I'm a mother of four with two coeliac children. I'm always on the lookout for great gluten-free spots around Brisbane and feature gluten-free cooking in my blog: coeliacfamily.blogspot.com.au
I'm also a muso and enjoy live music around town.
Published July 5th 2014
Exotic tastes to be found in new local venue
Brisbane's Riverside Quarter has recently undergone a foodie revitalisation, and the latest restaurant to be opened is Madame Wu's on the upper plaza level of Riparian Plaza.
Fabulous views are an offer from the balcony seating
Stepping into the restaurant made me feel like I may have stepped into a 1920's film set. Dark surroundings, with teak furniture and sumptuous lampshades dotted around the restaurant and bar area made the venue feel distinctly warm and inviting. Our table was on the deck outside, and initially I was disappointed as it was a cold evening and the warmth of the internal surroundings seemed infinitely more enticing. However any disatisfaction with the temperature was immediately dispelled by the incredible panoramic views of the Brisbane River. Dramatic views of the Storey Bridge compete with the natural beauty of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, making it difficult to decide where to look. If you're looking for a dinner with a romantic outlook, this is it!
Yellow fin tuna with kim chi salad and crispy lotus was a fresh entree treat
This is an Asian restaurant, but not your standard Chinese takeaway fare. Finding it difficult to know what to choose, we went for the $80 banquet which featured a variety of seafood and meat dishes, as well as a dessert sampling plate. If you plan to have a few courses, then this was definitely the most cost effective way to go. The dishes were creative and tasty, albeit a little salty, and chilli was used liberally. A stand out for us were the five space Mooloolaba prawns, closely seconded by the wok fried clams with bacon and XO sauce. We also enjoyed the roasted pork belly and the inclusion of frosted fermented radishes, used to freshen the palate between flavours.
The Five Spice Prawns were delicious
Finding meals that my coeliac husband could eat was a little tricky to begin with, but after a while staff got used to the fact that we needed to know which of the dishes were gluten free and which weren't. Unfortunately not many of the desserts were coeliac friendly, and the initial tasting plate that was brought out was taken back and replaced with one with far fewer options - a bit disappointing for me as I could have eaten the desserts containing gluten. However the five-spice panacotta with poached quince with its subtle chai tea flavours was delightful and I wished that we didn't have to share!
Inside diners can watch meals being prepared or inspect the wine cellar
Madame Wu's is definitely a special occasion restaurant and I look forward to returning in the future. The staff were friendly and hailed from all corners of the globe, including China, France, England and Australia, making for interesting bites of conversation as we were waited upon. There is an extensive wine cellar, and despite being a Wednesday evening, the bar area was well attended for most of the evening. To see the full menu, visit their website. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner or drinks every day from Midday until late and main dishes range from $30 to $45.