Terra Madre is a relatively new kid on the Dempsey block. Located a hop away from the main restaurant area, the “natural food” restaurant features a menu with a distinctly Aussie slant.
They don’t specifically refer to their cuisine as Australian but it does send those vibes my way, for sure.
It was last November 4th, on the morning of our anniversary, that we had first dined at Terra Madre. One look at the menu pre-arrival, and having seen Ricotta Hotcakes, I knew we had to brunch there.
The Loewen part of Dempsey is a lot less “busy” than the main areas around Dempsey Hill and Minden Road, and that just adds to the relaxing vibes.
Of course we ordered the Ricotta Hotcakes ($22) which I really enjoyed. They were suitably fluffy and the smoked pecan crumble and caramelised orange were great additions to the dish. We were served what I initially thought was a precious amount of their organic maple syrup, but the thick, rich syrup (unlike my regular supermarket version) sufficed.
For eggs, we went with the Nduja and Spinach Omelette ($25) with smoked paprika oil and feta on sourdough bread, and no disappointments here.
On to Round 2, Dinner – 4 Feb:
Last week, for my first dinner out since my surgery in early January, I wanted the verdant vibes of Dempsey, and so, landed at Terra Madre again.
It was a lovely, cool evening, so we sat al fresco and enjoyed a couple of sundowners while considering the menu.
We started with the Butternut Hummus ($20) sprinkled with dukkah. Loved the spiced butternut taste and the pita was warm and fluffy and a great receptacle for the creamy hummus.
Again, I had seen the menu pre-arrival and it was the lamb that was calling out to me, so naturally I ordered it for my main.
What made the Tasmanian Lamb Rack ($45) delicious was not just the perfect doneness but the fabulous middle eastern spice rub of sumac za’atar. The toasty, nutty, tangy, floral combination of spices went really well with the piquant salsa verde.
Hubby ordered the Grilled Rib-eye ($48) and a slab of grass-fed Australian beef on fire-roasted potato purée landed in front of him. Again, doneness was as per request, and he enjoyed it. The beef was accompanied by an onion and mint chimichurri.
You say Po-tay-to, I say Poh-Tah-To?
Now, this is where things aren’t what they seem. Literally. Read the menu description of the desserts, look at the accompanying price and you’d probably start to have some expectations of what’s to come.
Unfortunately that wasn’t quite the case here at Terra Madre. We had commended the dishes prior to dessert, but this time, we weren’t so quick with our compliments when the waiter asked, and props to him for honestly concurring and saying that desserts were not their strong suit (yet).
So the tropical Panna Cotta ($18) essentially was a mango pudding, but the texture of the panna cotta was not at all like the classic, jiggly version. It was a little too firm.
But the “huh?” moment was the Chocolate Tart ($19). Described as such and with yuzu ganache and pecan streusel, one would expect, say… a tart? But I guess they took deconstruction to another level. What appeared were blobs (albeit, delicious blobs) of chocolate mousse.
Post-dinner shopping at Terra Madre:
The organic store next door is great. I found a couple of gems, from a Chocolate Sauce to my current favourite condiment – the Pickled Green Tomato which I slather over my fish and sometimes, chicken, at home.
The chocolate sauce has a unique rum-like taste which I really enjoy over a scoop of vanilla. I have started dressing my nutella crêpes with it too.
I bought the Squid Ink and the Beetroot pastas during my first visit. With the pastas, you need to watch the cooking times. Twice, we made it too al dente, you need to check it when the recommended time is up to see if it’s to your liking.
All said, Terra Madre sure makes good use of the relaxing vibes, away from the hub-bub of the main Dempsey enclave. I’d say it’s worth a visit or two over brunch and dinner and definitely pick up goodies at the store next door.
Terra Madre Singapore:
Address: Block 71 Loewen Road #01-02 Singapore (248847)
Open daily from 8am – 10pm