Tucked away down a small laneway in South Brisbane is one of the city’s hidden restaurant gems, serving up French-inspired bistro meals that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

The funky Fish Lane Bistro has just released a seasonal menu that epitomises fresh spring-time produce, to be enjoyed while admiring the chalkboard-style ceiling art of cows on skates and chickens in love.

For entrees, we tried the blue cheese soufflé served with walnut and fig which was made on gorgonzola so as not to be overpowering. With just a hint of blue cheese richness, the soufflé was beautifully balanced to delight both blue cheese-lovers, and non-vein-eaters alike.

We also opted for the duck liver parfait with an apple chutney and sourdough, which was served in a petite mason jar. The liver parfait was so silky smooth that it was almost whipped in texture. One taste of this makes it difficult to be satisfied with a normal old pâté from now on.

The new range of mains on offer include a lamb shank pie, squid ink linguini with crab, as well as a cauliflower steak for vegetarians and vegans alike.

The apple glazed pork belly was hard to pass up, served with farro, broccolini and pickled cabbage which came out like a spicy kimchi. The pork belly had a crispy crackling on top of seared meat that was moist and tender. Let’s face it, pork belly isn’t the healthiest of meals, but having it served with an ancient grain as well as both fresh and pickled vegetables gave me some feeling of virtue whilst eating this meal.

As we were at a bistro, we also couldn’t go past the traditional steak frites, made using Cape Grim eye fillet, covered in a butter and herb house sauce and served with shoestring fries. The steak in this bistro staple was seared perfectly, and was both tender and flavoursome. The decadent sauce added an earthy richness to the meat.

The wine list at Fish Lane Bistro has been thoughtfully constructed including some lesser-known boutique wines from both Australia and abroad.

The New York-style cocktail selection sports traditional favourites such as manhattans or negronis, while also offering some twists like a bloody Warhol made on a caramelised onion infused vodka with tomato juice and smoked tomato sauce.  We tested out the very moreish side car which had a lovely blend of Cointreau, cognac and lemon juice.

Desserts also make the most of fresh produce with an apple tarte tatin, and passionfruit crème brûlée on the menu.

The apple tarte tatin had a buttery, flaky pastry and was served with fairy floss and vanilla ice cream, that was choc-full of vanilla bean.  Like every previous dish we had at Fish Lane Bistro, this was a generous serving of excellent quality food.

The passionfruit brûlée was sweet and creamy but was balanced with a healthy dose of tart passionfruit. The crisp macadamia biscotti on the side was an excellent vehicle for the silky custard.

Fish Lane Bistro is at Fish Lane in South Brisbane and is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.