Madame SouSou is a tiny French restaurant located on the Bohemian Brunswick Street. The restaurant front is a very small door that you would walk right past if you weren't specifically looking for it. Once you step inside, the smell that hit me reminded me instantly of a deli. I think it was the strong cheese smell that got me first. The interior is an ecletic collection of artwork all over the place. I didn't know where to look first.
We get lead to our table, which have comfortable couch type seating with cushions on one side and wooden chairs on the other. Fresh crisp tablecloth and napkins are folded neatly folded on the table. We get asked whether we want to see a drinks list and if we want water. A good start in terms of service that gets better throughout the night. We say we want water and to see the wine list. Iced water arrives with our wine list. After perusing all the French wine, we settle for an '03 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Bordeaux region. It's incredibly smooth but not as flavoursome as I would have liked.
The waiter sees me snapping photos everywhere so asks if I would like him to help take a photo of the restaurant. We say yes and he helps take a shot. Our water is also so attentive that when he sees Kin coughing like mad for some reason, he brings over a complimentary warm lemon and honey drink. That's service.
After taking our orders, since I had given the orders, he asks to see who is eating what. This way so that he can set up cutlery and when the food arrives, he even brings it to the right person. Our waiter is definitely on the ball. I'm not sure if the overall service is quite that good. A different waiter that we ask to take our order seemed a bit out of it. At the end of the night, that other waiter who walked past and was clearing our plate said "So it was good yeah" in this slurred speech. A total contrast to our utterly professional waiter who occasionally made a few jokes with us as well.
Before our entrees were served, we were given a complimentary palatte cleanser. It consisted of pancetta, goats cheese, leek and olive oil. It had a slight tang to it as well so probably had lemon. It was very nice indeed.
For entrees, we get the Goats Cheese Tortellini. The goats cheese isn't too strong and the tortellini tastes great. It's paired with a beetroot puree and balsamic vinegar. It must be Modern French food since I didn't know the French used beetroot.
The Souffle with Crab is everyone's favourite entree. It was so light and fluffy and infused with lots of blue swimmer crab meat and leek gratin. The souffle itself had two different textures, in the centre where it was a bit firmer and outside which was softer. This probably is the result of the twice baking process I guess.
The tasting platter looked the most impressive and tasted good too. I like the Terrine with sausage in the centre was to my liking, but no one else really fancied it. The beetroot salad was refreshing. They must buy beetroot in bulk and hence use it on a lot of things. The Lamb Puff was delicous, with lots of lamb bits wrapped in a light puffy shell. The tomato soup was presented nicely in a shot glass.
For mains, Paul got the Fish of the Day, Atlantic Salmon. He said it was too dry and nothing too special. I'm not a fan of fish in general, especially cooked fish so passed on trying it out.
My Roast Lamb wrapped in Tunisian Brik Pastry was one of the best mains. Brik pastry is made from sheets of thin dough, like filo. The lamb was really soft inside and fell apart as I broke the pastry. The beans, pancetta, sausage and thyme made for a very hearty meal.
Jo's main of Twice Roasted Duck was the other fantastic dish. The duck meat was really good, with a good crisp to the skin. But I really liked the sauce of sour cherries that gave it a nice edge. It also made it look so amazing, with that glaze sparkling under the camera flash.
Kin's Grilled Sirloin Steak was good in terms of the meat texture. It was wonderfully soft as he asked for it medium rare. However, the Madame SouSou secret sauce didn't really do it for me.
For sides, we got Beetroot Salad. Like I said earlier, they must buy beetroot in bulk. The salad was strange, with the goats cheese so overpowering and the rocket not working too well with it. The baby potatoes in duck fat wasn't as duck fatty as I was hoping. It tasted like normal roast potatoe. Finally, the grilled zuchinni was fairly normal.
We were so full by this stage but couldn't resist dessert. Jo got the Rhubarb with a lemon sauce and crispy pastry. It was too sour for my liking, even when eaten with the vanilla ice cream.
Paul's classic cCaramelise Apple Tart was simplicity done well. Everything tasted really fresh and good.
Kin and I shared the Chocolate Tasting Plate. Starting from bottom right and going clockwise, we had Mascarpone Cheese with Cinnamon and Pistachio. Then we have a Chocolate Fondant, which was my favourite. I loved the gooey chocolate in the centre. Two white chocolate Toblerone type things had a smooth chocolate filling. The Chocolate Mousse Tart was ultra rich as well. Finally, the Creme Brulee was nice too, but a bit firmer than usual. I like Creme Brulee's more softer and melt in your mouth.
As I have written at the start, service here was really good. The atmosphere was also very good. The lighting it kept fairly low, but not so low that you can't see your food or your own hand. For such a small place, the noise levels get quite high. There was a constant buzz in there all night, but it wasn't too loud that you can't hear your friends. The only slight disappointment was that we weren't able to use our Connoisseur Card, despite the book saying that the restaurant took it.
Overall Rating: 16/20, Food good and service really good. Prices are at the higher end, but the overall dining experience is worth it.
Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.