87 Flinders Lane
Ph: 03 9650 0900
Today, Kate’s tram was running late as she made her way to our 1.30 lunch date. Sitting alone at in a restaurant, something I normally dislike doing, was no problem here at Terra Rossa; the staff made me feel incredibly comfortable. The male waiters were cheeky and charming but not sleazy, and the females made jokes and made sure I was comfortable at the small table. One waiter, who introduced himself as Damo, asked if I’d like something to drink, took one look at me and said “Cosmopolitan?”. He picked my type instantly and told me it’d be the best Cosmo I’ve ever had.
It’s hard to narrow down the best Cosmo I’ve had as I’ve gotten through quite a few very good ones, but this was definitely up there, and their extensive cocktail list (containing both Terra Rossa specialties and classic cocktails) was perfect on this 28 degree day.
Pan-seared gremolata barramundi with sweet potato, charred asparagus and yellow pepper salad ($33)
The barramundi just melted in my mouth; the flesh was so soft and broke away from the fillet so easily, and the skin was left on to turn crispy and salty. The sweet potato was cold which was a surprise and I probably would have preferred it served warm. Nonetheless this was a beautiful, fresh salad, served on a bed of peppery rocket, that left me feeling full and satisfied, but not stuffed or heavy.
Linguini Marinara – fresh selected seafood tossed in garlic, chili, lemon and fresh herbs with olive oil and white wine or napoli sauce; shown here with olive oil and white wine ($23.50)
As beautiful as my dish was, I was so jealous of Kate’s. It was so simple but the garlic and herbs smelt incredible as it was brought to the table. Kate said that the calamari was cooked perfectly, tender rather than chewy, and that while it was an oil-based sauce it was not overpowering as you could taste the quality of the olive oil.
Baked white chocolate and caramelised strawberry cheesecake ($13)
I don’t often order desert, but we were having such a good time at the restaurant that it just seemed right to finish it off with something sweet. Kate and I shared this and it was the perfect end to the meal; light and crumbly and with perfect little shavings of white chocolate. I couldn’t have eaten it all myself, so in my opinion it was perfect sharing size… but then again, I’m not much of a sweet tooth and Kate said she could easily put it away by herself.
Terra Rossa is a gem tucked away in Flinders Lane whose food, service and atmosphere I could not fault. The decor is beautiful and luxurious inside, all red walls and fireplaces and mirrors, and the manager informed me there are plans to extend further into the laneway to open up an outdoor eating area. The staff are young and energetic, and there was not one surly waiter, not one member of staff who looked like they’d rather be elsewhere. They also seem to genuinely enjoy working with each other, and this adds to the professional, yet casual, vibe of the place.
Terra Rossa is the kind of restaurant that does everything – tapas, breakfast, pizza – and does it well. They also have a cheese room, do functions, have most of the menu available for takeaway, and offer an $12 early bird lunch special from 11.30am-1.00pm. I was blown away by the service and the food, and will be back soon for breakfast.