|Caviatielli al Ragu di'Salsiccia - the pasta is close to be like Gnocchi but different. Served with a pork sausage Ragu sauce but does not have potatoes.|
A delightful find, a unique menu that emphasises more another than meats and seafood. There is the aromatic stuff in the morning, especially from small sized omelettes ( frittatina) ; big sandwiches made from pizza dough ( panuozzo ); uovo (eggs) served with a wide choice of accompaniments like pork sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, pancetta and freshly wood fired breads ; and croissants like almond coated ones and Sfogliatelle.
The coffee is strong and bold as one can expect. Pasquale Crocamo, the person behind this relatively new place has a mission to combine the best ingredients and traditions from various parts of Italy with the best ingredients that Australia can offer.
The female staff member is very patient and focused on explaining the menu to non-Italian speakers like me. The guy who attends to the cash register is enthusiastic and engaging as well.
Every time I drive past this place during evenings, there is a buzz inside. It has both indoor and outdoor seating. Italian is widely spoken here - and echoing the heritage of any of the Illawarra demographics.
Touches of Italia sprinkle on the menus for Colazione (breakfast), Pranzo ( lunch) and Cena (dinner). Yes, the menu is all written in Italian - and it is a fun opportunity to see if you had paid enough attention at school during the second language sessions! The joy and intensity of both Italian cuisine and language is in pronouncing it, so there you go, one has an enjoyable time even before the drink and food arrives.
Pomodoro, Funghi, Proscuitto, Radicchio and Marinara have all crept easily into the Australian dining scene and sub-conscious. The menu, whilst not extensive, is short on Dolci (dessert) and my blokey mates may find the lack of meats a bit disappointing. The wood fired pizzas are mostly available with cheese, herbs, tomatoes, Proscuitto and spinach. Pastas are confined to four types - Spaghetti, Ravioli, Caviatielli and Rigatoni.
The healthy benefits from the offerings at Terra Mia cannot be under estimated as there is an absence of sweet and protein temptations that can be the hall mark at its competitors.
Terra Mia is at the same time a pizzeria, cafe and deli. It is located at the corner of Kembla and Burelli Streets in Wollongong CBD.
Shop 1, 63 Burrelli Street, Wollongong NSW2500.
Look for the Woolworths store in Wollongong city centre, walkable from the lower side of Crown Street Mall and across the road from the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre and wollongong Art Gallery.
Telephone 0431 702 715
Opening Hours from 730am till late for dinner on most days.
Would I return? Yes, I am eyeing the Pizza Bismarck, a concoction for breakfast time, with ham, cheese, tomato and egg as ingredients.
There is also this intriguing salad combination that captivated me - Grana Padano matured cheese, speck, spinach and pine nuts drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Grano Padano is one of those long European traditions, the cheese has a grainy texture and was first made 900 years ago.
What is the rare English word I find in the Italian menu of Terra Mia? "Poached"