Today we headed back to the Winelands for lunch at one of our all-time favourites. Terroir celebrated their 10th anniversary in October this year and received their 8th Eat Out top-10 award in December. To remain in the top-10 in SA for such a long time is no small feat. The bar is already set very high and becomes higher every year…we are talking about fabulous eating out experiences, seriously fabulous.
To make the day even more exciting, we had three Terroir virgins on our table. How I love taking people to my favourite restaurants for the first time. Expectations were oh-so high.
I must admit to becoming very partial to an amuse bouche. That little extra surprise just makes the meal particularly special and today we got three morsels to savour. The gruyere puffs were light as air and delicately cheesy, the fish croquettes creamy and packed with flavour and the lamb spring rolls delicious. We were off to a wonderful start.
Our menu had a choice of six starters and five mains and our whole table started salivating the moment the waiter began describing the dishes. How to choose? Believe me, it’s not easy! To start I ordered the stuffed chicken wings, black mushroom and parmesan, asparagus and hen’s egg, mainly because it sounded like something I had never tasted before. One of those dishes where you would lick the plate clean if you weren’t in public…the amazing soft egg cascading over the asparagus and the chicken wings that are deboned and restuffed with more chicken. Definitely not something I’m going to do at home…imagine the time that takes.
Terroir’s prawn risotto with sauce Americaine is legendary, so our first-timers were encouraged to order it. You can have it as a starter or a main, beautifully plump prawns with the most gorgeously silken sauce.
How’s this for a beautiful plate of food? Cured and smoked trout, horseradish cream, asparagus and apple. The perfect summery starter.
On to mains. I seem to be eating pork belly around the Cape this summer. Today I spotted the honey glazed pork belly with cider sauce and baby beets heading for the table next door and couldn’t resist ordering it. Succulent pork, beautifully crispy crackling and an added surprise in the form of a beautiful pork-stuffed ravioli in the centre. Loved the baby beets, too.
A tastily fishy dish of fresh monkfish with a Bargoule sauce (which is tomato based) came with squid and asparagus.
The loin of karoo lamb came with ratatouille, peas and lamb jus. Melt-in-the-mouth lamb with a wonderful collection of cleverly constructed accompaniments.
And here’s a main course portion of the prawn risotto. Irresistible!
Terroir’s portions are generous so we were all feeling pretty replete at this stage…until our waiter started describing the desserts on today’s board. We couldn’t resist, though we did manage to order three to share between the six of us, so at least we showed some restraint. Ordering dessert here really should be compulsory.
The raspberry and mascarpone tart was creamy and zesty with a pistacchio topping.
I’m always saying that I’m not much of a dessert person, though I do seem to be going down the pudding road more and more these days! Just as well, as today I think I discovered my dream dessert. I love passion fruit and this passion fruit and pineapple cremeux with lemon sorbet had the intensity of passion fruit flavours produced in all sorts of clever forms.
And then there was the Black Forest with Kirsch ice cream. I’m not much of a chocolate eater but the choc lovers among us declared it a wonder.
Days really don’t get better than this, eating the most fabulous of food, drinking the estate’s own wines and sharing it all with great friends on a shaded terrace overlooking vineyards and the golf course.
Terroir we love you even more than we did before!
Terroir is located on Kleine Zalze wine estate just off the R44 between Somerset West and Stellenbosch.