There are times in life when you want to challenge the taste buds (and maybe dress up for the occasion) with some uber fine dining, and then there are times when all you want is an excellent, proper plate of pasta and the comfort of a warm reception. Trattoria la Terrazza in Southbroom is the ideal fit for the latter. Expect authentic, unpretentious Italian cuisine of the delicious variety.
In fact, the food is so good that, on a rainy day in Southbroom, on holiday with friends, we are mystified as to where the locals are (not a soul in sight) until we arrive at Trattoria to find what looks like the entire population already cosily seated inside, munching away. A fine testament.
There’s plenty to awaken the appetite. The men fall hard and fast for the smoked springbok carpaccio with caramelised onions and bruschetta, while we females look to the charms of some shared plates – tempura zucchini fries with basil mayo; panko fried hake goujons with coriander – and are not disappointed. There is a good choice of pasta dishes and – fitting the location next to the lagoon and the sea – plenty of seafood to enjoy. An order of spaghettini vongole with clams, calamari and chilli beautifully combines the two. A main ordered from the specials menu (keep an eye out for this; lots of interesting things going on here), comprising of pork loin escallops with a mustard sauce and parsley potatoes also goes down a storm.
Dessert offers some innovative options: liquorice ice cream with a shot of saltimbocca at the side, or peanut butter ice cream with a honeycomb crumble, although I for one am absolutely delighted with my special order of a vanilla and chocolate crème brûlée cheesecake with fresh cream.
Plating is simple, portions are generous, flavours are fresh – go hungry. It’s the kind of food that makes you want to have a nap afterwards, but since we are on vacation, this is no hardship …
A neat and concise wine list offers good value and enough variety to suit most tastes. The day of our visit was cold and rainy, so thoughts did not turn towards cocktails or aperatifs. However: should you visit on a balmy summer’s night and nab a spot on the deck, you could do worse than a pitcher of sangria rosé for the table, or a zesty glass of aperol spritz – guaranteed to lift the spirits.
Very good – a warm welcome by the owner is followed by quick and efficient service by the waiting staff.
Old school Italian charm – the feeling is of a proper, family-run trattoria. No unnecessary bells and whistles here (in terms of intimidating ‘interior design’), not when the location – that view! – and the food is so good. Children are welcome, however it’s not a jungle-gym-crayons-at-the-table sort of joint, and they will need to dine off the main menu – which is no bad thing.
Southbroom is very much a vacation town, which makes Trattoria the perfect spot for a lazy, lingering holiday lunch with friends and family.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.