Take the rickety elevator or the dingy stairs. Emerge in a lush indoor/outdoor garden with views overlooking the city and cocktails aplenty. Madame Brussels is difficult to find, but the unbearably cute setting, staff wearing tiny tennis outfits, and delicious drinks make it more than worth it.
If you're extremely lucky, you'll be able to nab the lone enclosed booth seat indoors. While it offers the illusion of privacy, everyone emerging from the elevator has a perfect view straight into the booth. This is not an altogether bad thing- at least they can see who to direct their envy to.
While perusing the menu in search of a non-alcoholic drink (having made the poor decision to drive there), I found that there were none listed. They concocted a mocktail for me with pineapple and other mystery ingredients. As the drink arrived, I was apprehensive as it suspiciously resembled vegetable juice with leaves floating in it. To my surprise, it was pleasantly sweet and delicious, although I have no idea what was in it.
The four drinkers of the group ordered a Spring Splendour cocktail jug to share. Jugs are available in two sizes, to share between two ($35) or between four ($55). The sugary concoction was dominated by strawberries, masking the taste of the alcohol.
Spring Splendour cocktail jug from Madame Brussels, $55.
The menu is mostly drinks, with just one page of food. Their style is sharing and snacking, rather than hearty meals. We ordered sausage rolls, a cheese platter and hummus dip. All of the food was high quality and impeccably presented.
The description of the cheese platter was quite mysterious, with names of cheeses that I had never heard of. However when it arrived the cheeses were familiar favourites such as a strongly flavoured blue cheese and a creamy brie, with a small bunch of grapes on the side. Several varieties of cracker were provided.
It seemed to be more about presentation than the food. Our sausage rolls came with far too much tomato sauce, with cut pieces of sausage roll arranged around a glass of the stuff. While it would be impossible to mop up that much sauce with the sausage rolls, at least it looked good. Possibly the fanciest sausage roll I've ever had.
Two serves of sausage rolls from Madame Brussels, $22.