Terre a terre

I visited Terre a Terre last weekend for the first time, a place that had been on my list for a while. So, when I got a voucher as a leaving present from my last job a few months ago I was very excited! Firstly, it’s important to say I am not a vegetarian or vegan. I really enjoy fish and eat meat a couple of times a week. So, I was really intrigued to see if I could be satisfied with a fully meat/fish free meal.

We booked a table about a week in advance for 8pm and we got one in a corner with a nice amount of privacy. I hate being too close to other people that you can hear their conversation and vice versa.

We already knew we’d go for some nibbles, starter and main. It all sounded so enticing with lots of interesting names and combinations.

I was tempted to go for the aubergine zhuganoush but after we spoke to the waitress who helped us work out how we were going to organise our courses, we decided to go for some olives and oaky smoky sundried tomatoes. And wow, I am so glad we did. I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried a smoky sundried tomato, I hadn’t even heard of such a thing! My husband said it tasted like smoky bacon, he said that freaked him out a bit. But I loved them! This was the beginning of a fantastic experience. The shiniest juiciest green olives to go with them which were great. It wasn’t on the menu as a mixed option but just ask and they can do it for you. I love that about an independent place, they can adapt the options (within reason).

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I’d had my eye on a few of the dishes before I visited. I can’t help myself looking at the menu before I go anywhere. As we really couldn’t decide what to go for we opted for the tapas sharing menu. That was on the starters section, however once we had a chat with the waitress about it she suggested going for the tapas as a main dish.

So, for our starters we shared the sneaky peeking steamers. Irresistible steamed rice buns stuffed with halloumi marinated in a szechuan sauce, and pak choi. It came with a selection of condiments. Kimchi cabbage, lapsang souchon pickled cucumber and watermelon. I’m pretty sure the one on the left (righthand photo) was a pickled daikon radish. The balance of the options to add to the halloumi bun was perfect. There were two layers so we had 2 buns each, it was just about right for a starter. I’d highly recommend this as a main dish as well. In fact, I want to go back just to have this!!

 

Then came 2 plates of tapas to share! A selection of dishes that are available as mains or mini version to try. An excellent way to try as much as possible and gave me an idea what I would/wouldn’t order when I go back.

*****

We had a cold plate and a hot plate. On the cold plate was the aubergine zhuganoush, a smoked aubergine dip with cooked carrot sticks. Sadly, I can’t remember exactly how the carrots were cooked. By this point, we’d be told about so many dishes, flavours and ingredients that I was a bit overwhelmed. It wasn’t essential though. The dip was probably my least favourite option of the meal, a little strong for me and I do really like aubergine. The green and white crisp bread/cracker was nori salt dusted puffed rice seaweed cracker with cucumber, picked ginger and wasabi. Absolutely fantastic! Not something I expected to be so excited by. Lastly, a vegetable thread noodle salad which was refreshing and had wasabi cashew on top, they were unbelievably good!

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Selection of cold tapas
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Nori salt dusted puffed rice seaweed cracker

The hot starters were equally as exciting.

From the left- Summer thyme socca, which was a like a hot falafal. It wasn’t what I had expected it to be as ‘socca’ is also a type of flat bread made with chickpea flour so I guess it has some connection.

Middle: How’s your vada. fluffy potato balls with indian flavours served with dark dahl.

Right: Better batter and lemony yemeni relish. Soft buttermilk soaked halloumi dipped in chip-shop batter with vodka-spiked plum tomatoes on a bed of mashed peas. On its own the tomato was strong, however, when you ate it with the halloumi, it became like a relish. Crazy how well it went together and how different it tasted when you ate it together. I’d definitely like to try the whole dish of this one.

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Hot tapas selection

All of the details of these tapas may differ, I used the menu online to write this. Otherwise I would have had to be writing every little detail down as the waitress explained it to us. And as much as I want to give you the correct details, I don’t like to ruin the experience! So please forgive me if any of the details are wrong/missing.

*****

We weren’t going to have desserts but we were tempted by the special (milk cake) and ended up getting one each. Both desserts had a sorbet of sorts, it helped balance out the richness, especially the Snap, crackle and choc, which was devine but very chocolatey!  The attention paid with presentation is second to none and was the same throughout the meal. It definitely wasn’t however style over substance.

 

The whole meal with a bottle of wine came to just over £100. We felt it was very good value considering the quality and the fact that it’s an experience!

There was also a set menu option which was £34.50 per person for 3 courses. The sneaky peeking steamers are on that menu too. Well worth going for that.

Overall, one of my top 5 meals of this year. It was from start to finish full of excitement, and my husband said it was the closest he’s even been to feeling like a Masterchef judge! Enough said.

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