Latest reviews from our customers

Rachael Ewen, Sheffield

We ate at strada last night after the big refurb - the place looked great and had a really good atmosphere! We were given a warm welcome by manager Jack and enjoyed a drink in the bar area before heading over to our table. The food was delicious - I ordered the crispy squid for starter and steak for main course, bith were cooked to perfection and I would highly recommend! Our two waitors Sanj and Reece were also brilliant throughout the night, really friendly guys with great service.
We really enjoyed the whole night and will be back again soon!

Robert Ewen, Sheffield

The wife and i went to the sheffield restaurant last night (27th feb) and had a wonderful time. The new decor is fantastic, the place had a lovely modern feel to it. When we entered we were greeted by the manager Jack who welcomed us and thanked us for coming, this was a great start to our experience. Our two waiters were fantastic and very helpful when it came to choosing our meal. Thanks Reece and Sanj. The food was fantastic to go with the great atmosphere and great staff. We look forward to going back thanks to Jack and the staff who enabled us to have a fantasic evening.

Danny Hodge, Sheffield

Reece and Sanj were great waiters and very attentive and the food was amazing. I shall see you again soon strada

Toni Arnott, Cambridge

Possibly one of the BEST dining experiences I have ever had at a chain restaurant. As we had recently travelled to Italy we were looking forward to going to Strada, but slightly sceptical about whether the food would meet the standard that we had experienced on holiday. I have to say that some of the dishes were the yummiest that I have ever had anywhere in the world. The risotto zucca was the best risotto I have ever had anywhere. It was rich, buttery and delicious. My boyfriend had the sea bream and it was the best cooked whole fish he had ever had. The staff were very attentive and friendly and kept an eye on us throughout the night, and we had a free limoncello at the end. I would definitely say that the food was right up there with the food we had eaten in Italy, if not better. If I was to recommend a restaurant in Cambridge Strada would be my first choice. Thanks for an amazing evening.

Alberto Billato, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

I booked my table for 2 people at the Gunwharf restaurant and I shared the experience with my lady.

We were both quite hungry (me in particular), so we ordered the entire menu and a couple of Peroni.

We started with a mix of Antipasti: Olives, Schiacciatella all’aglio and a mix of ham, salami, mozzarella and tomatoes. Top quality ingredients and a nice preparation of the plate.
Mark: 9.

As far as mains are concerced, I have to raise a complaint. A restaurant that claims to be italian should know that pasta ( strozzapreti) and risotto ( Risotto Zucca) should be served before the meat/fish dishes. The guys at Strada probably adapted too much the concept to the UK market and so they served us Strozzapreti alla pugliese, Risotto di Zucca, Pizza 4 stagioni, Saltinbocca Maiale and Orata al Forno all together. We ended up eating a almost frozen pizza.

Strozzapreti were good, good quality ingredients and pasta was cooked nicely.

Risotto alla Zucca is not cooked in an italian way at all. Rice was overcooked and Bacon doesn’t cope well with the other ingredients.

Saltimbocca di Maiale were good, cooked nicely.

Orata al forno was good overall, if I need to complain I’d suggest to use a bigger plate as there is no enough room to clean the fish. By the way, the fish was cooked nicely and so were the vegetables.

Pizza 4 stagioni looked good, but when we started to eat it it was cold, so I’ve just tasted it. Shame it was cold as I think the pizza is a good reason to visit Strada again.

And then, we still had some room for a sweet ending.. the staff brought us: Affogato, Bunet Piemontese and Pistacchio Ice Cream ( a typo in the menu, as Pistacchio has double “c”).

All 3 desserts were super, it’s difficult to choose the best one.

Overall, the staff was nice and kind with us, even if they didn’t understand that you can’t bring 5 mains at the same time at a table with just 2 people.
The ingredients of all dishes are top quality and it’s difficult to find this high standard at these prices.

I wouldn’t recommend to eat the risotto, but all other dishes were not making me miss the italian cousin at all.

Thanks Strada for letting me win the competition and I’ll visit you again to eat a good pizza!

Tom Southerden, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

I recently ate at Strada for the first time with a couple of friends recently, sampling all they had to offer on the sample menu.

Initially we were presented with a plate of huge Castelvetrano olives, the freshest I’d ever had, delicious antipasto of tasty cold meats, juicy tomatoes and lovely mozzarella accompanied by some garlic and rosemary flat bread which, without doing a disservice to the rest of the food, was definitely a highlight of the meal.

When the main meals came I tried a bit of everything but one dish; the Strozzapreti Pugliese was a standout winner for me. It was absolutely fantastic and quite unlike any other pasta dish I’ve encountered. The bream was cooked well, but was a little plain for my tastes, as was the Saltimbocca Mailale pork stake. Whilst both dishes were very inoffensive they wouldn’t be dishes that I’d select from a full menu. The risotto was a lovely consistency and had a nice balance of flavours and textures and the Quattro Stagioni delivered an interesting variety of toppings.

All off the deserts where fantastic; my favourite was the Affogato which left me craving me more of their lovely coffee whilst delivering a nice light dish which was well received after already consuming so much food.

All in all, the food was all great, but some was superb, the service was fantastic and the atmosphere in the restaurant was lovely. It was a great meal and definitely will not be the last time I eat here.

Jessica Rae, Cambridge

To begin with, the atmosphere and service was impeccable and set the standards high for the rest of the meal.

The olives were fresh and delicious and a great way to start the meal. The garlic flatbread was equally readily accepted, although with a possible caveat of too much garlic if that is possible! The antipasti was gorgeous in presentation and taste, with the freshest tomatoes and tapenade to complement the meats.

Over the main courses, the group was more divided. I loved the risotto, it was creamy and perfect with the vegetables used. It was popular with the whole group and we were fighting over who got the last mouthful! The pork was popular amongst the men, with reports that it was something they usually wouldnt order but was actually an unexpected favourite! The pasta was very disappointing in terms of taste and texture, the meat was a strange texture and didn’t complement the rest of the dish. On the other hand we all loved the fish. It was very fresh and delicate. Moving onto the desserts we had high expectations and they were definitely met. The ice cream was soft and great in the mouth with beautiful flavours. Both desserts were well mixed between soft melt-in-the-mouth and crunchy textures for a great sensation! Overall we had a great meal that was full of unexpected delights!

David Jacques, Cambridge

The Strada reviewer’s menu was a great chance to try some things I might not necessarily have picked from the menu. I’ve been to Strada in Cambridge a few times and I would definitely recommend it to friends. While the restaurant can be found in a quaint street opposite Trinity college, the interior is large and modern without losing a sense of intimacy. When full the restaurant is a little on the noisy side, but not over the top. For the review I took my partner (who is Italian) and my parents, so let’s talk through the various courses.

Castelvetrano Olives, Schiacciatella Genovese and an Antipasto platter
The starter was a hit with the whole family. A brilliant way to set the tone for the rest of the meal. ‘That’s right. I’m in an Italian restaurant.’ I loved the prosciutto and especially the mozzarella. I’ve never been a huge fan of olives, but I found myself munching them down along with the bread. What a shame I had to share with three other people.

Strozzapreti Pugliese
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to try this dish because ‘the delivery guy didn’t come today’. Instead we were offered a gorgonzola pasta dish. So let’s review that. When I see ‘gorgonzola’ on the menu, I think ‘strong blue cheese flavour’. When we discussed it around the table I think the comment that summed up this dish was ‘If you concentrate really hard you can taste the gorgonzola.’ You shouldn’t have to try to find the hidden gorgonzola, it should announce itself loud and proud. We then entered into a debate about the difference between ‘subtle flavour’ and ‘no flavour’. So I have to say it wasn’t to my taste, a bit watery for what the description promised.

Risotto Zucca
A message to Strada: Cook the rice! I’ve made risotto at home, so I know it’s not the easiest dish to get right. That’s why I don’t make it much - I pay for professionals who work in restaurants to do it. I’m glad I didn’t pay this time. Risotto shouldn’t be crunchy. Uncooked rice aside, we still weren’t that impressed. A bit bland.

Quattro Stagioni
I really enjoyed this pizza. The pizza is divided into four ‘seasons’: mushroom, artichoke, sausage and ham. The sausage ‘season’ was my personal favourite, but was the least favourite of my partner. Oh well. More for me. That’s probably the best thing about this pizza, if you share it - there will be something each person will love.

Saltimbocca Maiale
We all liked the salted pork. I personally would have had difficulty getting through this plate on my own, a bit too big for such a salty dish (...although maybe with the help of a few extra Peroni, it could be done). So I’m glad I had to share it. The mashed potato was amazing. Give me a plate of that any day! There was a nice cheesy flavour in there that was unexpected, but nicely complemented the saltiness of the pork.

Orata al Forno
I’m not much of a fan of fish in general. Most fish taste the same to me. So please check out some of the other reviewers’ comments. But the bream tasted much like any other fish to me. I didn’t really get the sense that the lemon and thyme had added anything to the fish flavour. Roast potato and green salad were very nice.

Affogato
The delivery guy strikes again. No affogato. Fortunately, a waiter on a previous visit had strongly recommended it, and I can tell you, whatever else you choose, order the affogato!!! Amazing. I can’t describe it. You have to try it for yourself. I’ve never had anything like it before, and it’s the main reason I would go back to Strada. (We had a panna cotta instead. Nice enough, but I was hoping to show off the affogato to the family. Curse you delivery guy!)

Bunet Piemontese
We learned this was the favourite of one of the waiters. We liked it a lot, second favourite to the phantom affogato (I cursed the delivery guy already, right?). One of our group (the biggest chocoholic) was a bit disappointed, but that’s probably because it doesn’t taste strongly of chocolate. There’s a marzipan/almond flavour which is nicely complementary. A good way to end a meal without being too heavy.

Pistachio Gelato
It’s gelato. But pistachio flavoured. Somehow that combination always surprises me with how good it is. Very Italian. Very nice.

Overall we had a very enjoyable evening. We would definitely recommend the starters we tried, and all the desserts were delicious. The mains were a bit hit and miss, but I would have no reservations about going back.

Thank you Strada. Let us know if you need another new menu reviewed.

Dahlia Belloul, Riverside (More London)

Although at first the staff seemed to have no idea who I was (I had booked in advance), the evening went very well. We were served by Stefano who was brilliant, attentive, informative, friendly and provided excellent service through the night.

The view at Riverside is absolutely wonderful and we were placed by the window - where the restaurant seemed to prioritise seating (filling window seats before central ones). The lighting was relatively dark but the atmosphere was brilliant.

The “Tasting Menu” offered a great range of food, some a lot better than others. There were limited choices - ultimately, the menu is fixed with the exception of the starter - but enough variety.

Overall it was pleasant and enjoyable, below I have outlined the different stages in the meal and my comments on each course.

The starter consisted of olives, a garlic and rosemary bread and a platter of cold cut meats, tapenade, bread and bruschetta. The garlic bread and tapenade were delicious. The tomatoes on the bruschetta didn’t feel fresh enough for my liking and the meats felt inauthentic. The dish was well presented and the mozerella was well sourced with a smooth consistency and rich flavour.

There was pasta, risotto and pizza for mains garnished with pancetta, broccoli and chilli; pumpkin pancetta, spinach; and mushrooms, ham and artichoke respectively. Of the three, the Risotto Zucca was unexpectedly the best. It was very smooth, flavoursome and a variety of textures.

Pork fillet and sea bream were presented as the grill element of the meal and were also delicious. The pork was cooked to absolute perfection – still moist, bursting with intricate flavours and accompanied with a rich butter sauce. The fish was textbook literally slipping off the bone. Unfortunately there was little variety of the accompaniments to the grills – both coming with green beans and potato. This would have been a great opportunity to present something different.

The deserts were all very different. There was: a cooling pistachio ice cream that wasn’t too sweet; an iced nougat which presented an original and interesting taste with well selected ingredients providing a gentle sweetness of Italy; and a chocolate custard soaked in amaretto liqueur. This final one was very sweet and tasted relatively alcoholic – the texture was great and it wasn’t too heavy.

This was the first time I had eaten at Strada and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The food was always well presented and appetising. I would happily go on to recommend Strada, in particular, the Riverside restaurant at More London.

Richard Brownlie, Royal Festival Hall

On a chilly winter evening, with the Southbank Christmas market surrounding us, myself and two friends headed to the one place we could certainly all agree on, Strada. There’s a lot of places offering Italian cuisine in London, but Strada certainly seem to have got it down.

We started with a mix of olives, ‘schiacciatella aglio’ Flat Bread and the lovely antipasto platter. The olives were soft and the perfect way to compliment to beginning of meal menu decisions. The flat bread had a wonderful fragrance coming from the garlic and rosemary, being a great twist on garlic bread. But it was the antipasto was the true showstopper of the starters, being an array of juicy buffalo mozzarella, three equally delicious salamis and hams, topped with olive paste and bruschetta. It was wonderfully presented and each item was full of flavour and great for sharing!

For main course we had a selection of pasta, risotto and classic Quattro Stagioni. ‘Strozzapreti Pugliese’ was a pasta dish with luganica sausage, which had a bit of spice to it, pancetta, broccoli and rich cheese. It was filling and had very nice complex flavours, with each mouthful offering something new. ‘Risotto Zucca’ was a great choice for the colder months, with chunks of pumpkin, butternut squash and pancetta mixed with spinach and pine nuts. This again was a very satisfying dish, with rich flavours that warmed the palette. Finally the Quattro Stagioni pizza, it used great quality ingredients from the sausage to roasted artichoke, which really took this classic to a new level. It showed the great amount of detail that goes into each Strada recipe, and proves the hard work certainly pays off.

After our main course it was safe to say we were pretty stuffed, but somehow there’s always space for a little dessert! I tried the ‘Affogato’ which is an iced nougat semi-freddo with espresso to pour over the top. This was a great choice for something a bit different, and the soft texture of the ice cream was soothing after a big meal. Another dish, the Pistachio Gelto, was a hit of the table with one of my friends having to give away her plate to the rest of the table to share. A simple dish, with a wonderfully nutty ice cream, that rounded off the meal perfectly.

On the night we visited, the restaurant was bustling with a great atmosphere, and our service was wonderful. With our server catering to all our needs and taking time to explain each dish to us with a great knowledge base. If you’re looking to enjoy great food with great surroundings, head to Strada.

Dayna Bent, Riverside (More London)

I took my Mum with me as I thought she deserved a treat.. And boy did we get that!!!

We had the Olives, Flatbread and Antipasto for starters.
The olives were big, the colour was so vibrant and ever so tasty. I’m not generally an olive fan but I couldn’t get enough of these.
The rosemary flatbread literally melted in the mouth. I could of happily eaten a whole plate to myself.
The antipasto was goregeous to look at and even more so to eat. An absolute meat lovers heaven!!!

For main we had the strozzapreti pugliese and Sea Bream.
I didn’t particularly enjoy the Strozzapreti Pugliese as the pasta was slightly too aldente for me, but the bits of sausage, pancetta and broccoli were nice. I would of preferred more sauce with it too.
The Sea Bream was delightful. Presented very well, smelled delicious and was cooked to perfection. I’m a big fish lover and this was one of the best I’ve ever had.

The affogato ice cream with the hot espresso poured on top was a perfect end to a perfect meal.

Well done Strada, you have totally outdone yourselves with this new menu.

John Venables, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

Strada has always been my restaurant of choice for traditional style Italian cuisine. My wife and I enjoy dining there so much, we even had our wedding reception at the Gunwharf Quays branch!!

So, when the opportunity came to review the new winter menu, we leapt at the chance.

We were certain that the service and hospitality would be at their usual high standard, and although we didn’t bring our son, I know that staff will bend over backwards to accomodate and entertain children when they dine there - my only worry was what other people would think when they saw how much food there was in front of my wife and I!!

Olives and the Schiacciatella aglio (garlic and rosemary bread) are always a good way to start proceedings, and the antipast that followed served on a slate equally delicious.

We then underwent a sensory bombardment of pasta, risotto, pizza and 2 mains, Saltimbocca Maiale (pork wrapped in parma ham with mash and beans) and Orata al Forno (baked sea bream with roasted potatoes and salad.)

One thing that surprised me was that I wasn’t too keen on was one of the toppings in the Quattro Stagioni pizza - Luganica sausage. It is quite oily, however, this ingredient enhanced the highlight of the evening - the pasta dish Strozzapreti Pugliese, a perfect blend of finely textured pasta, broccoli, seasoning and heat from the chilli. I’m sure to be ordering this one again!!

Aside from my one slight issue with the pizza, all of the pasta/risotto/mains I would not hesitate to order again.

Following on from this we had a trio of desserts - the Bunet Piemontese (a sort of chocolate pannacotta) that was good, but I’ve never been a massive fan of chocolate desserts, Pistachio Gelato, which was really good as so many pistachio Ice-creams done badly can taste simply of marzipan - none of that here!! The real discovery was the Affogato - a nougat and frozen cream semi-freddo accompanied with a shot of espresso to pour over it. This was a taste revelation - pallet cleansing and refreshing - I’ll be sure to order this one again too!!

Of all the restaurants in Gunwharf, and I have tried most of them, you will not find one more friendly and attentive, or with as relaxed an atmosphere as Strada - Along with the new winter menu, Strada have done everything in their power to ensure we’ll be coming back to dine, time and again!!

Helen Walsh, Royal Festival Hall

Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to review the new menu at Strada. Now, before you really start to hate me let me just say that it was REALLY GOOD! What could be a better way to start a meal than with a massive platter of fresh antipasti? Succulent buffalo mozzarella interleaved with ripe tomatoes, bruschetta pomodoro, parma ham, salami, speck and a tasty olive tapenade made for a great first course. We were also treated to some large green olives, succulent and juicy, and a basket of hand stretched garlic and rosemary flat bread, which was gorgeous, and made us want to keep going back for more.

Mains came in two batches (just as well really!) starting with a four seasons pizza, topped with delicious artichokes, mushrooms, ground beef and parma ham. A pasta dish with Luganica sausage, pancetta, and broccoli, with red chilli was eye-wateringly spicy, but a creamy risotto with butternut squash offset that, so you should have both dishes at the same time… Second mains were a whole fish, cooked to perfection so it melted in the mouth, served with rosemary potatoes. Ahh. I love a rosemary potato, and this dish was a real taste of the mediterranean. Veal saltimboca was equally good, wrapped in parma ham (there’s a theme here) and sitting atop creamy mash potato - real comfort food and perfect for this time of year.

Luckily, I have a second stomach for dessert-and it really came in to play here! Over the 3 dishes the jury was out as to which one we preferred. Luckily, I’m not an indecisive woman, so with intense concentration and numerous tastes tests I gave my casting vote to the Bunet Piemontese. (I know, I didn’t try and pronounce it either!) The dessert was a new one on me, but the combination of chocolate and amaretto is a winning one in my book, and this boozy dessert was just the sort of thing I like at the end of a meal. The chocolate was somewhat like a firm mousse in texture, with crumbled amaretti biscuits and amaretto splashed over the top, delicious and boozy. What more could you want? The other desserts in the running for what is really the crown-of-all-crowns (I’m obviously a chocolate girl-chuck me some over?) were Affogato, a classic Italian dish of nougat iced semi-freddo, with a shot of expresso (or sometimes dessert wine-yum!) on the side which you can pour over. Strada’s take on this was great too, and I really had trouble choosing. But in the end, chocolate will always beat ice cream for me. Pistachio ice cream was a delicate addition to a noisy dessert menu, and felt like the virtuous option-hence we didn’t eat much! (If you’re going to eat dessert, make it worth your while) It was nice enough, but had a slightly glazed look, a little bit too shiny for ice cream. Maybe the chef had polished it?

Anyway, it was a great meal, and the service at Royal Festival Hall was excellent, even though the tables are very close together. Go and try the new menu, or have the Christmas one, and make sure you get some antipasti and finish with the Bunet Piemontese-if I haven’t eaten it all already…

Amanda Letch, Cambridge

I have been to the Cambridge Restaurant a few times before and have always found the food great and the staff friendly and this visit did not disappoint!

My husband and I invited his sister and partner as we decided even though we love food we wouldn’t be able to eat it all on our own!

The staff greeted us with a smile and took as to our table and explained what would happen, they took our drinks order and soon after the olives arrived.

I am not a great lover of olives but these were the best I have ever tasted, not too salty and the others agreed

Next was a ’platter of Italian flavours’ as quoted on the menu. I personally love platters to pick at, and the Parma ham , Napoli salami and speck ham were very nice, so was the buffalo mozzarella and bruschetta pomodora. The olive Tapenade everyone thought was really lovely! Only thing on the negative side we though the tomatoes were a bit tasteless.

We also had a basket of garlic and Rosmary Flatbread which was delicious

Risotto Zucca

This for me was the star of the show of the main courses! Never really been into Risotto as I find them a bit boring half way through eating them, but with it’s Pumpkin, Butternut squash and Pancetta, spinach and pine nuts I thought the flavours when really well together. Writing this is making want to eat some more!

Strozzapreti Pugliese

Everyone loved this dish, the Luganica Sausage made this pasta dish a bit different.

Quattro Stagioni

We loved this too, it was four pizzas in one and again we though the part with the Luganica sausage was the best. I’m not sure if they do one with just this topping but would be nice if they did.

