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Monday 19 October 2009

London Restaurant Reviews - Terroirs

Terroirs (Updated on 21st March 2011)

A recent visit to Le Manoir de Raynaudes, in the South West of France, has re-ignited my love for French cuisine and all things French. I have since then signed up to French language classes and am devouring Julia Child’s memoirs “My Life in France”. The best part of this “francophonisation” process was finding Terroirs, a French bar and restaurant opened in Central London about a year ago.

Having been to Terroirs before, I normally try and sit at their zinc bar to watch the chefs in action and for a more relaxed dinner. The menu is short but offers an excellent spread of fish, shellfish, duck, cheese and charcuterie. This is a place to come with friends and share various dishes over a few bottles of excellent French wine.

On my last visit, I ordered a small selection of dishes together with one of my favourite bottles of wine, a 2007 bottle of Marcillac @ £18.85 (Dne du Cros, Philippe Teulier, Marcillac). Terroirs’ wine list is most impressive - it contains about 200 wines of which 20 wines can also be served by the glass. You will be assured to find a bottle to suit every budget and taste.

The menu is divided into 5 categories – Bar Snacks (Duck Scratchings @ £2.50 are fatty but very moreish, Bread & Butter @ £1.50, a “must”), Small Plates (for sharing like Steak Tartare @ £7 or a Whole Dorset Crab and Mayo @ £12), Cheese (Rocamadour @ £3.50 is divine), Charcuterie (Duck Rillettes @ £6 is one of my favourites), Plats du Jour (more substantial dishes like Brandade de Morue @ £12 or Slow Roasted Belly of Pork @ £13) and Desserts @ £5. My suggestion would be to order bread and butter, which are heavy and chewy, accompanied by a selection from any of these categories.

One of the dishes I order at every visit, is the “Snail, Bacon, Garlic and Parsley” @ £7. This is served on a slice of toasted bread with a delicious Pistou dressing (just like Pesto but without pine nuts or cheese and more garlicky). The combination of flavours is sensational, I just wished there were more on my plate!

Another favourite, “Duck Rillettes” @ £6, is rustic French cuisine at its best, and better avoided when on any diet. Originally made with pork, the meat is cubed or chopped, salted heavily and cooked slowly in fat until it is tender enough to be easily shredded. It is then cooled with enough of the fat to form a paste. They are normally used as spread on bread and served at room temperature.

“Potted Brown Shrimps” @ £7, also served on toasted bread, was very good. Seasoned heavily with nutmeg and paprika as potted shellfish should be, the flavours partnered well with the Morecambe Bay shrimps. 

The “Pan Fried Girolles Mushrooms with a Duck Egg” at £7 was also delicious. The mushrooms were meaty and full of flavour, and the runny duck egg was an interesting addition. 

Other dishes that I had tried in previous visits which I would also recommend are the Steak Tartare @ £7 (well seasoned and fresh), Pork and Pistachio Terrine @ £6 (quite rustic and a substantial portion), Selection of Charcuterie @ £10 (nice cuts but not good value), any of the cheeses @ £3.50 (they are all superb), and Duck Scratchings @ £2.50 (fatty but very good).

I have been impressed by Terroirs in all my visits. At £53.27 for two including an excellent bottle of wine, this is one of my favourite restaurants in London at the moment, and I simply cannot recommend it enough.

Verdict – Rustic, hearty and delicious French cuisine to share, and coupled with the best wine list in town.  Great Service and reasonable prices make Terroirs one of the hottest tables in the Capital.

Terroirs on Urbanspoon

...What Others Are Saying...

Marie Watson-Santarelli on 21st March 2011I already know which restaurant off your blog we really liked, (and it is still our current fave), it's Terroirs. The food is fab, the atmosphere relaxed (downstairs) and the staff are really nice. They did a doggy bag with the rest of our poulet landais for us the last time because we said we were sorry we couldn't finish it. The liver pate which comes with it is one of the richest I've ever tasted. We even had our Corsican wine brought by the Corsican waiter, nice touch!


  1. Jennifer, aka Kimchi26 November 2009 at 21:15

    I cannot decide what I admire more - your blogging skills or your talent for taking superb photographs!

  2. @ Kavey - have you managed to go to Terroirs yet? I love this place and keep returning. The wine list is sensational. Let me know when you do get to try it!

    @ Jennifer - Jen, it was great meeting you at the Bangalore tasting last week. Thanks, for your lovely comment. I look forward to Tayyabs on the 17th.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  3. This is my new must try place to go...thanks for the review!

  4. Hi Sarah, I can't recommend this place enough - if you love small dishes to share and rustic, hearty French food you are in for a treat! Let me know how you get on.


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