A MATTER OF LINEAGE
Close family ties serve as the foundation of good food in the newest neighborhood restaurant
Terrace 45 is a restaurant that took decades in the making.
Karl Santos and Karen Mejia are siblings who would go to their grandparents’ home for family and neighborhood potlucks when they were much younger. From simply joining in on meals, they began spending more time in the kitchen, cooking for the family and learning different recipes from relatives. Their parents also used to own a restaurant franchise. Now in their late 20s and early 30s, respectively, the two siblings finally took the plunge and opened a restaurant of their own. And where else to put up this new venture, but in the place where their culinary journey had begun: their grandparents’ home.
There isn’t anything out of place when you enter Terrace 45. The entrance to the restaurant and the open dining area to the side are surrounded by plants and a number of trees. Paintings made by family members hang on the walls, accented by hues of brown and gray. There are neither period pieces nor contrived fixtures to be seen; only simple furniture that balance sophistication with conviviality. There are a number of notable dishes here. The Pork Rind Poutine—a bowl of hand-cut fries, gravy, fried garlic, aioli, and homemade chicharon— may not be as appetizing as it looks on the menu but is a definite must-try. The chicharon adds texture while the aioli and garlic add a kick that begs for another, immediate bite. The Lengua and Chips is another unique dish that sets a contrast between the mouth-feel of both components; combine the two in a spoonful of creamy mushroom gravy, and you will be hooked. Pair any of the main courses with the blends of loose leaf tea, which Terrace 45 might sell in jars soon.
Visit this restaurant for family gatherings, dates, or barkada hangouts and be pleasantly surprised. Terrace 45 manages to stand on its own without any clamor to be noticed. That may be an indication of a lack of concept, but the flavors it offers are a mark of longpracticed excellence.