Saturday, January 16, 2010

La Strada, Shaw Centre

There's nothing quite like a nice lunch to perk up the workday. This month's lunch outing with Y was at La Strada, the Les Amis group's Italian restaurant. It was an impromptu decision and thus no reservations made in advance but we were warmly welcomed and served a wonderfully tasty and crisp pizza bread made in their authentic wood-fired oven. So simple, with just a smear of tomatoes and herbs on the top and yet so terribly good.

For her starter, Y went for the croquette with crab, bell peppers, onions and mesclun salad. I sampled a bite and it was delicious, with a smooth, creamy and piping hot potato filling.

Being partial to the slightly gamey taste of duck meat, I went for the poached duck breast served with citrus segments. The duck breast was beautifully cooked, with a touch of pink in the middle and juices and the lightness and acidity of the grapefruit complemented the meat well, although as a whole, this dish fell a little short of the stunning renditions that I had in France.
Y always seems to order pasta 8 or 9 times out of 10 and this time was no exception. Pasta of the day was spaghetti with ham and onions in a tomato-based sauce. The flavours were good but the spaghetti was a tad overcooked (also, I would have expected home-made pasta), so I thought this dish was pretty unexceptional.

On the other hand, my char-grilled 70 day grain-fed sirloin steak was a revelation. Perfectly and simply seasoned with only sea salt, the flavour of the meat was utterly delicious (probably even better than Morton's but I need another tasting at Morton's to be sure) and absolutely no sauce was necessary. Unlike the bistecca I had at La Nonna, this was cooked exactly to my medium-rare specifications.
At $28 for the two-course lunch ($34 for three course), this nice lunch is definitely an affordable treat.
La Strada

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