Restaurant Review: Terra Rossa at L+ Mall

Hi!!! It’s been a while since my last post, but I promise I’ll make up for being MIA the past weeks… starting today.

My brother (he’s been on spring break for the past 2 weeks) is heading back to school, so we decided to go out for a fairly nice dinner to bid him farewell. He hasn’t been to the L+ mall yet, so that’s where we went. Let’s go!

Terra Rossa

Terra Rossa is a pretty upscale Italian restaurant on the Roof Garden. Italian restaurants in Shanghai are pretty hit or miss and I’m not a fan of the pasta, pizza, oil heavy food that dominates; however, it’s been WAYY too long since we’ve touched “Western cuisine”. Plus, ratings were high. I decided to take the risk. I’d usually do more “research” on the restaurants I choose, but there really wasn’t much.

Anyways, here’s how it went!

Food

Appetizers

62 Degree egg and Truffle soup- To start, this dish isn’t much of a soup. It’s basically a sous vide egg smothered in warm truffle infused cream. With that said however, I thought the dish was very creative, not to mention beautiful. There’s a “do it yourself” aspect and the egg yolk actually emulsifies nicely with the cream to make a wonderfully fragrant dipping sauce for the complementary bread. The intense truffle flavour is enhanced with a touch of citrus zest. With that said, I personally found even a spoonful too rich eat alone as a “soup”, especially when it got cold

Pan Seared Foie Gras with Grilled Pineapple and Raspberry- Foie Gras has been my thing lately, and I was excited to try a more traditional take (ie not on sushi). Definitely worth it. The foie was seared to a perfect medium rare.  Yet it was also perfectly rendered and slightly charred, which really helped avoid any unpleasant oily richness. The acidity of the pineapple and raspberry sauce  also helped cut through the fattiness and really brought out the natural fragrance of the foie

Grilled Ox Tongue with Creme Fraiche and Avocado Mousse- Ox tongue is a deliciously fatty cut that is pretty hard to overcook, but Terra Rossa’s took tender to another level. The meat practically melted in a rich,  perfectly seasoned beefy layer upon entering my mouth. The slightly sweet vinegar glaze provided the perfect acidic counterbalance.

Mains

Classic Hand Made Pasta with Meat Sauce- No matter how many upscale restaurants we go to, my brother always beelines for the least “classy ” item on the menu. Hence, his order. He described it as “really good”, which isn’t exactly saying much. With that said, I could tell the noodles had a nice chew and the sauce looked very rich and seemed to have a good balance between

Atlantic Cod Risotto- My dad isn’t much of a seafood guy, so I was pretty surprised when he chose a cod risotto over the various meat dishes offered. It must have been pretty delicious since he actually liked it. Visually speaking, the pieces of cod had a nice golden coatings and glistening centers. The rice was also cooked nicely. I’d actually recommend this dish.

Grilled Tiger Prawns with Lemon Butter- My mom loves seafood but doesn’t have much of an appetite, so this light dish was the perfect option. The prawns were quite fresh and grilled nicely, but honestly, it’s nothing special.

Salt Baked Halibut- Finally, my dish. I say finally, because it didn’t arrive until my parents and brother were FINISHED with theirs. However, the wait was 1000% worth it. First, the fish was incredibly fresh, a rarity given that imported seafood is generally a red flag that the dish is sub par and overpriced. More importantly, the fish could not have been more tender and juicy. The thick salt crust simultaneously flavours the meat and locks in moisture. Also, I really enjoyed watching the waiter carefully remove the salt crust whole

Dessert

Chocolate Volcano Cake- My mom and brother were hankering for some dessert, so I ordered this thinking it was a mistranslation of a chocolate lava cake. Turns out, their volcano was a literal volcano made of chocolate cake with an ice cream center. It sat on a “field” of bitter cake crumb “dirt” and the wait staff poured a strawberry cream “lava over the top. I found the dish extremely well composed. The cake itself wasn’t too sweet and held its own to the ice cream. The “lava” provided a nice fruity flavour and the bitter grainess of the dirt balanced out the sweet softness of the other elements.

Note: While the food was expertly cooked, beautifully plated and delicious for the most part, the quality of the oil was a bit sketchy. We brought up a complaint so hopefully that is addressed.

Service and Atmosphere

Terra Rossa’s atmosphere definitely lives up to its positioning as an upscale western restaurant. It’s location on the “roof garden” (there really isn’t a garden) separates it from the bustle of the busy mall, which creates a sort of quiet intimacy and elegance. The understated decour also enhanced the sense of simple elegance. Terra Rossa would be perfect for a nice date or small special occasion.

Service matched the atmosphere for the most part. The wait staff were attentive, patient and obliging. Other than that, there wasn’t anything exceptional or worth noting.

Overall Impression

Overall, Terra Rossa was a solid- a lot better than I expected actually. I probably won’t go back soon, but if the occasion rises, I could definitely use some more of that halibut.

 

 

 

 

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