Saltimbocca Maiale
The pork fillet was very tender and not dry, the mash potato was very creamy, the green beans were just cooked right . All in all this dish is something I would choose on a cold winters night, real comfort food

Orata Al Forno

Everyone though this dish was outstanding!
The fish was bursting with flavour and cooked just right!

Bunet Piemontese

Was a bit disappointed with this dessert as I love chocolate and Amaretto. But it just didn’t work for me it may of been the crushed Amaretti biscults made the texture wrong. The others in the party agreed wit me.

Pistachio Gelato

Lovely icecream, very creamy!

Affogato

I LOVED THIS DESSERT !!!
so did everyone else , so i couldn’t eat it all.
The iced semi-freddo ice cream was to die for so creamy and yummy . I don’t usually like coffee in a dessert but it works well with the Espresso poured on top.
Please, please do not ever take this off the menu!

To sum up the food was lovely, the staff were great and we had a lovely time :)

Barbara Cohen, St Katharine Docks

I took two guests along with me to the St Katharine Docks restaurant. First thing to say is that it’s in a great setting - where we were sat we could see the Tower of London, which is beautifully lit up at night and a great backdrop to a meal even for born and bred Londoners. The staff were helpful and knowledgeable throughout, great service.

We all had the antipasto starter and enjoyed it very much - good variety, quality and portion size. Guest 1 felt the bruschetta pomodoro was too soggy, but there were no other quibbles. I was personally very impressed, and it’s always great to find tapenade in an antipasto selection.

We weren’t quite as happy with the mains. Guest 1 had the Orata al Forno and whilst she thought the Sea Bream was cooked well, her potatoes and vegetables were on the cold side, a criticism Guest 2 also said was relevant to his strozzapretti pugliese, which he also felt was somewhat too sparing with the sauce. My quatro stagioni pizza was more successful, with an interesting variety of toppings.

We all enjoyed our desserts - Guest 1 had Bunet Piemontese and felt it was tasty and just the right amount, and Guest 2 enjoyed his pistachio gelato. I couldn’t have any of the tasting menu desserts, as they all contained nuts and I’m allergic, but the staff kindly substituted a pannacotta which was perfect in taste and texture.

We finished with teas and coffees, which made a pleasant end to the evening and warmed us up (especially Guest 2 after his ice cream!) ahead of the journey home on a very cold night.

Andrew Smyth, Cambridge

When I was asked to review the food at Strada, I knew it would be good, but not this good. The restaurant is tucked away on Trinity Street in the centre of Cambridge and as soon as we entered we were greeted with a warm and friendly atmosphere. After taking our seats, the meal got off to a flying start with speedy and cheerful service from our delightful waitress Oriana; I enjoyed the exchanges we had and particularly appreciated her wine tasting pointers!

After some olives, we dove straight into the Antipasto, a fresh, unpretentious and well-considered dish. It took us to the garden of Italy – mozzarella, tomatoes and bruschetta make it ideal for sharing – and its presentation on a slate slab really added to the rustic feel. This alongside the Schiacciatella Aglio left my appetite whetted for the ongoing “journey through Italy”.

Next up, the Strozzapreti Pugliese - a bold pasta dish but a bit too bold for my liking; I found the chilli overpowered the other flavours and it felt like a rather unbalanced main. The power of the chilli required a stronger partner to add depth to the dish. On the other hand, the Risotto Zucca was a delight! Al dente risotto rice set off with warm rocket, melt-in-the-mouth squash and toasted pinenuts was a hit for my palate. Full textured and well-seasoned, the array of creamy flavours was lovely. In contrast, although the Quattro Stagioni pizza was tasty in its own right, it was clearly outdone by the other mains on offer. It really felt underwhelming when compared to the finesse of the risotto.

By this stage of the meal I was on my highest belt setting, but boy was I enjoying it!

The pork dish (Saltimbocca Maiale) was memorable with salty pancetta melting into a well-cooked pork loin. If I was splitting hairs, I would say the mash could have benefitted from better seasoning and overall it was a little dry – more sauce please! The next dish that arrived blew me away and was the dish that for me showed a brave and successful commitment to fresh ingredients - the Orata Al Forno. Albeit with a pinch of self-indulgence, I could easily imagine eating this on the shores of the Mediterranean. Succulent, tender fish and a simple yet elegant presentation left me wanting more. It swam off the plate in the best possible sense.

Come pudding time, a fun and interactive Affogato awaited – it was a really nice touch being able to drizzle your own coffee over this classic Italian staple. I found it a joyous combination of sweet vs. strong / hot vs. cold, an aromatic and playful end to a meal – I felt like I was in a sunny Piazza. Our waitresse’s recommendation, the Bunet Piemontese is a chocoholics dream but could be on the rich side for others. I would have appreciated a mellow accompaniment to deal with the richness but the hint of amaretto did add an appreciated kick!

Last, but by no means least, was the Pistachio Gelato, which complemented the strength of the chocolate in the Bunet with a deliciously creamy smoothness. It slid down very easily indeed and was a refreshing palate cleanser at the end of the meal.

Overall, the commitment to detail was evident – there was very little to disappoint and the whole meal was brought together with exceptional service. Strada promised to take us on a “tour through the streets of Italy” and this meal provided us with every bit of the fresh, comforting escapism of this promise.

Jess Hoyle, Cambridge

My friends and I thoroughly enjoyed the meal at Strada Cambridge. The staff were accommodating and friendly and the service was of a high standard.

The food served was all of a high quality, the Pork Fillet main dish was a particular favourite between all of us, as was the Butternut Squash Risotto and the antipasto plate. The Sea Bream was cooked perfectly and the Sausage Pasta had just the right amount of chilli. Also all three puddings were delicious and finished the meal off nicely, my favourite was definitely the Pistachio Gelato.

I will definitely be returning to eat it all again!

Beryl Kew, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

I sampled the new Strada menu with my son last week. I have been to Strada several times in various locations and have never been disappointed in either the food or service.

My son doesn’t like olives, however these Castelvetrano ones were delicious - they had a lovely flavour, texture and appearance. Also the portion size was good.
The garlic & rosemary flatbread was OK (we personally would prefer normal bread to the flat). It was a little bit too crispy and not “garlicky” enough for us. We also found it went cold quite quickly. Of course, other reviewers may prefer this to normal bread - it’s a personal preference.
We both love antipasto platters so enjoyed sampling this dish. We thought all the flavours complemented each other, maybe with the exception of the olive tapenade which had a strong taste and didn’t add anything special to the dish. The items were served at the correct temperature for the individual flavours to have developed and we particularly liked the firm mozzarella, chopped tomatoes and the very tasty toasted wholemeal bread. All the meats were received well by us too.

I think the Strozzapreti Pugliese was our favourite dish of the evening - we loved the pasta shape and texture. The Luganica sausage was particularly tasty with a nice strong flavour and the broccoli was a good attractive addition, both taste and appearance wise. We didn’t feel as though it was necessary to garnish the dish with the quite large pieces of red chilli (it was tasty enough as it was).
The Risotto Zucca was cooked very nicely - the texture was not too sticky and stayed consistent while eating (ie. it didn’t develop into a stodgier dish). Again the flavours worked together and we liked the addition of pine nuts. I presume if a vegetarian was to order this, the pancetta would be omitted.
The Quattro Stagioni had a good array of toppings and it was it great to have more of the Luganica sausage that we loved ! The artichokes were particularly delicious. A great idea to have four pizzas in one - a good one for sharing !
Unfortunately, this particular Strada did not have the pork fillet dish or the sea bream so they kindly substituted with two from the usual menu: (1) chicken & mushrooms which was fine and (2) sea bass with pesto mash that was really tasty and the fish was cooked just right.
It was a shame we couldn’t review the two other main course dishes.

Onto desserts: our favourite was the Pistachio ice-cream - really delicious with a smooth texture, great pistachio flavour - a sprinkling of pistachios on top would have made it even better!
The Bunet Piemontese had a texture and taste that we found difficult to determine. Saying that we kept wanting to eat more because it confused our senses a bit and was strangely moreish. I think we need to try it again !!
The Affogato was lovely until we poured the hot espresso over it! We eat some of it before, as my son does not like coffee. Unfortunately, once the coffee was over the dessert it turned into a bit of a messy sludge, Personally, if I had it again, which I would, I’d keep the two separate because the nougat semi-freddo was really delicious and so was the coffee (but we felt not mixed together).

Thank you Strada for giving us the opportunity to review your new menu. We really enjoyed the experience and hope our feedback helps you and your customers.

Esther Godwin, Sheffield

What a superb night at strada. The staff were superb - very attentive but not too fussy.

We all enjoyed the mixed starter selection. Our main courses were fantastic, the pizza was lovely too.

A superb evening. Delicious food and a relaxed atmosphere.

Elisabeth Abel, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

We came to Strada at Gunwharf Quays to sample your menu. I bought along my sister, boyfriend and 6 year old son.

We all really enjoyed trying things that we wouldn’t normally choose and my son who is quite a fussy eater found plenty of things he liked, his favourites being the garlic and rosemary flat bread to start. He then went on to enjoy the lovely tender pork fillet with fantastically creamy/buttery mash potato and crisp green beans. I personally enjoyed the delicious antipasto which all four of us shared for a starter.

There was plenty there for us all and was simply scrumptious. I tried all of the mains on offer my favourite being the sea bream which was cooked to perfection along with the roasted new potatoes. The sea bream was also was my sisters favourite. My boyfriend tucked into the hand twisted pasta with spicy sausage, pancetta and broccoli. The waitress grating the fresh Grana Padano on the pasta was wonderful. We all agreed that although the risotto was cooked to perfection, pumpkin and butternut squash are quite bland and felt it needed something else for flavour!

The desserts were fabulous. We didn’t get to see much of the pistachio ice cream because my son polished that off within seconds, but what I did taste was a lovely refreshing and light ice cream. The chocolate pannacotta was to die for, deliciously rich chocolate and the amaretti biscuits and liqueur complemented it very nicely. My boyfriend tucked into the iced nougat with a shot of fresh espresso to pour over the top and told me it was the best (he loves coffee)! We also went home with half a pizza in a box that we just couldn’t eat, great being able to get it boxed up to take home. Thank you for letting us sample your menu. The food and service was excellent. My son looked to me and said on the way home “mummy I would really like to go there again it was yummy”. We all agreed and we will be back soon to try some more!!

F Margiotta, Riverside (More London)

Excellent and plentiful food, fresh and well cooked. We found portion size was ample and were pleased with a very attentive service.

Carol Adams, Riverside (More London)

I visited Riverside with two friends and we started on this wonderful menu at 12.30. Here are my comments:

The Olives were fantastic as was the Schiacciatella Aglio Flatbread

We then enjoyed the Antipasto of which the highlight for me was the buffalo mozzarella, although it was difficult to choose one item!

