame Rouge is bringing French food back in a big, big way. Will we go back? Duh.
To find out more about Madame Rouge and all their opening hours, check them out on The Directory.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson