It has been awhile since I last visited Melbourne, but what’s been going on with Melbourne’s eateries? After a Sunday work meeting, we went hunting in Melbourne’s inner-city for dinner and couldn’t find a restaurant with a table for less than 5 people with less than a 30 min wait. And when we tried to call, they wouldn’t take bookings of less than 8 people. Really? Aren’t 5 people good enough for restaurants any more?
Thankfully we pushed on and were rewarded when we discovered Terra Rossa Restaurant and Bar on Melbourne’s Flinders Lane.
Terra Rossa Restaurant and Bar is snugly fitted between two laneways, so it might be easy to miss it when casually walking past. Their ambience comes off an attempt at French casual chic, bordering almost on hippishly gaudy, with a mix of chandeliers and exposed brickwork against the bistro style furnishings.
Our table was served by an enthusiastic waitress, who recited the specials and offered some dining options beautifully. Alas she did the (almost) unforgivable waiting mistake of asking how our meals were, when they had barely been placed in front of us, much less given a decent chance to be savoured.
That said, we did get a chance to nibble on the starters as we talked shop. The house marinated mixed olives had good flavour and didn’t come pitted – some napkin spitting was involved, but no one got hurt.
The grilled saganaki reminded me of haloumi – tasted very similar in flavour, texture, colour. I found myself chomping on the toasted walnuts quite happily as the conversation flowed.
I enjoyed my rigatoni chicken, but by the end of the meal, I was not feeling well and bowed out without even thinking of dessert. A colleague similarly didn’t feel too hot either, so we shared a cab back to our hotel and groaned about how upset our stomachs were. Neither of us are sure if it was something we ate at Terra Rossa, but we had not had anything to eat earlier and no one else at the table were sick. We only shared the starters, which everyone else ate as well without ill effects. An unfortunate coincidence, perhaps?