Innovation is the key to remaining relevant and Trattoria La Terrazza has nailed it. Fresh salads, inventive pastas and the freshest linefish virtually cater to all preferences. Linguine with zucchini, cream, artichoke, lemon, truffle oil and Parmesan cheese speaks of decadence, while the spaghettini polpette (beef meat balls in red pepper salsa, chilli, olive oil and tomato) goes to the heart of Italian cuisine.
Trattoria La Terrazza sources its beef, pork and chicken free-range. The rolled chicken breast filled with mushrooms and topped with mozzarella embraces another glimpse of lazy days overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The partly-deboned quail, grilled, stuffed and served with fat French fries, balsamic red wine reduction and caramelised butternut sticks, is another dish worth the trip down the south coast.
There are several options for a sumptuous end to your meal, such as the almond pavlova with poached red berry coulis and lemongrass syrup, home-made liquorice ice cream, or a cheese platter served with port.
Expect a balanced display of top South African wines interspersed with French and Italian bubbles, offered with a fair mark-up. The wine list could do with some editing to remove spelling mistakes.
Consistently attentive, professional and charming.
The intimate indoor space, decorated in a colonial style, comfortably seats 50 people. The lower deck, perched above the Umkobi Estuary, boasts spectacular sea views to restore the soul.
Booking is advised, especially during busy holiday season.
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Instead of relying heavily on flavour enhancers, such as creams, the dishes here let the ingredients speak for themselves. Snacks and starters kick off the meal. The deep-fried zucchini sticks can serve as a sharing snack, but are substantial – and delicious – enough to be a starter. Crispy on the outside, tender inside, their heat is offset by the cool basil mayo. There’s a lightly smoked springbok carpaccio at a very reasonable price, served with a marinated cucumber and a slightly too sweet plum and balsamic dressing. It would be perfect without the dressing, as the cucumber offsets the smokiness of the carpaccio, so order the dressing on the side rather.
Pastas here is where the restaurant shows off its chops. The spaghetti and meatballs – something often seen on TV and rarely in restaurants – is a winner. Served in an unexpected fashion, with a nest of aglio olio spaghetti in the middle and large meatballs covered in napoletana sauce and parmesan on the periphery, it is how pasta should be. The herbs in the aglio olio enhance the tomatoey meatiness of those glorious parmesan-coated nuggets of joy, taking such a simple and humble dish and elevating it to one of the best meatball spaghettis you could ever hope to enjoy.
For dessert, go straight for the almond pavlova with red berry coulis and a lemongrass syrup. Your waistline might be sorry, but you won’t be.
A short wine list covers the basics, and offers a few local craft beers are available too.
Staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and the owner is on hand. The locals are such regulars at the establishment that everyone seems to be on a first name basis. It makes for a very convivial atmosphere; some of the locals started up a conversation with us spontaneously. If the service is a little slow it is as a result of having catch-up chats with the regulars.
This aptly named spot has a terrace overlooking the bank of the Umkombi River. It is a setting best described as blissful, with the river running past into the ocean, affording a panoramic view of both. During the day, when both the sea and the river are visible, it is a sensational setting to have a luxurious lunch, lubricated with a few glasses of wine, drinking in both the wine and the view. At night, as dusk sets in and the colours of the sunset are reflected on the water, fairy lights twinkle on the terrace and the scene is just magical. It is recommended to enjoy both lunch and supper here to experience the venue at its best, twice.
Don’t even bother sitting inside. The décor indoors is nice, but it's outside or bust. Make sure to book a table right by the terrace edge.