Why I Love Terraz
SPOT.ph blogger Yvette Tan on what keeps her coming back to this East-meets-West menu and relaxed atmosphere.
(SPOT.ph) The Zuellig Building is a beautiful sight. Rising above its prime spot on the corner of Makati Avenue and Paseo de Roxas, its glass facade is an instant landmark, as well as an example of environmentally-friendly architecture.
It is also home to Terraz, a casual dining restaurant located on the third floor. Conceptualized and managed by Raintree Restaurants, it serves dishes from a variety of cuisines, some traditional, others fusion, and, with everything I've tried, good.
Soy Glazed Melting Norwegian Salmon Bento
Great food aside, what I like about the restaurant is its location. It's only on the third floor of the Zuellig Building, but it seems so much higher. The restaurant is spacious, giving diners ample space to enjoy their dinners and company, without crossing personal spaces with the next table.
But the reason I like Terraz so much is because of its al fresco dining area, where diners sit on the balcony with a beautifully landscaped mini garden on one side and a balcony that offers them a view of Makati Avenue below. Looking at one of Makati's main thoroughfares from above is interesting. Separated from the noise and traffic, you realize that Makati Avenue is actually a beautiful place, especially at night, when the restaurant lights are dimmed and candles are laid out, and the area, as wide open as it is, takes on a cozy ambiance, the light from the buildings across and cars and streetlights below making diners feel that, at that moment, they are the only people in the world.
It's an excellent date place, especially if you're looking for a restaurant that serves good food and lets diners keep to themselves. The staff is unobtrusive, offering excellent service without getting in your face. But this is a food blog, so let's talk about food. Like I said, everything I've tried here is good, but the one dish that stands out for me is the Soy Glazed Melting Norwegian Salmon Bento (P495). Served Japanese lunchbox style, with steamed Asian slaw sidings on one dish, salmon in the middle, and teppan fried rice at the end, the serving may look small, but it is actually quite filling.
There are two kinds of slaw, one warm and one cold, both crunchy. One is a savory tuna with panko in a creamy dressing, the other a light vegetable slaw. The play in temperature and degree of umami is a playful start to a meal that isn't heavy in flavor, and isn't one to leave you still hungry or too full.
The salmon is tender, its flavor awakened by the sweet soy glaze pooled around it. The lone shiitake beside it and the leaf of bok choy that lies on top look decorative, but serve as taste and textural contrasts as well, the green, slightly bitter, the mushroom, a meaty bite. It's lovely on its own, and personally, I wouldn't need to eat it with the rice, though people who must have rice with their protein will find that it pairs well with the teppan fried rice, the crispy dilis topping adding a bit of crunch to the rice, whose subtle soy flavor doesn't overpower the fish or its glaze.
I love Terraz because it is easy to relax there, surrounded by beautiful (and green) architecture, filling your belly with good food, your mind with good conversation, and your heart with good company.