Behind a wall of twisting verdant vines in the new snazzy South/City/SQ precinct sits a quaint little restaurant, adorned with a charming awning and a classic Parisian vibe. It would be easy to miss this secret little hideaway that transports you to the streets of France but that would be a big mistake.

South City Wine is hidden gem demands to be visited. 

Twisting vines cover the front of a restaurant
The wall of green that hides a gem.

The website describes it as a “romantic and sultry” wine bar “with a delectable and worldly wine list, French cocktails and quintessential European bistro bites.” 

In true French fashion, the actual indoor portion of the restaurant is small and cosy, with the focus on outdoor tables perfect for people watching. The wall of greenery on the outside creates the perfect private vista to enjoy a tres chic meal with a glass of wine (or three). 

Our South City Wine experience

Long lunches are one of my favourite things in the world, so we decided to book for lunch as soon as South City Wine opened and linger

The front of South City Wine, with a large window and awning, and checked floor tiles and intimate dining room.
Peekaboo behind the greenery.

I invited my bestie to join me and the first thing she says (after remarking about just how classically cute the restaurant is), is how extensive and incredible the wine list is. And her boyfriend is an ex-sommelier so she KNOWS. 

We get a cute little table right in front of the front window (which incidentally has a wall FULL of wine behind it). Naturally, we order some wine. I let my friend choose because I know nothing about wine. She chooses very well. 

The menu at South City Wine is full of things I’m desperate to try, and I immediately know I am going to have to go back for a second sitting even before we order. 

But I can rarely go past burrata on a menu so for our starter we pick the burrata with nduja pesto, vinaigre de xeres and nasturtium. I also add on a cheeky chicken liver parfait with pickles, port gel, charred fig jam and sourdough.

Three plates on a white table, one with burrata, one with pate and one with sourdough bread. A small bowl of cornichons sits next to it.
Burrata and chicken liver parfait for starters.
A close up of burrata with a background of other tables and twisting vines behind it.
And just because it was so yum, a close up of the burrata.

The burrata arrives and when we cut it, it oozes out onto the plate in a delicious fashion. The pesto and fig jam cut through the creaminess of the cheese beautifully and we ask for another plate of bread to mop up as much as we can. 

The chicken liver parfait is smooth and rich and decadent and pairs really well with our bubbly. 

For our mains, I decided on duck Breast a l’orange accompanied by fondant potatoes, caramelised eshallot and nasturtiums. Bestie goes with the Jack’s Creek 300g Sirloin, with frites, estragon butter, broad leaf rocket salad—a classic French bistro dish. 

While we are waiting, the manager comes over to the table and asks if we want to try a new red wine he’s thinking of stocking in the future (on the house). It’s from a small winery run by sisters and only 5000 bottles were made. His passion for wine is clear, as he tells us all about the origin and flavours, while pouring us our wines using a fancy-pants aerator. 

A top down photo of duck a l'orange, dressed leafy salad and steak frites.
Steak frites and duck a l’orange, sil vous plait.

Turns out the flavours match really well with my duck so it’s an ideal recommendation. And that duck… quite honestly one of the best duck dishes I have ever tasted. Our waiter tells us the chefs have been working to perfect the sauce and recipe and I tell her to let them know they’ve done it. I can’t wait to eat it again. Bestie says her steak frites dish is tender and juicy and a tasty bistro dish.

Then it’s onto lunch dessert—because when one has a long lunch, one MUST have a lunch dessert. I don’t make the rules. 

We order the crème brulee with grand marnier and vanilla, alongside a mille-feuille with vanilla custard, strawberries and chantilly cream. 

A mille-feuille topped with strawberries with a glass of champagne behind it, greenery of the restaurant behind it.
How pretty is this dessert?

The mille-feulle is always one of those dishes you just KNOW is going to look pretty as a picture. It tastes so delicate and light, with the berry flavours an ideal afternoon treat. Then there’s the satisfying crack of the creme brulee. 

There’s an old-world charm about South City Wine that’s very romantic. It’s clear the extensive wine list has been lovingly curated by Jared Thibault and Michael Phipps. It may be called South City Wine, but the passion clearly extends into the menu. 

Do yourself a favour and seek out this hidden gem behind the vines. You’ll be tres glad you did. 

South City Wine, Shop 5/148 Logan Rd, Woolloongabba, p. 1300 185 730

Elizabeth Best

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