Just about everyone, who has lived in Bali for some time, has been to Teras. During the early 90's it became a favourite place for expatriates to meet for eating, drinking and general socializing. Up the steps from Jln. Legian a large garden terrace offers a relaxing place to escape from the pressures of life!
I have always been amazed at the number of executive chefs, from Bali's leading hotels, that have always frequented this place. Pizzas are that eat anytime food that whilst originally very Italian have become almost a universal dish. Particularly suited to those groups of friends who want to sit, drink and chat about their day or week, nibbling on slice after slice of various pizzas, in between sipping their favourite alcoholic beverage.
But Teras has much more than just pizzas! A new luncheon menu offers many interesting snacks, light or full meals. Start with the Teras Specialty, Zuppa di Tranci di Pesce. It is a traditional fish soup [fresh fish with tomato, capers and black olives, spiced with garlic, chilli, parsley, basil and black peppers]. Now that is almost a meal in itself!
Of course there is pasta! It is an Italian restaurant, after all. Ravioli di Ricotta is tender pockets of pasta that have been stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese, served in a basil and tomato sauce. Fettuccine Gamberi e Zucchine is those classic pasta strips with prawns, sliced zucchini, garlic and tomato. Tortellini alla Boscaiola, circles of pasta stuffed with mushrooms, green peas, ham and spices in a creamy sauce.
For Spaghetti, you have a choice of tomato & basil, pesto, Pescatora [seafood] or the classic Carbonara [bacon, egg yolk and cream, topped with Parmesan cheese of course!].
For lunch I prefer a light snack, and at Teras I have found one that is perfect for me! Arancini di Riso is croquettes of rice that have been stuffed with mozzarella cheese, mushrooms and peas, fried to a crisp on the outside. The Antipasto all l'italiana also makes a great snack! A platter of cold cuts that include Parma ham, salami and smoked ham with marinated artichoke hearts, black olives a slabs of focaccia.
There are many salads to choose from, some are traditional Italian and others that have been borrowed from other cuisines. Many of these luncheon dishes remain on the main evening dining menu, but other interesting options have been added.
Three of the evening salads are very special. I have always loved octopus, and both the Italians and the Spanish do it better than most. At Teras, the Insalata di Polpi is always fresh and tasty! Insalata di Mare is a combination of seafood, calamari, prawns and crab meat, simply tossed in garlic, parsley, lime and olive oil. Gamberi e Rucola are steamed prawns on a bed of rucola in a balsamic and extra virgin oil dressing.
The pasta menu is greatly extended at night with the addition of the more exotic. My favourites include Spaghetti Aragosta [lobster, garlic and tomato], Ravioli di Zucca [stuffed with pumpkin and spices, in a sage butter and parmesan sauce], Penne al Salmone [with slabs of Tasmanian Salmon and chopped onions] and those fluffy potato dumplings [Gnocchi] in a blue cheese sauce. And we must never forget that multi-layered Lasagne, with Bolognese sauce.
Scaloppine with a difference [tender young veal is so hard to find in Bali, and when you do it is normally so expensive] is the fish version at Teras. Thin slices of fish sauteed in butter, garlic, parsley and white wine. There is also a beef version, with garlic, capers and oregano, in a tomato sauce.
The Charcoal Grill produces Butterfish Steaks as well as Beef Steaks, Lamb Chops, Chicken and other assorted seafood, including a Seafood Platter of great value [fish, lobster, prawns and squid].
But it is for their Pizzas that Teras got its name! All the usual combinations are here, but you can always ask for your own special concoction. Pizza Napoli with anchovies and capers [how can you have a pizza without anchovy?], the great La Terrazza Special of Parma ham, rucola and mushrooms and even the Australian favourite, Ham & Pineapple, but this version with avocado added as well.
The desserts are as Italian as you can get! An extra special Tiramisu, or Crema al Mascarpone Teras. May not be good for the figure but who cares?
A sensible well-priced wine list complements great basic food that is non-threatening to everyone. Maybe that is why almost the whole world loves Italian food. It is always simple good quality food without too many extremes in taste.
The service is bustling, almost Italian, as this place often gets very busy. Many people come for a short visit but finish up staying for an hour, or two, or three! The Teras is a very relaxing spot to sit and relax, eating and drinking anywhere on the garden terrace.
Over the years many thousands have enjoyed a pizza on the terrace, at Teras, and this practice will no doubt continue for many years to come!