Feeling French at Madame Rouge

With its cosy booths, candlelit corners, dim lighting and luxurious red velvet drapes, Madame Rouge is a dark and sexy restaurant where a French accent seems perfectly appropriate.

Born from owner Mary Randels’ love of French cuisine, Madame Rouge takes a step back in time with its opulent post war ambience in the heart of Fortitude Valley on McLachlan Street.

Their newly released winter menu includes a charcuterie selection, an expert selection of fromage, and a nostalgic trawl of French bistro hits.

Randels says the new grill menu has some of the best Diamantina grain-fed beef in Australia from Stanbroke Beef. There are six premium Australian cuts – sirloin, eye fillet and dry aged rib on the bone served with a café de paris butter, bernaise, green peppercorn, or mushroom sauce. The beef is accompanied by a choice of crispy frites, creamy mashed potato or potato gratin.

“Head chef Gert Pretorius has searched far and wide for the best local produce to adorn our menu,” says Randels. “He takes great pride in working closely with small local producers and using only the highest quality, fresh produce.”

The star winter dish is a cracking slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone Victorian lamb shoulder served alongside brussel sprouts with and lardons and a honey mustard dressing, rosemary roasted potatoes and a lamb veloute.

Although there are plenty of new flavours on the menu, there’s at least one favourite that has earned a spot.

“The king of French classics, our creme brulee, still remains,” says Randels. “You cannot beat the carnal satisfaction from cracking through the glassy caramel glazing.”
Madame Rouge’s other desserts include a lemon tart with lavender ice-cream and candied orange and the elegant simplicity of a raspberry soufflé with caramelised white chocolate ice cream.

If you need the soothing sounds of soulful jazz, Madame Rouge now has live music on the first Sunday of every month.

Find Madame Rouge Bar+Bistro at 100 McLachlan Street, Fortitude Valley. www.madamerougebistro.com.au.