After a fairly lengthy break to make more room in our ever filling tummies, we continued with the Strozzapreti Pugliese and Risotto Zucca. The pasta was beautifully cooked with a touch of chilli and the Luganica sausage was very tasty. The Risotto was very light and easy to devour.

Another break ... and along came the Quattro Stagioni pizza. Our taste buds were tingling by now.

Then the piece de resistance ... Saltimbocca Maiale and Orata al Forno. We had tried the Saltimbocca many times before and this did not disappoint, together with the creamy mash and beans. The waitress kindly filleted the sea bream which was delicious, complemented by the lovely roasted new potatoes.

By now, we were three hours into our feast and needed to have a longer interval before the desserts ... and when they came, again they were so wonderful. The Affogato with the espresso to pour over was fantastic the pistacchio gelato gorgeous and smooth but our personal favourite was the Bunet Piemontese which was TO DIE FOR ... I don’t usually like that phrase but it sums it up perfectly. My two friends’ favourite liqueur is Amaretto, so you can imagine that they were in heaven!

We finally emerged from the restaurant - which of course has a fantastic view of Tower Bridge - at around 4.30, so full of gourmet delights that we wouldn’t need to eat again all week!!!

I absolutely cannot fault this fabulous menu - everything was cooked to perfection and the staff were impeccable. They were attentive without being intrusive. I would not hesitate to recommend Strada to anybody. In fact I have been doing so for many years now.

Thank you for inviting me to be an official food reviewer.

Kimberley Kay, Sheffield

As soon as my guests and I entered the restaurant, the atmosphere was wonderful. We did have to wait at least 10 minutes for anyone to approach us but we could tell it was a busy night. When we were finally seated the waiter asked to take our coats. I thought this was great as I have never experienced this type of quality before.

Starter

Olives:

The Olives were perfect and delicious, most of my guests didn’t actually like the saltiness but being a great fan of olives myself, I loved them.

Schiacciatella Aglio Flat Bread:

The flat bread tasted fine, but I always find too much bread as a starter tends to ruin the rest of my meal.

Antipasto:

This was the best started without a doubt. Personally I could have a larger portion and ate is as my main meal. All the cured meats were delicious with their own special intense flavour. They all went perfectly with the Mozzarella which was delicious on its own. The vine-ripened tomatoes and bruschetta were also very tasty and I would recommend this starter to anyone who loves Italian.

Mains

Strozzapreti Pugliese:

This was the pasta dish. It was very good but had a spicy kick from the sausage. I don’t really like spicy food but my guests all enjoyed it.

Risotto Zucca:

This must have been one of my favourites and I will definitely be ordering again. The pumpkin and butternut squash were cooked to perfection and had so much flavour. However my guests did find that the pancetta was a little overdone giving the dish an overwhelming flavour.

Quattro Stagioni:

This was the four pizzas in one. The pizza base itself was soft and beautiful. I’ve never had a pizza dough as good as this one. We did find that the tomato sauce used was very strong but the other flavours did go very well with it. In particular, the mushrooms and the ham were among the favourites of my guests. None of my guests including myself liked the artichoke, but it was very fresh. Again I felt the sausage was a little too spicy.

Saltimbocca Maiale:

The pork fillet was definitely the best dish of the night. The pork was so juicy and succulent that we did not want to share it. The mashed potato and green beans were cooked to perfection, the whole dish was excellent. All my guests said they would definitely order this dish again on more than one occasion.

Orata Al Forno:

This whole sea bream, again was cooked to perfection, the meat fell straight off the bones and was full of delicious flavour. I know so many fish lovers that I would recomend this dish to.

Desserts: Affogato

This was the iced-nougat semi-freddo ice cream with a shot of hot espresso. We did pour the espresso over the ice cream but later wished we hadn’t as it was very strong and I felt that the flavour of the ice cream was lost.

Bunet Piemontese:

This was my guests favourite desert; personally I couldn’t taste the amaretto liqueur at all and found the whole dish quite sickly. My guests however cleared the plate and would recommend this dessert to anyone.

Pistachio Gelato:

This was my favourite desert, a pistachio ice cream. It was so cold and refreshing that I thought it was the perfect end to a meal. It took us a while to eat because it was so cold but the ice cream didn’t melt that fast which I thought was great as I am not a fan of melted runny ice cream.

Overall, the experience I had at Strada Sheffield was amazing. I have been before and my guests had not. They said they would all be returning soon with others to share this great experience. I cannot wait to go back and would recommend this fine Italian restaurant to anyone with a love of flavour and quality.

Rebecca Murkin, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

Upon hearing the exciting news that I had been chosen to be a Strada Food Reviewer, I quickly recruited a willing group of friends to accompany me. The reservation for the time and date which suited us was made with ease and on further inspection of the reviewer’s menu; we knew our taste buds would be in for a treat.

As a vegetarian I was pleased to see that items on the menu were clearly marked if they were suitable for vegetarians. Of the 11 dishes available to try, 5 were suitable for vegetarians (2 starters and 3 desserts). Unfortunately, none of the main dishes were suitable for vegetarians which left an interesting question in mind as to how Strada would deal with my dining experience…

Our reservation day arrived and we were greeted pleasantly at the restaurant by Russell and then shown to our table where drinks orders were taken promptly. Shortly after advising Russell that we would like to try every course on the reviewer’s menu, our taste buds began their journey to Italy while we relaxed in style surrounded by a peaceful ambiance and subtle lighting. Russell pulled off an authentic sounding Italian accent when pronouncing the names of the dishes adding to our Italian experience.

First were the Olives, fresh from Sicily. The vibrant green and generous size of these olives served well to whet our appetites while the rest of our dishes were being prepared.

Schiacciatella Aglio Flat Bread fresh and warm arrived in a basket alongside the Antipasto delightfully presented on a slate board. The flat bread had the perfect balance of garlic and rosemary and was seasoned well with salt. Some might find the saltiness overpowering, however we all agreed that we enjoyed it. There was something for everyone on the Antipasto platter ranging from succulent hams and salami to juicy vine ripened tomatoes and mouth watering mozzarella. The combination of flavours created plenty of conversation while we each recommended different combinations of the elements for each other to try.

Continuing on our Italian journey, my afore mentioned question with respect to the mains was answered and my worrying over! The food is freshly prepared meaning that I could order the Risotto Zucca without the pancetta making it suitable for vegetarians! Creamy and crunchy textures all in one dish made it a winner! If you like a bit of a spicy kick, then the Strozzapreti Pugliese is the dish for you. The broccoli and red chilli gave a splash of colour to make it appealing to the eye as well as the taste buds. Saltimbocca Maiale delivered creamy mashed potatoes, melt in the mouth pork and a very buttery sage sauce. Added crunch was supplied by the crispy Parma ham and al dente green beans. A whole sea bream was served up in the Orata al Forno dish. The fish was so delicate it fell away from the bone and was accompanied perfectly with fluffy and crisp roasted new potatoes. The fact that it was pan roasted with lemon and thyme created a taste explosion and crispy skin. The last main on the menu was the Quattro Stagioni – a traditional Italian pizza which really was four fabulous pizzas in one. The highlight for me was the roasted artichoke.

We ended our Italian journey with Affogato, Bunet Piemontese and Pistachio Gelato. The traditional artisan recipe of the gelato has certainly paid off giving a genuine pistachio colour and flavour. Bunet Piemontese offered a rich chocolately pannacotta style dessert with a splash of amaretto and sprinkling of Amaretti biscuits for good measure! Our favourite was the Affogato – iced nougat semi-freddo ice cream with a shot of hot espresso – a creamy, crunchy, hot and cold taste sensation to end our experience on a high.

Thank you to Strada for whisking us away from the hum drum of ordinary life to the midst of Italy for a few hours - we can’t wait to visit again! A special thanks to Russell for delivering impeccable customer service from the moment we walked through the door.

Lynn Wetton, Cambridge

I went along with my husband and friends and overall my visit to Strada was first class.
The ambiance and attention from the staff, particularly our waitress Magda, was excellent.

STARTERS

Olives where perfectly ripe and very tasty.

Schiacciatella aglio flat bread was well cooked with the right amount of garlic flavour and a good balance of moist and crispy texture. Enjoyed by all.

Antipasto gave a nice variety of flavours, making a good shared starter. The mozzarella was excellent.

MAINS

Strozzapreti pugliese was the main my husband would be likely to purchase on our next return visit. Well cooked pasta with a lovely kick from the chilli butter.

Risotto zucca was my favourite dish,the combination of flavours just hit the spot for me.
It was perfectly cooked and not too runny or too gloopy.
Orate al forno looked fantastic on the plate. The sea bass was cooked to perfection and fit for a royal banquet. This stood out and should be the most expensive dish on the table.

Saltimbocca maiale was a tasty dish which exceeded expectations based upon presentation. Perhaps the pork should have been cut into strips or on the plate beside the potato to improve appearance. I enjoyed the potato which was very creamy but this was not to everyone’s taste.

Quattro stagioni had a beautiful base but the toppings did not work for me. Individually the four toppings were good, I liked the artichoke but not so keen on the sausage.

SWEETS

I personally do not like chocolate or nut desserts so the pudding reviews are from my husband and friends. Magda kindly gave me a taste of the peach yogurt sorbet which would definitely be my choice of dessert.

Bunet Piedmontese was the least favourite as no one really liked the chocolate moose type dish.

Pistachio gelato was very tasty and enjoyed by everyone. A simple but delightful way to end the meal.

Cioccolato fondente was a good pudding, it had a strong chocolate flavour and a variety of textures.

Karen Roscoe, Sheffield

Well, what a cracking meal! We were warmly greeted on what was a hideously rainy night and seated straight away…..no hanging around!
The restaurant was packed all evening so had a great buzz about it - but didn’t affect the service, which was really great.

The olives were huge and juicy and the rosemary/garlic bread was very tasty. We thought the antipasti platter was really enjoyable too - with a good mix.

Mains :-
The Strazzopreti Pugliese was yummy - good strong flavour but not at all over-powering.
The Saltimboca Maiale was juicy and the mash was very moreish!
The fish dish (Orata al Forno) - ooo! This was wonderfully juicy and very well cooked…..the saute potatoes were really good too.
My favourite was the Risotto Zucca - the combination of butternut squash, pine nuts and the smokey/salty bacon made it a totally rounded dish. The only thing I would say was the rice was just a little overdone…......but it was soooo tasty, we didn’t mind!
The vegetarian in our party had the cContadina pizzal to himself and he thoroughly enjoyed it…...he ate the lot!

