A Ladies’ Night Out in Brisbane with Dirty Dancing and Madame Wu.

So it was pretty clear via Facebook that I was in Brisbane last weekend shopping, going to shows, eating great (and bad) food, drinking wine and generally having a fabulous time while my husband looked after our kids. Five of my female relatives lived it up sans men folk for the night and it was awesome.

We stayed in the city at Oaks Festival Towers in a 2 bedroom unit, one of the cheaper options in Brisbane. The rooms are functional and yes the living area is a bit small, but for our purposes of one night in the city it was great, especially if you consider how close it is to Queen St Mall and only a quick walk down to Eagle St Pier or over to South Bank.
So after a quick power shop we walked over to the Lyric Theatre. I’m not a Dirty Dancing fan (I’m more on the The Breakfast Club end of the 80s spectrum) but there’s no way I’m going to turn down an opportunity to go to the theatre, darling. Though in this case, I almost wished I had. Even the diehard DD fans amongst our little group were disappointed with the high cheese factor and lack of innovation in the script. There was also a weird moment during the lift in the water scene where Baby and Johnny pretended to ‘pop’ out of the water, even though they were just behind a screen of ‘digital’ water. I’m not sure how you’d do that scene otherwise but I’m no director or producer or whoever does that stuff so I can’t provide anything all that constructive except to say it was a tad sucky. The dancing on the other hand was fantastic as was the music and I suppose worth it alone.

Me and Mumsy at Madame Wu. This food is so good you look instantly more attractive just by eating it.
Another positive was the really nice Bird in Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir they were selling at interval. I suggested coffee but one of our group murmured “Fuck the coffee!” so bubbles it was.
We watched the matinee so had time to duck back to the hotel for a sit around, a cup of tea and a glass of wine before it was time for what would be the highlight of the weekend- dinner at Madame Wu.
Madame Wu is a modern Asian restaurant sitting on the Brisbane River overlooking the Story Bridge. We ordered the $70 banquet and it was fabulous. I mean outrageously fabulous. They had a good wine list with some affordable wines (cheapest was at the $40 mark) and our waitress was attentive. But most of all, the food was amazing. The  smoked trout salad, the chicken wings, the beef cheeks, the duck, the dumplings, the dessert tasting plate… and there was more and it was all so good.
After this, fuelled with excellent food and a few wines we hit The Victory, a Brisbane institution of fairly ill-repute for no other reason but that it was on the direct route back to our accommodation. My brother has a saying that “Nothing good happens after midnight” and perhaps he’s right, but in our case this really needed to be applied to the 10pm mark. I wouldn’t say that we were dancing in a circle around our handbags in what is essentially a student pub, but it was pretty close. Anyway, we moved on (with a little encouragement from the bouncers) and lights were out in the apartment at 12.03am. Rewind ten years and the night would just have been getting interesting but you know what? I’m not 23 anymore.
And despite sleeping on the trundle bed and drinking a heap of wine, I woke up the next morning at 8.30am (a luxury in itself!) feeling fairly fresh. We broke our fast at The Coffee Club (I can’t even put a link in for this- such is the ill-feeling I have) across the road. Got nothing good to say about that except the décor is quite nice.  WTF how hard is it to serve hot coffee and food within a 45 minute time slot when it’s not even busy??
Suddenly the Girl’s Night Out was over and it was back to “Mum, mum. Mum? MUM!” which really, was just as nice, if a little repetitive.


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