We were trying to decide on a pre-movie dinner location and came up with Terra Rossa – mainly because we had a discount Entertainment Card and it was right by the Forum Theatre.

Having not heard much about Terra Rossa, I had no expectations of the restaurant, and so was quite surprised by the number of filled tables on a Tuesday night. Was this going to be a HOT new restaurant discovery for me?

As you can tell from the title of this post, it was not to be.

Let’s start off with the décor. I found it to be a little gaudy but personally had no issues with it. On the other hand RM, who rarely takes notice of restaurant décor, hated it. He described it as a ‘tryhard, overblown bordello’ and he disliked everything from the organic shaped tables to the dangling silk tassles separating the bar area from the dining room. It was quite odd watching him fidget uncomfortably in his chair purely because of the setting.

The menu looked quite promising, with a good selection of pizzas, pastas and mains. My braised beef and portobello mushroom lasagne ($17.50) looked and tasted like it’d been left for a good amount of time between a heavy metal press. The layers were squashed tightly together and the bottom of the lasagne was hard to the point of crustiness. It tasted ok but the texture was really quite off-putting.

RM’s roasted honey and rosemary glazed lamb rack ($36.50) was presented with an unappealing half-eaten-looking smear of harissa, but the meat had been cooked well and the buttery mash was a winner.

After our main courses we still hadn’t definitely decided that Terra Rossa was going to score a NOT. Unfortunately, we proceeded to dessert and this is when the wheels really came off.

OK, first of all it was our fault for ordering cold rice pudding ($13). Cold rice pudding = cold grains of glue, even if you dress it up with nutmeg. But the bizarre thing was the accompanying dark chocolate cinnamon mousse. It was elastic! Rubbery to the point of bounciness! I have never had chocolate mousse like it and needless to say, we didn’t finish it.

If by chance I ever find myself at Terra Rossa again, I think I will stick with the pizzas. From my glances at the surrounding tables, they looked and smelled quite appetising. But to be honest, given a choice, I don’t think I’ll be heading back to Terra Rossa.

  • Terra Rossa, 87 Flinders Lane, Melbourne +61 3 9650 0900

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