Puddings:-
Affogato - oh boy, hot espresso over the cool creamy pud….totally delicious.
Bunet Piemontese - a choclatey/amaretto mousse which was also totally divine!
Pistachio Gelato - the texture of this was truly amazing but we thought it lacked any real pistachio flavour….though that didn’t actually stop us enjoying it!

Drinks and coffees were as good as expected too. So, all in all, it was a really enjoyable occasion - food/drinks/atmosphere didn’t fail to please…...and all provided with a very big smile by the waitress who was there when needed, able to explain dishes and was a credit to Strada!

Carl Lee, Cambridge

Visiting Strada Cambridge on a Monday night was a real treat, particularly on a dark winters evening!

We shared the evening with some friends, enjoying a selection of great Italian flavours and some good quality wines. The ‘Orato al forno’ (sea bream) was certainly the highlight of the meal, a delicious and plentiful dish!

Finishing with the Affogato with the espresso shot was a real treat!

A really great evening!

Mrs S Neophytou, Riverside (More London)

Myself and some friends ate at a Strada last night which incidentally has some of the best views of London, particularly when it is warm enough to eat outside. We started with large, juicy olives and warm rosemary bread. This was followed by a plate of antipasto which all agreed was beautifully presented. The cold meats were all tasty and it came with an olive tapenade which was also tasty, although the boys thought it a little bland.

We then had a large variety of main courses. The Quattro Stagioni pizza had a nice crisp base and a very good covering of fillings. The Risotta Zuca was a huge surprise - unanimous decision of ‘super’ . It was very well balanced, had depth and the contrast of the crunchy pine nuts on top with the smooth rice gave a great texture contrast.

We shared both the Saltimbocca di maiale and the Orata al forno. This huge Sea Bream was cooked to perfection and was the overall favourite of my guests and I. I have eaten the Saltimbocca before and found it both delicious and filling. Just what you want on a cold winter’s night. It was judged to be tastier than it looked on the plate.

On to our desserts which were Affogato, nougat semi freddo icecream with a shot of espresso to pour over it. Divine! and a long term favourite dessert of mine at this Strada. The Bunet was a soft chocolate dessert with Amaretto and hazlenuts - “5 Star” was our overall comment. We also tried the Pistaccio icecream which was ok, if you like ice cream but far out-classed by its companion desserts.

The restaurant was very busy but the staff, as ever, were helpful and polite and also managed to accommodate our extra, unexpected guest.

I find the food in this restaurant consistently good and I always get excellent service. I just wish the drinks bill wasn’t always so high!!

Chia-wen Liu, Riverside (More London)

Three friends and I visited Strada More London branch to sampled the reviewers’ tasting menu. We were seated on the first floor by the window with spectacular view of Tower Bridge. We had some issue with the reviewers’ voucher at first but the staff agreed to let us used the voucher at the end.

Olives- We all loved those big, green olives in light marinade.

Schiacciatella Aglio flat bread- Star of the starters, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Baked to perfection and served warm in a basket.

Antipasto- Nice presentation of ham and salad, great starter for friends or family to share.

Strozzapreti Pugliese- You would love this dish if you like spicy food. We found the plate was quite greasy when finished eating. Probably is because the sausages and chili butter were a bit too much.

Risotto Zucca- I enjoyed this main course the most. With pumpkin and butternut squash, this is a winter comfort food and very filling. We love that we got fresh parmesan generously grated on the top.

Quattro stagioni- Four pizzas in one. There is something for everyone. Although we love the flat bread more.

Saltimbocca maiale- The pork was seasoned well, but too dry. Mashed potato was nice and creamy with a very good butter sauce.

Orata al forno- Presentation was very good and it’s a huge portion. You got the wow factor when the dish was put on the table. But the fish was dry and whole dish smelled too fishy. The side salad tasted like fish as well, which was disappointing.

Affogato- Espresso has a wonderful aroma and was the perfect company of the iced nougat semi-freddo ice cream.

Bunet Piemontese- You got the crunchiness from hazelnuts and Amaretti biscuits. The bunet was wobbly, a very interesting dessert.

Pistachio Gelato- Creamy but light, perfect dessert for ending a huge meal.

Throughout the evening the staff were changing our plates and cutlery frequently but they didn’t offer more water or wine when our glasses were empty as every time we had to ask them for it. We felt the staff could be more concerned about it.

Thank you Strada for the opportunity. We will definitely back for the flat bread, risotto and gelato!

Simon Chivers, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

The reservation was easy, I booked a table for 4 and explained that I had a voucher for the tasting menu, I was referred to the manager who said that she looked forward to seeing us.

On arrival we were shown to a table upstairs and our waitress was Amelia.

I explained to her that we had the tasting menu voucher, and showed it to her, she then told someone else who told someone else.

In the mean time we ordered drinks and she brought out the olives and the flat bread.

The green olives were wholesome and plump, the rosemary flat bread was tasty though a little salty.

The waitress said that I could choose a main, off of the tasting menu, but I pointed out the it said every dish, it was a shame that the tasting menu voucher was not shown too all members of staff.

Next we had the antipasto which was very nice and fresh. The tomatoes were so ripe and juicy.

Next we had the pizza and the 4 mains. The pasta was very feisty with a huge chilli kick, the risotto was very creamy, the pork and the mash was apparently to die for! And the fresh fish was nicely cooked and flavoursome.

The puddings were sweet and just the right size.

The food was delicious and the drinks were satisfactory. The staff were attentive, but once the bill was asked for, the service was a little slow. On the whole the evening was very enjoyable.

Leanne Ruggero, Cambridge

The atmosphere in Strada Cambridge on a Saturday night was fun and festive but a bit loud. Everything was clean and well presented. The waitstaff took time to have a laugh amongst themselves and with the customers.
It was quite loud in the restaurant and there were some issues with communication. I was brought the wrong wine (it was very nice anyhow!) and the waitress who ended up serving us didn’t know that our food order had already been put in and kept bringing us menus.

Starter of Olives, Flatbread and Antipasto: The antipasto plate was beautifully arranged and had a range of bright colours on a slate board. The mozzarella and tomato were incredibly fresh and tasty. I loved the olives. The only fault with this course was the flatbread wasn’t quite warm enough but still very more-ish.

It took just over 20 minutes for our next course to come after we had finished the starters. This was a bit of an anxious wait since we’d specifically been told we could only have the table for 2 hours and we had a lot of courses to eat in that time!

Mains: Next came squash risotto and “Strozapretti Pugliese” a pasta with pancetta and broccoli. Given how long it took these dishes to come out I was disappointed the risotto was not cooked through and some grains of rice were crunchy. The sauce was nice but there weren’t many pieces of squash. I was quite disappointed by this dish and felt I could have made a nicer and well-cooked risotto at home.
With the pasta dish though, the sweet pasta sauce balanced perfectly with the saltiness of the pancetta stirred through it and the pasta was cooked perfectly.

Mains of fish “Orata al Forno” and pork “Saltimbocca Maiale” arrived at the same time as pasta and risotto dishes so out little table was crowded with plates. Unfortunately by the time we got to the fish it was getting cold but it was cooked perfectly- moist, fell off the bone with a lovely lemon and herb stuffing and delicate, lemony greens on the side.
My favourite main was the pork which was tender and salty balanced with a sweet, creamy mash. I would definitely order the pork again.

Desert: The Affogato was recommended by the waiter as his favourite and it was amazing – the ice cream was very creamy and it’s exciting to eat this dish while it’s both hot and cold at the same time.
The pistachio gelato didn’t have much flavour. I even tried tasting it after a mouthful of water and mint to clear my palate but it just seemed like vanilla ice-cream.
The Bunet Piemontese was a lovely deep chocolatey flavour but it was too strong to eat the whole thing especially as there was nothing on the side to balance the strong taste.

Cambridge is a town full of chain restaurants where it’s sometimes difficult to find a unique place. But this meal was refreshingly different and the restaurant has a genuinely friendly atmosphere. Given the few hiccups we had I would think twice about going back on a busy Saturday night. But the menu itself was tasty, wonderfully presented and served with a smile. I would return again for the antipasto, pasta, pork and affogato on another night without hesitation.

Lindsay Seels, Riverside (More London)

I was absolutely thrilled when I received an email informing me I had been selected to be a Strada reviewer. Out of the local restaurants available I decided to go with the More London Strada as I was looking forward to the spectacular views from the restaurants location, however the views where totally eclipsed by the delicious high quality food.

My guest and I where lucky enough to sample the entire range of new dishes. To start we where presented with large Castelvetrano green olives, we where pleasantly surprised as the olives where not bitter and had a smooth creamy taste, they where also firm and tasted fresh. After the olives our next course was Schiacciatella Aglio Flat Bread, the flat bread was wonderfully fragrant, it managed to be crisp and light whilst being hearty & warming. Whilst an Antipasto is essentially just put together, this one was superbly constructed showing off its vibrant colours making the mouth water.

The first of the mains we sampled was Risotto Zucca, whilst risotto is renowned for being a tricky dish to get perfect every time the rice itself was spot on however we did feel that pumpkin being one of the main ingredients we would of thought that there would have been more pumpkin than we discovered. The Strozzapreti Pugliese had a wonderful chilli kick and the pasta itself was pleasingly filling. Our next offering was Quattro Stagioni pizza, this regrettably whilst pleasing on the eye was lacking in flavour. The Orata Al Forno (whole sea bream) was presented superbly (although some people might not be took keen on the head & tail still attached) whilst I did my best to sample this dish, admittedly sea bream is not a favourite of either my guest or myself therefore our thoughts on the fish itself probably aren’t as broad as they could have been, this being said the potato & salad accompaniment was absolutely delicious.

And finally deserts (our collective favourite course) the first one we where presented with was Affogato which was accompanied by a shot of hot espresso to pour over the top, if being completely honest we both found that each of these where very nice on there own but when tried combined we found that the espresso dominated the flavour. To our taste we the combination of this desert does not work however had this been a desert accompanied by a shot of espresso to take a bite of the desert and have a sip of the espresso afterwards does make for a tantalising combination. The penultimate course was Bunet Piemontese itself was superb and the crushed Amaretti biscuits and splash of amaretto liqueur absolutely topped it off perfectly and made a fabulous desert. Our final desert wad Pistachio Gelato which was smooth & creamy and is an ideal, light desert to follow a filling meal.

