Bf and I went to La Strada on 1 Apr 2008 (Tue) for dinner. Kind of last minute decision – and I was dressed in shorts & t-shirt. Too casual I must admit! Bf kept assuring me that it’s alright – but I didn’t feel good. Fortunately the staff let us dined there. As usual, after pondering for a long while, we finally settled on the drinks order – a glass of Michele Chiarlo (Italy) “Nivole” Moscato d’Asti 2007 (S$19++) for me and a shot of Hennessy VSOP (S$16++) for bf. I love dessert wines – so this glass of wine was perfect for me, smooth-bodied and sweet. Then we ordered the Caprese (S$22++), Risotto Dell Giorno (S$30++) and Pollo Novello Arostito (S$35++).
We were given a few cheese bread-sticks and a small plate of olive oil to start our meal with. We were then given a piece of warm bread on the side. No butter was given – Italians dip their bread in olive oil. Nothing to shout about as these are pretty ordinary stuff.
The Caprese is made up of buffalo mozzarella with confit Scillian cherry tomatoes, basil agar agar and char grilled ciabatta bread). We love this starter dish a lot, so very often than not, bf would order this especially when we dine in an Italian restaurant. Basically, there is not much difference in the Caprese served in any other Italian restaurant as the basic ingredients are the same and you don’t need to cook this dish – just cut and serve. Again, nothing to shout about. BUT instead of cherry tomatoes, we were served the normal tomatoes and instead of basil agar agar, we were given basil leaves. Still, these are minor slights that did not affect the overall good taste of this starter. The buffalo mozzarella was not overwhelmingly cheesy and was soft to the palette.
Next, we were served the Pollo Novello Arostito (oven roasted French baby chicken with savoy cabbage, pancetta parcel, filled with shallot and roasting jus). I love this dish very much – the chicken was roasted just nice with a little crisp on the outside and tenderness on the inside. This was the highlight of my meal there. Unfortunately, I did not see/taste the pancetta parcel and if there was shallot, you could hardly taste it in the chicken. There was definitely no roasting jus on my plate. It was more like diluted oyster sauce on my cabbage and plate. Still, the chicken was the star and it tasted great!
The Risotto Dell Giorno (risotto of the day was done with 3 types of mushrooms – can’t remember which ones they are but one of them is Portobello mushroom). Risotto is a traditional Italian dish made with rice. I didn’t quite like this dish – it was served with a brown sauce and it didn’t look appetising. When I tasted it, it was a bit saltish. Couldn’t figure out what the sauce was but it just didn’t do for me. I prefer my risotto rich and creamy. 😛
Overall, food is a hit or miss. It’s either you like it or you don’t. Service is excellent though. We told the serving staff we were sharing the food and they very kindly separated the portions of each dish for us, so that we were served individually. This was done without us having to ask for it! They remembered the guests who dined there before – it was bf’s 3rd visit and my 1st and the staff remembered him! Yes, I would still return to this place again and the Pollo Novello Arostito will be one of my favourite dishes – a huge plus point. Service is attentive without being intrusive – which is another plus point. And staff who takes initiative gets another plus point.