When you walk into Madam Tojos, you feel like you've stepped into the attic of an old, European theatre. There's suitcases piled to the ceiling, grand wing-chairs amongst the tables, chandeliers and red roses hanging from the roof, ornately framed mirrors and pictures of Audrey Hepburn on the walls and an old piano in the corner. It exudes feelings of lust and decadence that I imagine were rampant back in the days of the Phantom of the Opera.
The illusion of decadence is however slightly lost once you sit down to order, as the menus are messily typed on paper and hard to navigate through. They're the type of menu that you have to really focus on when reading, rather than just being able to casually flip through the pages. The menus above the front counter are also hard to read as they are scrawled on butcher paper with words crossed out and changed. While this of course adds to the entire aesthetic of the room, it is slightly frustrating to not be able to quickly see what's on offer.
But nevertheless, the food on offer is up-market and priced accordingly. A medium sized coffee will cost you a standard $4, while a grilled chicken salad will cost you $20. The turkish bread melts are around $16 and adequately portioned - neither too small nor generous. The desserts again are only adequately portioned but are truly presented like works of art.
The place doesn't seem to attract too many people, so you don't feel like you have to compete for service or talk loudly over the other patrons. The music is relaxing and the lighting is low, so the atmosphere is perfect for a catch up over lunch.
I used to live just around the corner from Madam Tojo and saw this as the closest thing to funky Melbourne style on that end of the Gold Coast. I went back there 4-5 times, even bringing friends back.. But it was purely for the aesthetics. Other than that the owner is a complete witch. She arrogantly and bluntly answered us back when asking who the creator of the art was. She also goes off her nut when anyone tries to touch/feel any of the decorations. It really ruined my experience and now I never want to go back there due to the fact it's supporting a terrible lady.