Award winning Terre à Terre was created in 1993, born from a shared passion of two people, Amanda Powley and Phillip Taylor, whose mission was to provide high-end vegetarian grub to the masses. Back then meat-free venues were a rarity, with most places offering unappetising vege options as an afterthought to their carnivorous menus.
Almost 30 years later and it’s safe to say their mission was accomplished. Terre has stood the test of time and paved the way for other like minded establishments, but let’s never forget they are the original and in my opinion, the best. (Prove me wrong)
I was invited along to review the food and cocktails on offer at this glorious place and decided my plus one would be someone who has never experienced a vegetarian restaurant before, and oh my, was she in for a treat.
The interior is bright and welcoming, with natural wood tables and huge patio windows at the rear that let in lots of light. I felt healthier just by walking inside. I started with a cocktail, as all good evenings usually do. A Cherry Bakewell; organic spiced rum shaken with blood orange liqueur and sour cherry juice, garnished with vodka cherries and a light cinnamon dusting. It tasted exactly like the name suggested – delicious.
Starters consisted of KFC, not chicken, Korean fried cauliflower. The cauliflower is rolled in tamari black vinegar molasses and sesame Szechaun and is served with chestnut puree, ume plum sauce and kimchi. In layman’s terms what that means is the dish had a slight crunch, giving that fried chicken vibe, with an oriental kick. It was as amazing to the eye as it was to the palette. The chef is a master at presentation and flavour. No chicken was harmed (or missed) in the consumption of this starter.
Next up, a triumph of a main course; sneaky Peeking steamers. Steamed rice buns stuffed with Szechuan marinated halloumi and ginger bok choy with kimchi cabbage, lapsang souchong pickled watermelon and miso chilli sauce. The buns arrived in their very own two-tiered bamboo casket. It’s very rare that I’m completely blown away by a dish, but this was one of those times. The intricate flavours and textures were a taste marriage made in heaven. Soft, marshmallowy buns with halloumi on another level in terms of taste. Please note, this portion is enormous and would be an ideal sharer.
I cannot wax lyrical enough about this amazing restaurant, the staff were welcoming and knowledgeable about the food and drinks. I don’t know where they found their chef, from some vegetarian wonderland no doubt, because their food is inspired and exciting.
P.s – my friend didn’t miss meat and said she’d definitely come back.