There aren't too many places on Brunswick Street offering a fancy lunch. There are plenty of lunch specials, if you know where to look for them. When it comes to a real treat, though, you have to be willing to go on the hunt. My hunt took me to Madame Sou Sou.
Madame Sou Sou is one of Melbourne's dedicated French restaurants. In the evening, you can sup there on At lunch, you once could settle down for a casual lunch at le Cellier, the little shop next door which was served by Sou Sou's kitchen. Only Madame Sou Sou opens its doors now, and lunchtime there is a combination of formal and casual.
The first course was truly impressive. A simple salad can be a great dish if the ingredients are right, and this time they were. Somehow the mix of greens and cheese made for a complex flavour set. I wanted more.
Following such a nice dish, the main was disappointing, and that's using a remarkable amount of understatement. The cut of steak served on my plate was less than prime, and the jus it sat in was unpalatable. My companion's fish was no better. We both ended up abandoning our dishes to their own fates.
After a promising start and discouraging beginning, you couldn't blame us for being a little fearful at the end. Our chocolate fondants came out and while they didn't look impressive, they certainly delivered on taste. I don't think I've ever had a more chocolaty dessert. It was so good I was willing to forgive Madame Sou Sou for a terrible main, which is not something I often do.
Madame Sou Sou has set itself up as a high-end Paris-style restaurant. In my experiences there I haven't had that level of experience, but I haven't had a bad time either. Luckily Madame's prices suit the level of food that is served. If you want a nice place to have lunch or dinner without emptying your wallet, Madame Sou Sou is a good bet.