Friday, September 19

La Strada, Shaw Centre

I wanted to treat KW to a very very early birthday meal (PS at our age, it helps to spread out the birthday feasting) but for one reason or another, it is not easy to find a nice place for lunch on a Saturday. Most "nice" restaurants are closed for Saturday lunch to prepare for dinner service and well, we had a whole list of criteria.
  1. By "nice," I'm referring to somewhere that sits in between fine dining and smart casual. 
  2. Somewhere that is kid-friendly but not too scruffy (yes, we could have left the Munckin at home but I copped out last minute - blame it on working mum guilt). 
  3. Better if the restaurant was within the Orchard vicinity as that would fit in with our plans in the morning, which included an ultrasound and haircut. 
  4. Japanese wasn't an option as we just had Sushi Kuu the weekend before. 
  5. It had to be somewhere NEW.
Decisions... Decisions...

By a stroke of luck, I chanced upon La Strada, which checked off our checklist effortlessly. From fine dining to trattoria, the mood was family-friendly but far from childcare-chaotic. And to top it off, the food was pretty good too.

Though I was all prepared to go ala carte, I was impressed by their set lunch menu. Most restaurants offer really insipid items such as salads, stews and pastas but La Strada seemed to take pride in giving diners the Les Amis touch.

As the focaccia is only available during dinner, we had a simple tray of baguette to start with. Warm and crusty, paired with EVOO and balsamic vinegar. Really hard to nitpick.

Starting off light, I chose the Hokkaido scallops as my starter. Half a dozen thinnish but supple scallops lay prettily on my plate, complimented by the sweet tanginess of rhubarb confit and crunchy endives.


The pork belly confit was a contender but I eventually went for the Black Angus striploin - can't say "no" when there's steak on the menu. Quite frankly, I was amused by the clumsy appearance but other than the tubby-ness, it was a comforting dish of meat, potatoes and carrots. Might sound plebeian but I relished every bite and the arugula pesto was a sprightly delight.

There weren't any alternatives for dessert but luckily I got something that was interesting enough. The orange fritters were a little dense but the whole ensemble with vanilla bean ice cream and plum marmalade was a merry dance through autumn.

While I went for the set, KW opted to go ala carte.

The portobello starter had his birth name stamped all over it. The portobello itself was fiercely battered and deep-fried, almost to the point of being burnt but to be honest, we didn't quite mind it. Plus half the battle was won with a beautifully cooked egg and crunchy bacon strips.

Saving the best for last! Creamily unctuous, I will continue to dream about the lobster risotto. Every spoonful of sweetish lobster and al dente risotto made me swoon with pleasure. It is incredibly indulgent yet utterly befitting of a celebration!

Not usually taken with Italian food (other than pizza), I could definitely see us returning to La Strada when we are feeling semi-indulgent.

No comments: