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Review: La Terrasse Rooftop Café in Menlo Park

La Terrasse Rooftop Café invites you to indulge in the fragrances and flavours of North Africa.

Food

If you can get past the abundant mezze platters packed with the richly flavoured spices of Morocco, that’s a feat in itself. From hummus and baba ganoush to kefta and Zulu zaalouk (aubergine relish with tomato, cumin, paprika, green olives and balsamic), it’s a non-stop feast.

Moroccan Patisserie at La Terrasse Rooftop Café. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Moroccan Patisserie at La Terrasse Rooftop Café. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

But the most exotic option is to go for one of their bountiful tagines. Picture lamb with dates and honey or tomato; chicken with preserved lemon; beef with sweet potato; and, for vegetarians, butternut with sweet potato, lentils and Moroccan spices. All are served with fragrant couscous, making them perfect for celebratory get-togethers.

You could also try their most recent addition, an oxtail tangia that has been treated to the most extreme of slow cooking in a clay vessel. It’s called a bachelor’s dish in Morocco, because the young men make it at the start of the week to last right to the end.

Preserves at La Terrasse Rooftop Café. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Preserves at La Terrasse Rooftop Café. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Other standouts include the cinnamon butternut soup, and there’s even a Moroccan breakfast of a kefta tagine with egg poached in tomato, spicy meatballs and grilled pita. It’s a fantastic African feast.

Drinks

Their wine list is sourced by the owner’s brother, who’s constantly on the hunt for wines that match their particular flavour requirements. They offer pairing suggestions all the way through. Incidentally, the best option, they feel, is pinot noir chardonnay, but this might also differ according to the seasons.

The entrance to La Terrasse Rooftop Café. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The entrance to La Terrasse Rooftop Café. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

As for other drinks, fragrant cordials (vanilla-, rose- and hibiscus-scented) and their secret blend of pomegranate and apple juice make for fine non-alcoholic choices.

Service

The staff compliment is tiny and does its best to take special care. Don’t be in a hurry – food is prepared to order.

Ambience

As the name suggests, the restaurant is located on a rooftop under the African sky, with a distinctly Moroccan style. In winter the heaters will keep you warm.

La Terrasse Rooftop Café. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

La Terrasse Rooftop Café. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

And…

After you’ve indulged in the glorious food, go do some exotic Moroccan shopping.

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

Have you indulged in a north African feast at La Terrasse Rooftop Café in Pretoria? Tell us all about it in a review.

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