La Strada is an Italian restaurant located at the street level of the Shaw Centre fronting Claymore Hill. Its sister restaurants, Les Amis, Bistro Du Vin, Aoki etc are situated along the same row. Encouraged by the prospect of a 15% discount as part of HSBC’s Gusto Italiano credit card promotion, we were there for lunch recently.
The restaurant was decorated in a traditional country-style. Unless you are seated near the windows, the deeper part of the restaurant is a bit dark. The staff were attentive and welcoming. There was a $35 three-course lunch available that looked quite interesting. Alas, we were told that the HSBC discount did not apply to the set menu. We decided that one of us will have the set lunch and the other to try the linguine vongole ($28). The vongole turned out to be very good. We liked the species of clam that they use. The shells have beautiful colour and texture and the meat was small but sweet. The only complaint was that the portion was adequate for a supermodel.
For the set lunch, you get a choice of the first two courses. The dessert was a fixed item. For the starter we decided on the grilled squid stuffed with sausage. It was a delicious dish. The springy texture of the squid was a good combination with the softness of the sausage inside. The remaining squid ink sauce was not wasted and was mopped up with an order of bread ($3).
For our second course, we opted for the slow-cooked trout with fennel and sweet pea. The trout had the texture of smoked salmon and had little flavour of its own. Fortunately it was bathed in a light tasty broth and the accompanying vegetables were sweet and crunchy.
The dessert was a scoop of ice-cream and orange fritters on a bed of apricot marmalade. Like the preceding dishes, it was presented very beautifully. Coffee or tea was also included as part of the set meal. This would have brought a pleasant meal to a sweet ending but for one small matter. My HSBC card did not work! So there was no discount at all, neither for the set meal nor the vongole :(.
Even without any discount we think the $35 set lunch at La Strada was still a reasonable lunch. Delicious food, nicely presented and eaten in a cosy setting. We would return, with or without Gusto Italiano.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
#01-13 Shaw Centre
1 Scotts Road
Tel: 6735 6656