You can find Madame Wu in Riparian Plaza, up the big end of town. Surrounded by skyscrapers, this is a slick yet welcoming bar-cum-restaurant based on an Asian fusion theme. I'm generally sceptical about the fusion concept -- preferring the real deal in most cases -- but what I've tried of Madame Wu so far has pleased me.
Both were fresh, tangy, and expertly made by our smiling bartender. I'd happily go back and pay $17 for either again. For those who prefer a glass of something else, there's an extensive drinks menu with pretty standard bar prices. A wine cellar caters for those wanting to go more upmarket ($500 Grange, anybody?)
Madame Wu's normal menu features some of these offerings, but also much else besides. Dumpling varieties include Moreton Bay bug, scallop, and wagyu, and range from $10 to $20 for share plates.
Entrees (again around $10-$20) include fresh oysters, chicken ribs, and tuna and kim-chi salad. Mains run from seafood dishes like five spice Mooloolaba prawns and stir-fried crab to tea-salted duck, sticky Kilcoy beef, and char siu pork collar. Expect to pay around $30-$45 for these.
My favourite retreat was a private dining room with a ceiling full of joyful Chinese lanterns. Add plush carpet and picture windows that frame the Story Bridge, and you have a fabulous setting for a special dinner.
The staff are the final element of any bar or restaurant, and I liked what I saw at Madame Wu. Our bartenders were charming, the waiters helpful, and the kitchen staff took the time to politely answer my questions, even in the middle of preparing food for a couple of hundred people.
And if you just want somewhere to enjoy a heady cocktail in beautiful surroundings, Madame Wu definitely woos. (Sorry, I couldn't resist ...)