One way to know how recently a restaurant has opened is by its lack of website. Auburn’s newest eatery, Terroir, is so fresh, only its Facebook page has been operating since late last year.
The philosophy behind Terrior is that of the locavore movement – the sourcing of only local, seasonal produce. Chef Dan Moss has enlivened the Clare Valley region’s foodie scene with his fresh, seasonal and locally inspired menu, which diners are invited to enjoy in a casual setting.
Located on the main street in Auburn, Terrior is unassuming from the outside. The restaurant’s interior is a small but intimate space and is an eclectic mix of new and old, mixing wooden floorboards and a large rustic wooden communal table at the rear of the space with contemporary translucent glass tables at the front and large wide mirrors on the walls. This combination gives off a mixed vibe – is the place trying to be rustic and old-worldy, and thus a homage to the winery roots of the region? Or is it trying to be a modern take on the stuffy wine world? Either way, the space is light and airy with an atmosphere to match.
Terrior serves both lunch and dinner. Being seasonal, the menu is rotating so diners can expect different featured dishes at each occasion. The lunch menu is rather light on, so don’t arrive starving. Starters are sparse and include freshly baked whole grain bread (at $2.00 per person – something normally served free at most restaurants) with a spattering of house-made garlicky skordalia; or a selection of local Cowell oysters. A small number of main courses are featured, with a mixture of interesting offerings – think rabbit and chickpea pie, battered whiting, pork belly and ham steak. While definitely not a traditional menu, the tastes are light and plates are beautifully presented. The whiting (normally battered and deep fried but pan fried by request this time) was small but matched perfectly with sweet carrot from the back garden, cabbage, aioli and chopped almonds. At $19.00 per serve, one may have expected something more filling, but the meal does actually made a nice lunch portion.
Two desserts are offered and are of substantial size. The baked cheesecake is enough for two, and the chocolate mousse appears decadently rich, served with crumbled pistachios, churros and salted caramel. A strong wine list accompanies the food, featuring region-specific, local wines, mostly by the bottle, with various picks by the glass. A glass of Jeanneret ‘Grace and Flavour’ Grenache Shiraz was the perfect light red wine accompaniment to the fish, after wanting something more full bodied than a white.
If you love local produce and South Australia’s wine regions, Terroir is a lovely, peaceful spot to while away a few hours with good friends for a lazy Sunday lunch.
Recommended: Let the rotating, seasonal menu guide your decision here
Cuisine: Locavore/Modern Australian - seasonal and local product from the Clare Valley region
Best for: Lunch
Main North Road, Auburn, South Australia 5451