Conveniently situated less than five steps from Wimbledon Station, The Terrace is a gorgeous concept venue that excels in atmosphere and drinks and serves pretty good food, too.
A cascade of twinkling fairy lights flank lime green doors which open to reveal a grand staircase heading north. Once you’ve caught your breath at the top of the flight, prepare to be impressed. The entrance to the bar and restaurant area is dotted with large palm trees (also dressed with fairy lights) and a large circular area in the middle of the venue acts as the dance floor and bar area. This area’s roof has been replaced by a huge round skylight, maximising the natural light and making the bar feel even more spacious; great for those who get claustrophobic when its busy. Split over a number of levels separate to the bar, the dining area boasts huge green sofas and quieter areas for those who are after a slightly more sedate dining experience. A decent balcony adds an extra element to the venue, and is a great place to catch some rays during the summer if, indeed, any arrives.
With bands and musicians sometimes booked to play, the atmosphere can get quite lively; whether it’s jazz, Cuban music or the DJ that spins tracks til the early hours at the weekend, there’s entertainment to keep the mood high. A cosmopolitan crowd mill around to the music and enjoy drinks, whilst groups of friends tuck into meals in the dining area.
Fusing Asian, American, Mediterranean and Mexican influences, there isn't really a clear concept with the menu. Platters from each of the areas are available to share (just under £14) and individual starters range from the calorific deep-fried pizza dough balls to the healthier tempura chicken strips or fresh mussels. And with all starters coming in at between £4 and £7 (and being generously portioned), they represent something of a steal.
The sizzling fajitas are The Terrace’s speciality, serving the succulent choices of mildly spiced meat and veg on a sizzling hot plate with wraps, guacamole, salsa and cheese. With a nod to American influences, flame-grilled rack of pork spare ribs with home-made BBQ sauce feature on the menu, along with giant onion rings big enough to wear as a bracelet, should the desire to wear your sides as jewellery ever take your fancy.
The Asian-influenced main courses include house pad Thai, Thai green curry, Asian salad with calamari tempura or teriyaki salmon loin, all of which appear to be authentic and popular. Meanwhile, other European dishes such as Milanese chicken escalope, 12-inch pizzas and roast lamb shank are enjoyed by many for the relatively decent price point of between £8 and £16.
If you can squeeze in a dessert (the portions are over-generous), the lemon and almond blondie comes highly recommended, and is just about light enough to follow a heavy meal. Another must-try is the Bailey's vanilla and ice cream sundae. The dessert pizza is worth a mention too, smothered in mascarpone, bananas, cinnamon and caramel, and served with vanilla ice cream.
Where The Terrace really comes into its own is with drinks. Becoming one of the go-to places to drink in south west London, the impressive mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and the themed menu, keeps everyone happy.
Summer wine cocktails are themed around the tennis, and sponsored by Jacob's Creek. Including drinks such as 15-Love (a blend of shiraz, cranberry juice, lemonade and orange and lime) and Grass Court Cooler (sauvignon blanc, apple juice and lemonade), the restaurant has capitalised on its area’s fame and used it well.
Spirit cocktails are organised in class order like an airline, with economy, business, and first classes beaten only by the mile high club, with which the drinks are served with an extra shot for ‘added turbulence’. Must-trys include the two-toned Solero, which tastes even better than the ice-cream, and the delightful Honey and Fig Collins for those with a sweet tooth.
Skinny, champagne, dessert and virgin cocktails are also available, as well as a decent selection of wines, beers and champagnes.
The Last Word
Despite the food menu lacking focus, the stand-out drinks menu and the lively, sophisticated venue attract just the right crowd to ensure The Terrace will continue to do well.