Tricia Acheson, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

Think style, think succulence, think special occasion - that for me was Strada.
The busy restaurant in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth served up a memorable meal for my partner and I.
On arrival, we were immediately struck by the friendly atmosphere in this lively restaurant that happily caters for both large parties and intimate diners.
And the food proved excellent, from the mixed antipasto starter served stylishly on a cool slab of slate through to the excellent main meals.
My pasta was perfectly al dente and my partner’s sea bream was succulent and well seasoned with beautiful crisp skin, the beautiful presentation of both meals added to our enjoyment of the food.
We had been informed by our friendly and helpful waitress Eliza that ordering the fish would mean a wait of 20 to 25 minutes.
Rather than seeing this as a problem we were pleased to know that the dishes would be freshly cooked and their quality made the wait more than worthwhile.
After finishing our meal with bunet piemontese - a mouthwatering desert of a chocolate custard flavoured with amaretto - we felt truly replete.
Our only criticism could be that not all the waiting staff seemed quite as familiar with the menu as Eliza and our garlic bread, that should have been served with the olives at the start was a little delayed.
This was soon picked up by Eliza and didn’t spoil our meal at all.
I must admit that in the past I have been a little dubious about chain restaurants and avoided them, believing the quality and service would not be great. So far as Strada is concerned, my first visit has completely changed my mind.
In value for money terms, I couldn’t have asked for a better meal or better service than that which I received at Strada.

Daniel Marron, Cambridge

I’ve always loved Strada’s intimate atmosphere and contemporary chic decor, but never have I been more excited to eat here than Wednesday night. This is the first time I have tried ‘proper’ menu reviewing and I was adamant that I would bring a group of friends equally passionate about good food. This, completely unintentionally, ended up taking the form of a double date, in fact, the most memorable one I’ve ever had, fuelled by heated discussions over our food rather than romantic conversation.

The night started off with a serving of ‘fresh’ Castelvetrano olives and true enough, you can genuinely taste the freshness in each bite. They were surprisingly tender and juicy, and the morsels were quickly nibbled away, leaving us eagerly awaiting the next starter. Unfortunately, the Aglio flat bread was disappointing - even with plenty of olive oil and decoration with rosemary, it just lacked flavour. The texture was crisp and had a good chew to it, but a more intense hint of garlic would have made a sensational difference.

The antipasto was much better. It was beautifully presented on a black slate board and there was enough to easily share between the four of us. The colors themselves made a scrumptious feast! All the classics were covered: Parma ham, Napoli salami and speck ham from Trentino. They were very generous with the mozzarella and tomato, and the olive paste was a unique touch that really brought the whole dish alive.

As for the main courses, the highlight of the evening was definitely the Orata Al Forno sea beam. We were all pleasantly surprised (definitely an understatement) to be greeted with an entire fish on a plate, cooked to perfection. It was seasoned spot-on with tangy lemon and accompanied by hearty roast potatoes and fine green beans. A heavenly combination! The flesh was moist and luxurious - I highly recommend this dish to anyone who enjoys some good seafood! Completely drool-worthy.

The Risotto Zucca was mild, fluffy and sweet, unlike the more traditional heartier sort. There were decent chunks of butternut squash and pancetta, which really added to each mouthful. The subtle fragrance of pine nut also really gave it that extra kick. While the rest of us found it to be more on the mellow side, it completely won over my girlfriend’s heart for being so delicate. She couldn’t stop raving on about it even after we left the restaurant - a must-try for those who love to eat light.

The Strozzapreti Pugliese pasta had an interesting cut that none of us have ever encountered, but was slightly dry and would have benefitted from a sauce. That being said, it still had great flavor (the chili was fierce, but not too fierce) and comes in a tummy-patting portion size. I must say though, that the Quattro Stagioni pizza was honestly quite appalling - the quality base was somewhat undermined by its toppings, which were scarce and tasted cheap. It was definitely below average for a high-end italian restaurant and we were less than impressed.

Finally, the new desserts were all, like their older friends on the menu, immensely satisfying. The pistachio gelato was more milky than nutty, but decadent nonetheless. We had doubts about the Bunet Piemontese (a sort of chocolate panna cotta), which didn’t look too perky, but its taste more than made up for its presentation. It had a really overwhelming amoretto punch, guaranteed to impress all fans of the liqueur. However, the winner had to be the Affogato - the combination of hot and cold, melt-in-your-mouth creaminess and oomph of roasted nut really made for a delightful end to the evening.

Laura Smith, Riverside (More London)

We visited the Strada just by Tower Bridge - what a beautiful setting its in, couldn’t recommend it highly enough for either a romantic meal or family/friends meal.

This time I visited with my boyfriend, my pensioner mother and early 20s niece!

Going for something a bit different, we opted for some of the new dishes on the menu and we were delighted with our choice.

Such a variety - starters of juicy, plump olives, delicious tomato and pesto bread and an antipasto selection. It was really nice to share as not something we’d normally do with our dishes but it meant we all got to experience the different tastes.

For the mains we chose to share those so we all got a bite of each - I’d highly recommend the Risotto Zucca, filled with pumpkin, squash, pancetta and spinach in a creamy sauce.

We also sampled the Strozzapretti Pugliese pasta which was a nice fresh taste with a hint of chilli and the Quattro Stagioni pizza with a light thin base, interesting flavours and split into four different sections with four different toppings but for me my favourite pizza will always be Strada’s Pizza Parma!

As if that wasn’t enough from the grill we had a divine pork fillet dish with mashed potato, the Saltimbocca di Maiale and the Orata al Forno - a whole sea bream which comes out like a real fish! It felt very Mediterranean which was nice and the white fish was one of the best we’ve tasted.

By this point we didn’t think we could manage anymore but not one to shy away from dessert - we tried the Bunet Piemontese - similar to Pannacotta - and a light pistachio gelato which was a flavour I wouldn’t normally try but I’d definitely have it again.

Another dessert which I wouldn’t normally choose but which was heavenly was the Affogato - an iced nougat ice cream with a shot of espresso over the top, couldn’t get enough of this delight and can’t wait to have it again.

Can’t wait to go back!

Ed Bonnett, Cambridge

To start the olives were very good and tasty nice and round and big. I’m not a olive lover but these where different. The Schiacciatella Aglio Flat bread was amazing - brilliantly done garlic bread that was enjoyed even by those that didnt like Garlic bread. Antipasto a lovely range of flavours. Meats were fresh and different in flavour to each other. Mozzarella did exactly what it should and married the meats well.

Mains - First thing on Mains - 3 out of 5 were WOW - Strozzapreti Pugliese was the best dish being honest - not very exciting little too spicy for some but just a little boring and was left with food on.

Risotto Zucca - a lot of this was left it wasnt liked by 4 of us. Too stoogey - more like semolina than Risotto.

Quattro Stagioni - Good pizza dish especially to share as something for everyone on it. Base was good, Bread was thin and crisp was very much enjoyed - good flavours and range.

Saltimbocca Maiale - Pork Fillet was to die for - sooooo goood. meat was done to perfection, the mash and green beans were also done to a high standard and all complimented each other very well. The dish was not around for long.

Orata Al Forno - WOW!! if this is presented as it was to us on a bed of greens, well cooked whole fish - the people that eat it will be in for a treat… Absolutely amazing. Fish fell off the bone and was so tasty and white.. great great plate!!

To Finish - The Affogato was definitely the favourite dessert with the lest favourite being Bunet Piemontese where it was felt it was too much like a chocolate spread.

To add and to finish - the waiting staff were absolutely brilliant with their attention to detail and the way they explained the food and what we were about to eat.

Thank you

Dawn Aylward-Wilson, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

We were greeted/looked after by the lovely Eliza who was attentive, informative and ready to offer recommendations on our taster menu.

All the food was beautifully presented and we had a good selection to choice from. We started by trying the olives, schiacciatella flat bread & antipasto.

The antipasto was beautifully laid out on a slate plate with an earthy, rich tapenade which complimented the various meats, good creamy buffalo mozzarella and sweet diced plum tomatoes ribboned with basil. The olives had a nice balance of a sweet, mild taste with salty undertones .The freshly made flatbreads were studded with rosemary and had just the right amount of garlic.

We followed with Strozzapreti Pugliese, Risotto Zucca and Orata al forno. The strozzapreti showed what could be achieved with a few good ingredients, the pasta and brocolli had the right amount of bite, the sausage was flavoursome and chilli finished the dish with a lovely kick. We both enjoyed the risotto which didnt need any additional cheese as it was dreamy, creamy and really warming on an winters eve without being heavy. We particulary enjoyed the pumpkin and spinach running through it but felt it didnt really need the rocket but for me the show stopper was the fish.
It was beautifully moist, had been stuffed with thyme,lemon and the fish was delicately favoured with the herbs. It is so easy to overcook fish, which is why this dish was something special. The salad of fine beans, cucumber and spinach had a nice dressing and if i had to pick holes the only slight downside were the potatoes which could have been crisper.

Finally we moved onto the deserts where we tried the affogato, bunet piemontese and pistachio gelato. I dont have a sweet tooth but my parter does and loved polishing off all three. I really enjoyed the affogato it was light, silky, soft, marshmallowey and topped with sugary nuts which added another level of texture. The hot espresso poured over the top was a welcome contrast with its bitter twang.The bunet piemontese was rich, chocolaty and smooth with hazelnuts but the presentation was a bit haphazard with biscuit crumbs and liqueur that were smeared on one side of plate. To sum up the gelato all I can say is I thought i’d have to wrestle the spoon from my partner to stand a look in. He was silent throughtout this dish (always a welcome treat lol) and once he had finished he just gave me a big grin.

We both had a lovely meal, complimented by the staff, enjoyed listening to other diners discussing their meal alongside making contented noises and all their dishes looked appertising. We will definately be coming back and would recommend to friends and family alike

MARILYN LOCK, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

Fanastic New Menu and great service from “Luca” at Strada Gunwharf Quays

Sampled 3 new starters Olives, Flat Bread and Antipasto, the olives were really meaty, think I got one my husband ate them all !!! Then 5 main courses….Strozzapreti Pugliese was too hot for me but just right for my husband, I loved the Risotto Zucca, excellent for veggies, Saltimbocca Mailale was delicious, although not too keen on the mash, the quattro Stagioni Pizza was good a nice selection, something for everyones taste. But the Orata Al Forna was the best!! The fish was beautifully cooked and tasted perfect, would definately order that next time.
Well as for the Desserts all 3 of them Fabulous !!! Luca our waiter recommended Frangelico licquer to go over the Pistachio Gelato and it really worked, the Bunet Piedmontese was delicious and creamy, and the Affogato was my favourite a great mix of tastes, with my fav coffee.

A great evening Thank You Strada !!!

Paolo Barone, Riverside (More London)

I visited the Riverside More London Strada last week with three friends.

First of all the venue is simply spectacular, boasting an amazing view of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge! We were lucky enough to get a table by the window and that alone was worth the visit!

3 of us sampled the Strada tasing menu, and I have to say we really enjoyed it.

For starter we had the Schiacciatella (basically a white pizza with no tomato and no mozzarella) and the Antipasto (mixed italian cured meat and mozzarella), something which is a proper italian tradition and we were definitely not let down by the flavours! Especially the schiacciata which I definitely recommend to anyone going!

