Madam Woo - review (1)
Photo by Ken Downie.
486 Lake Rd, Takapuna.
Hours: 7 days, noon till late.
Dinner bill: Entrees $9-$16, mains $29-$32, desserts $7-$12.
By Simon Wilson. Photo by Ken Downie.
First published in the September 2015 issue of Metro.
Old enough to remember Cobb & Co? Garlic bread! Wine with your meal! Actually, in parts of New Zealand where it’s still 1973, Cobb & Co lives on. Not Takapuna, of course, where they now have the 2015 equivalent. It’s called Madam Woo.
I wish I was joking. Josh Emett, the restaurateur behind Madam Woo, is one of the most internationally acclaimed chefs this country has ever produced, and I wish that when I went into any one of his restaurants it was obvious why he’s so highly regarded. At Madam Woo, sadly, it’s a mystery.
The place is a travesty. It reeks of an attitude that says, “We won’t try hard because they won’t care.”
I’m not saying it should be fine dining. What I miss — what I hunger for — is an informal, buzzing-with-excitement, expertly run, culinarily wonderful, big ol’ joint. A brasserie with a beating heart, oozing style, a place where it’s just so great to be there. The kind of place, in fact, that Madam Woo claims to be.
But it isn’t. Where to start? It’s a barn, and right now, in winter, it’s really cold, because they…continue reading.