This is a rare review because I very seldom get to review restaurants in Paarl. Not because there is anything wrong with Paarl or its restaurants, it’s just that I hardly ever go to Paarl. This weekend I was in the area for Pinotage on Tap at Diemersfontein so I went to dinner in Paarl on Friday night with a friend.
We were weighing a few options, opting in the end for Terra Mare because it looked cosy and warm. When we walked in, I felt confident we had made the right choice. The decor is modern but warm, with soft colours and soft lighting which creates that cozy look we saw when we drove past.
Soon after being seated, we were given some lovely home style bread with balsamic and olive oil. Except the balsamic was the glaze instead of the vinegar and the olive oil was infused with basil, creating a unique twist on an old favourite.
A perusal of the menu reveals that the restaurant is well named, because they do indeed offer a selection of both meat and seafood. To start my partner ordered the spicy calamari salad (R45) which had so many ingredients, each bite was a little taste festival. My soup (R39) was nice, but asparagus and marrow sounded more interesting than it was and at the price, the calamari salad was better value.
For mains we had the karoo lamb (R104) and the osso buco (R95). Both were served with steamed veggies which were fantastic, fresh and crunchy. The lamb was very good and the osso buco was not a let down. Both meals were substantial portions. We ended with an Amarula creme brulee (R39) which was delicious but not a hint of Amarula to be found.
The wine list was a good length, consisting of several options (but not too many) for each varietal and some blends. As you can tell from the prices of the food, it’s not the cheapest restaurant and the wine list conformed. However, there were several really good options in the R150 price range which is a good compromise. The service was friendly and capable which seems to be the norm in the winelands.
We enjoyed our dinner at Terra Mare and would probably eat there again if the opportunity arose.
90a Main Street, Paarl
021 863 4805
Wow! Terra Mare is lovely! The food is delicious and the service is great. We had lunch and dinner there several times during our 2 weeks holidays in Paarl and each time it was delicious. Congratulations to the friendly Swiss owner!
Owner Olivier is a good mate, Terra Mare our traditional restaurant for eating out in Paarl – friends visiting love it.