Then we moved to the “primi piatti” and we tasted the Strozzapreti Pugliese, which were simply excellent, and the Risotto Zucca. The latter was quite good, although slightly different to what we were used to. The rice was slightly overcooked but apart from that an extremely enjoyable dish.The Quattro Stagioni pizza which followed was also quite good, although not spactacular. Then we had Saltimbocca Maiale (this dish is traditionally made with veal but the pork was cooked perfectly and the flavour was great) and the Orata al Forno (also quite well done).

To end it all we had three desserts, one Affogato, one Bunet Piemontese and one Pistacchio gelato. The first two were simlpy excellent.

All in all it was a great evening, which confirmed my opinion that Strada is definitely the best Italian chain restaurant in London and a place I definitely can recommend to all who want to test good Italian food here!

CAROLINE BOWMAN, Cambridge

Strada in Cambridge, where I had lunch with two other people from my family, doesn’t really need a good review to increase its popularity. By the time we left it was almost full, but apparently that was a quiet day!
To be this successful in a city in Cambridge, where there’s no shortage of good places to eat, must mean that they’re doing something right, and the reason has to be the quality of the food and the friendly service.

Between the three of us, we tried every dish from the new menu, and have to say that we were not disappointed by anything.

The starter was a lovely plate of antipasto, nicely served on what looked like a large piece of black slate – very elegant! The antipasto was accompanied by garlic and rosemary flatbread, ample to share between all of us. Fantastic.

We thought we wouldn’t have room for a main course, let alone a dessert after that, but we valiantly and dutifully tried all five main courses! In particular we liked the pork fillet (saltimbocca maiale), which was served with a very nice sage butter sauce, and was beautifully cooked. In second place came the bream (orata al forno), closely followed by the pizza quattro stagioni (generous portions again!) The risotto and pasta were also very nice, but the risotto could have been a little hotter.

Would we have room for dessert? Well, yes, we couldn’t turn that down, and had a portion of everything on the menu. My favourite was the bunet piemontese. Which was like a rich and creamy chcolate pannacotta, but my co-diners liked the affogato (iced nougat semi-freddo ice cream), as well as the pistachio gelato. The affogato was served with a little shot of coffee which you pour over it: fantastic again!

And, apart from coffee, that was that. Of course I should mention our waitress, Amalia, who looked after us very well.

If I could afford it, I’d have it all over again. Unfortunately Strada is a little beyond my price range, but I am sure that the reason for the prices is the quality of the ingredients used, and, at Cambridge Strada, it works!

Fiona King, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

Fabulously tasty antipasto - an excellent start to the meal.

The main course was one of the best I have tasted - melt in the mouth Orata al forno, whereas the full bodied Saltimbocca Maiale greatly impressed my guest who isn’t even a regular meat eater!.

The desserts could have been bigger but then I do have an insatiable sweet tooth.

The bunet piemontese is one to savour, it was a delightful way to end.

Simon Mann, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

Todays visit was very good - I really enjoyed well cooked dishes.

The sea bream was cooked perfectly, and the size was very good. This was the best dish.

You have the best rosemary bread too.

Loved the iced nougat, simply the best pudding around.

We enjoyed the tasting menu very much.

lindsay allsop-finner, Sheffield

I visited Strada with my partner and 2 friends, my 2 friends not having been to Strada before. As a result of our visit my 2 friends can’t wait to go back again!! Strada is mine and my partners favourite chain restaurant - for a chain restaurant it exceeds itself in turning out consistently, good and seemingly home cooked food.

For starters there were

OLIVES (V)
(Large green Castelvetrano olives, fresh from Sicily),

SCHIACCIATE LLA AGLIO FLAT BREAD (V)
(A basket of hand stretched garlic and rosemary flat bread)

ANTIPASTO
(A platter of Italian flavours: Parma ham, Napoli salami, speck ham from Trentino, buffalo mozzarella from Campania, vineripened
tomatoes, olive tapenade and bruschetta pomodoro).

The olives were fab - different than i’ve had there before - big and bright green and looked like they’d just been picked off the tree! The platter was great but I think a bit overpriced for how much you get (think its nearly a tenner) also it was missing a basil leaf or two with the tomatoes. The rosemary garlic bread was different than I’m used to as I’ve had it a few times an its usually small leaves off the rosemary baked on the bread but for some reason it was different last night and was fresh bunches put on top - too strong to eat and seemed a bit wrong picking it off - having said that the bread itself was lovely.

For mains there was

STROZZAPRETI PUGLIESE
(A classic dish from Puglia. Traditional hand twisted Strozzapreti pasta, Luganica sausage, pancetta, and broccoli, with red chilli butter & Grana Padano cheese)

RISOTTO ZUCCA
(Pumpkin, butternut squash, pancetta, spinach and pine nuts)

QUATTRO STAGIONI
(Four fabulous pizzas in one: Luganica sausage; Italian cotto ham; roasted artichoke and chestnut mushrooms)

SALTIMBOCCA MAIALE
(Pork fillet with crispy Parma ham, mashed potato, green beans and a sage butter sauce)

ORATA AL FORNO
(A whole sea bream, pan roasted with lemon & thyme, served with a green salad and roasted new potatoes).

Re the pasta - this is one of my favourite dishes on the menu - its always a pleasent surprise as it looks messy in the dish but it can be excused because of its taste - the balance of the chillies is just right - great for people who don’t like much heat but also great if you do like things hot - I would recommend this dish to anyone. The risotto was tasty - slightly underseasoned to allow you to add your own, however I didn’t notice the pine nuts in the dish so probably need a few more throwing in!! Texture was good as having cooked risotto myself i know how hard it is to get right.

The pizza is ok - I prefer thin bases so its a winner with me but think it needs cheese on there! But very tasty and not overwhelming in size. The pork is something I’ve seen on the menu a few times but never opted for it but will do in future - it was very tasty and tender and its accompanying mashed potatoes and green beans were lovely - creamy and smooth mash with al dente and buttery green beans! I couldn’t fault it. The fish was my least favourite dish - i’m not a fish person (unless shellfish) and the fact it was a full fish with head and tail put me off - I would suggest that people are asked if they want it “dressing” at no extra charge - I did taste the fish though once my partner had it stripped it from the bones and it was tasty but I let my partner eat it as the damage was done! The new potatoes that came with the fish were gorgeous - like little jacket potatoes! However, for me the side salad didn’t work - I’m thinking vegetables i.e carrots and green beans!!

For dessert there was

AFFOGATO (v)
(Iced nougat semi-freddo ice cream with a shot of hot, fresh espresso to pour over the top)

BUNET PIEMONTESE (v)
(Similar in style to a Pannacotta. A soft rich custard made with Italian chocolate, hazelnuts, crushed Amaretti biscuits and a generous splash of amaretto liqueur)

PISTACHIO GELATO (v)
(Especially made for us to a traditional artisan recipe from Marche in central Italy).

The nougat was by far my favourite - it was delicous and the expresso which you pour over the top was lovely - however for non coffee drinkers would be too strong (my partner wasn’t keen) - the presentation was great too. The ice-cream was, i’m sorry to say - nothing special, and at £4 is over priced - I would never buy ice-cream in a restaurant and this did nothing to convince me - the presentation could have been improved ie a mint leaf, pistactio nut or a chocolate swirl wouldn’t have gone amiss in order to justify the cost. The Chocolate pannacotta although very tasty (not too sickly) looked horrible - it wasn’t set like pannacotta but more of a mousse and it was just plonked on a plate - it honestly looked like something from out of a potty :-( - presentation really needed working on.

Drinks - there was a good choice of wine with a range of prices for all budgets, after a glass of red I moved on to a limonata very overpriced (£2.30) and was given to me straight in a can - doesn’t really make you feel special!! A nice touch was the complimentary jug of water with sliced fruit in it.

All in all we had a fab meal, the service was great considering it was a very busy friday night, and the manager even came over to introduce himself and ask if our meal was okay - as a result of last night my two friends are now going to be regulars! Thank you Strada!

Celina Brizee, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

The tasting menu looked very promising on paper.

I really enjoyed the antipasto, fresh green olives and the hand stretched rosemary bread- the best in town.

However, the main dishes were quite underseasoned and lacking acidity in both the risotto and sea bass dish, rendering them, dull, heavy and bland in taste.

Two dishes were unavailable on the Sunday we arrived (the sea bream and affogato), which I was really looking forward to.

The pistachio ice cream was a big hit with everyone and finished the meal off nicely.

Overall it was a good meal, but could have been made better with seasoning and full menu availability.

Caroline Wedmore, Royal Festival Hall

My mum’s birthday made the perfect opportunity for a trip to Strada by the Royal Festival Hall. We received a warm welcome from our lovely waitress Sybilla, the perfect antidote to the biting cold outside! I have to confess, whenever I go to Strada, I stare at the menu endlessly only to choose the exact same pizza so the evening was the perfect opportunity to try out some new dishes and discover how much more than just pizza and pasta Strada has to offer.

The starter was a complete hit with my family - a platter of bruschetta, tomatoes, mozarella, garlic flat bread, ham and tapenade which was perfect for convivial sharing (fine, I hogged the garlic bread!).

My favourite main of the night had to be the sea bream - simple flavours but great quality, though a close second was the creamy butternut squash risotto and the pasta - I think I’ve now found a new obsession in chilli butter.

I’ve a complete sweet tooth so could barely choose a favourite from the deserts, though the combination of chocolate and hazelnut is never a bad thing. A perfect end to a delicious meal.

Thank you Strada! What a lovely treat.

Senay Krasniqi, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

Absolutely delicious food.
Friendly and warm welcoming staff.
I loved it.
I highly recommend to everybody to go and try the most amazing food at Strada…Lovely

Denise Sansum, Cambridge

Friendly, helpful staff and great food.

Would recommend for Saltimbocca Maiale for main and Bunet Piemontese for dessert.

Absolutely delicious.

Look forward to our next visit.

Sam Whistler, Sheffield

This was the first time I’ve actually visited Strada, and myself and my three companions were all pleasantly surprised!

The starter was garlic and rosemary flat bread, olives and antipasto. We enjoyed the flat bread and antipasto. The flat bread was flavourful and had just the right amount of oil on it without being greasy. The antipasto had a good variety to share between us, and the olive tapenade was especially enjoyed. I don’t eat olives myself, but my companions said they were good and nice and large!

From the mains we tried, my boyfriend really loved the Risotto Zucca, the term ‘wow’ was uttered more than once! We also all enjoyed the Strozzapreti pasta, hand twisted pasta with spicy sausage. It was just the right amount of spicy, and although it didn’t have a sauce it was full of flavour.

