Denise & Chef Seita Nakahara
Hello Makan Kakis, Denise here. A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to dine at Terra Tokyo-Italian, helmed by chef-owner Seita Nakahara, and what a special meal it was!
Chef Seita spent his teens in Singapore before working in restaurants across Tokyo, Florence, Sicily & Torino, honing his skills in Italian cuisine. His style of Italian cooking focuses on only the very freshest produce he can source directly from fishermen and farmers in Japan & Italy, which he then prepares with a very light Japanese touch, allowing the natural flavours of his ingredients shine through.
- Listen to Chef Seita on The Lunchtime Jukebox talking about his food philosophy and restaurant here.
- Listen to Chef talk about his culinary roots and what kind of food he enjoys going out to eat when he’s not cooking for others.
From his humble beginnings in the kitchen helping his mother, to his training across Italy, Chef Seita’s approach to food is always to keep everything simple, without using a lot of spices or herbs to cover the flavours or fragrance – something he says he learnt from those hours spent cooking with mum. The affable, ever-so-polite Chef Seita’s love for the food and his passion is evident in the sublime plates of food that emerged from the kitchen.
His Omakase menu changes all the time, depending on the seasonal produce available and out of his creative mind, Chef Seita keeps things exciting for his customers – he enjoys being surpised and surprising diners – that’s why he will never serve you the same thing if you are a returning guest (not unless you insist, of course!).
Service is wonderful, with very friendly staff, who are patient and careful to explain everything that has gone into each dish you are served. Your meal begins with two things:
- A box of fresh ingredients presented with a flourish, so you know what you’re going to be eating, and…
2. A really delicious homemade foccacia bread, served hot with a porcini mushroom butter I wanted (and did) to eat on its own!
I have to say after that lovely start, nothing I was served afterwards disappointed. In fact, everything was eye-rollingly tasty – check out what else was on the menu when I dined at Terra Tokyo-Italian:
The Uni bruschetta is the perfect embodiment of Chef Seita’s food concept – bringing the best of Japanese & Italian together – generous little mountains of fresh sea urchin jiggling atop crisp toasted bread.
Super-fresh shellfish – Akagai, okagai, Hokkaido asparagus, cherry tomato drizzled with dill sauce.
Another one of my favourites (and this is saying alot because I’m not a fan of tomato sauces) – the Ise bay spiny lobster linguine. Perfectly portioned, the handmade pasta was also perfectly al dente and coated in a rich, yet not cloying tomato sauce. It was light yet creamy was complemented by a succulently-sweet grilled lobster from Japan’s Ise Bay.
Score! Managed to scoop out the lobster meat in one whole juicy chunk! And you can bet I sucked out all the briny juices from that lobster head – sooo yummaaay!
Ama-dai tile fish with Mediterranean sauce, Hokkaido shaved button mushroom, Japanese bamboo shoost with crispy fish skin.
Tender Tochigi beef with mushroom sauce, charred Japanese cabbage, mustard and chives & caramelised onion – really clean, simple and absolutely satisfying, The beefy flavour really comes through thanks to Chef Seita’s delicate touch.
Homemade Tiramisu with Japanese strawberries – an appropriate end to my Tokyo-Italian experience. This Tiramisu was again, perfectly-portioned, not too sweet and very light.
Chef Seita’s very Japanese sensibility truly shines through in his respect for his ingredients and his guests and I can’t recommend Terra more if you love Italian Cuisine but want something surprising, very fresh and light. The Omakase Menu is tailored to suit your dietary restrictions and you can choose the number of courses you enjoy. I had 7 courses (possibly more), but so light was Chef’s touch, I didn’t walk out of Terra feeling uncomfortably full, just very satisfied and with a huge smile on my face!
54 Tras St
Mon – Fri 12:00 pm-2:00 pm, 6:30 pm-10:00 pm
Sat 6:30 pm-10:00 pm
Phone: 6221 5159