The Saltimbocco Maiale, which was pork with parma ham on mash with beans and a sage butter sauce also went down very well, although one of our number felt the pork a little tough, the rest of us thought it was fine! The mash and butter sauce was rich and delicious.

The two other dishes sampled were a whole sea bream, which was very tasty, (but you need to be careful of the bones!), and a four seasons style pizza. We had mixed opinions on the artichoke on the pizza, one of us loved it, but the other three weren’t so sure!

Desserts were Pistachio ice cream, Affogato and Bunet Piemontese.

The ice cream was lovely and creamy, but we couldn’t taste much pistachio, maybe a bit too subtle if you wanted a real pistachio taste!

The Affogato was an iced nougart/ice cream creation, with a shot of espresso you pour over the top. It’s always fun to have some part in the creation of your pudding! And it was delicious, although if you don’t eat it quick it turns into a coffee/ice cream mush!

The last dessert was a chocolate hazelnut pannacotta style pudding, which although we all agreed it tasted great, the texture was a little strange due to the crushed amaretti biscuits mixed up in it. This unusual texture seemed to mostly bother our pannacotta lover, who was used to a smoother type!

One comment which we all used to describe the meal overall was that it wasn’t heavy at all, although there was quite a few carbs included, we didn’t feel stuffed and bloated, just nicely full, none of the meals were stodgy or starchy.

The service was also great, the waitress was friendly and chatty! I would defintley reccomend a visit to anyone, especially for a special occassion, as the restaurant is classier than other similar chain establishments. There also seems to be a very good range of meals, not just the standard pizza and pasta!

So go and visit, and try the risotto!

Aby Smith, Sheffield

This review is based purely on the food, and does not take into account service / drinks / surroundings as the review is intended to reflect the new menu.

The review reflects the opinions of those present, being 3 men and one woman, aged 24-30.

OLIVES
Well received - comments included that they were a nice flavour and different in that they had not been de-pipped.

FLAT BREAD
Enjoyed by all. Whilst this was not anything different to breads offered by other restaurants and nothing defined it, it was a pleasant starter.

ANTIPASTO
A nice mix of various items. Refreshing and light and very good to share. The Bruschetta was very nice. Again, it is a very typical starter one would expect for an Italian but well presented and good quality.

STROZZAPRETI PUGLIESE
Voted the overall least favourite of the dishes by our table of diners. Personally I found this to be spicy yet bland - in that the only flavour was the spice itself. Others commented that they would have been disappointed if they had chosen this as their main course on its own.

RISOTTO ZUCCA
A pleasant risotto but again, comments included that there were ‘floral’ notes which were a bit off-putting. Not sure where this flavour came from given the ingredients. Well cookked and a good consistency but we all felt we have had nice risottos. Could be improved by the addition of larger pieces of butternut squash / pumpkin / pancetta. I cannot recall seeing any pine nuts in it either.

QUATTRO STAGIONI
Enjoyed by all, however, as commented on by one member of the party, a pizza is a pizza and there is rarely anything remarkable about them. Toppings well chosen and nice thin crispy base.

SALTIMBOCCA MAIALE
A firm favourite. Voted favourite dish. Very tasty and main comments were actually how impressive the mash potato was - very nice flavour! Good accompanyments with the sauce and beans and well prepared. Given that it is parma ham and pork, it was not too salty, very flavoursome and everyone would order it again.

ORATA AL FORNO
Sparked a large discussion as to whether fish should be served with or without a head, and whether it should be filleted. Fish-eater on the table thought this dish was fabulous. I was a litte perturbed by the head (personal preference) but all agreed the fact that it was stuffed with herbs and lemon was a lovely addition and added to the flavour. It tasted very fresh and light. Also, the sauce which was on the salad and beans complimented the fish brilliantly. Overall an excellent choice for pescatarians or those wishing for something low in fat and healthy but still tasty.

AFFOGATO
Apart from not realising the espresso was supposed to go over the top of the dessert…the dessert itself was wonderful. Lovely flavour, texture and the right amount for a dessert. Well presented and the walnuts on top added to it nicely.

BUNET PIEMONTESE
We loved this dessert. Being fans of Disaronno it was always going to be a good choice and we would order this again. Very sweet for those with a sweet tooth and absolutely delicious.

PISTACHIO GELATO
By comparison to the other desserts (which may have affected our palates with their stronger flavours) this seemed a little bland and tasteless for pistachio ice-cream, which usually has a stronger flavour. Would suit those with subtle tastes. Could be enhanced by the addition of nuts.

Steve Chambers, Riverside (More London)

Fantastic meal in wonderful surroundings with views of Tower Bridge, Tower of London and HMS Belfast.

Garlic and Rosemary Bread was a perfect accompaniment to nibble over with a glass of wine to begin. Everyone enjoyed the antipasto sharing platter with mozzarella, tomato and cured meat. With the bread, a perfect portion size for three people.

Strozzapreti Pugliese and Risotto Zucca were both flavoursome dishes made with good, fresh ingredients and executed perfectly. The pasta was also a colourful feast for the eyes. So much the better for the light touch of sauce.

The star of the show was the Orata Al Forno, skillfully deboned at the table. The fish was infused with flavour and the accompanying roast potatoes well chosen.

Pistachio ice cream and mango sorbet are both delicious and refreshing, but the Affogato served with good, strong espresso will be my regular choice in future.

The service was consistently of a very high standard from our waiter and other staff who served us.

Catherine Plant, Sheffield

We arrived in a rush due to a late bus and when we arrive it was a good start the waitress showed us to our table took our coats and offered to get us drinks. After the drinks were served the olives arrived. In our party there was four of us and we all tried them but we didnt like the olives as they were not to our taste.

Shortly after the starters arrived and it was then that we noticed that one of the plates had a chip in it and also one of the wine glasses had a chip in it too. We were really surprised by this as we didn’t expect to see chips in them in this sort of restaurant. So, now onto the staters. The schiacciatella flat bread was delicious my mum loved it, Of the antipasto the tomatoes on the bruschetta pomodoro were to die for, we really enjoyed the Parma ham, Napoli salami, speckham from Trentino, buffalo mozzarella, however the olive tapenade didnt really have a taste of anything.

With the starters cleared between us all it was onto the main courses we were informed that we would have 5 dishes between the four of us. First up I had the STROZZAPRETI PUGLIESE for me this dish was a little too spicy and could have done with more cheese, I’m not really sure what the brocolli
adds to dish. Next the RISOTTO ZUCCA my mum had she was presently surprised as she enjoyed it a lot more than she was expecting her comment was it was delicious but there was too much as it is filling. My boyfriend chose the SALTIMBOCCA MAIALE and promptly cleared the bowl which is a very good sign as he can be quite fussy. His comment was that mash was sonice it was almost as good as mine. That leaves my dad who had the ORATA AL FORNO he really enjoyed it but there is a lot of waste on the dish which is understandable considering all the bones in a sea bream. Lastly we shared the four pizzas in one which was a good dish ideal to share.

After we made a good effort of clearing our way through the mains it was onto desserts. Top marks to the chef who did me the BUNET PIEMONTESE without nuts. This one was delicious although it was quite strong in alcohol. My dad loved the PISTACHIO GELATO which was really soft and delicious. My boyfriend hogged the Affogato and finished that off quickly although it doesn’t really need the fresh espresso shot as its good enough without it.

After the desserts and drinks were finished it was time for the bill, we had to look twice at this as we found we had been charged for 2 bottles of wine when we had only drunk one. With everything sorted we headed out towards home full and happy.

Sean Burke, Riverside (More London)

The olives were the best olives I have ever eaten, the bread was ‘possibly’ the best I have ever eaten.

The Antipasto, was a delight to the eye and tasted as good as it looked, all ingredients were of the highest quality and it would be worth a visit just to devour this along with a friend and a glass of Wine.

The Pasta (STROZZAPRETI PUGLIESE) was very nice but could have done with a little kick, maybe some Cayanne Pepper (however, there is Chilli Oil so this can be used to taste).

The Risotto (RISOTTO ZUCCA) was a little bland, I boil Pumpkin with ground Cinnamon before using it in a dish and find it gives it the most wonderful aroma and subtle sweetness. (Maybe worth considering?)

The Pizza (QUATTRO STAGIONI) was beautifully presented and all was enjoyed except the Luganica Sausage which tasted somewhat sour and had to be left.

The Pork fillet (SALTIMBOCCA MAIALE) was beautifully cooked, nice and tender and easily cut, the Beans still crisp and the Mash very creamy. A nice easily eaten dish, however, did lack Panache.

The Sea Bream (ORATA AL FORNO) was gorgeous as always, I have had it several times at Strada. It is usually the Fish of the day. A lovely meaty Fish, well cooked and served with an ideal company of New Potatoes. Very nice indeed.

The Iced Nougat (Affogato) was my favourite of the Deserts, something completey new for me which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Mouselike dish ( BUNET PIEMONTESE) was fabulous, rich and full of flavour though I think an accompniment of a scoop of Vanilla Icecream would just help to balance the richness.

PISTACHIO GELATO Was not available, or so we were informed.

Overall opinion: A hearty and wholesome menu which was hard to fault.

Carol Dixon, Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays

Strada is my favourite Italian restaurant, so when I was chosen to be a reviewer I couldn’t wait to book our table. We booked an early evening (5pm) slot on a Saturday. at the Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays restaurant. We were greeted as soon as we arrived and seated quickly and efficiently

I was ably assisted by my husband and my son, 18 and daughter, 17. The menu unfortunately didn’t include a vegetarian option for main course, so we had to order an additional main meal for my daughter. In fact the main menu had few main dishes marked with (v).

Back to the reviewers tasting menu - what a treat! We started with olives and the rosemary and garlic flatbread, which were tasty though the flat bread could have done with a little less salt. Next was the Antipasto - a beautifully presented platter of quality meats, buffalo mozzarella, olive tapenade and bruschetta pomodoro.

Main courses followed. I first tried the Satlimbocca Mauale - pork fillet with parma ham, mashed potato and green beans. The pork was beautifully tender, the mash creamy and the green beans perfectly al dente. The crisp parma ham set this dish off perfectly, along with the delightful sage butter sauce. The Orata Al Forno (whole sea bream) was sweet and flavoursome, having been pan roasted with lemon and thyme. The crisp rosemary potatoes were heavenly, and the green salad was the perfect companion. Stozzapreti Pugliese was next - pasta, Luganica sausage, pancetta and broccoli with a chilli butter with just the right amount of kick and Grana Padano cheese. Next, the Risotto Zucca - creamy risotto, crisp pancetta, weet pumpkin, spinach and pine nuts. A flavoursome dish and my favourite main course by a nose! The Pizza was lacklustre, but then our tastebuds had been somewhat spoilt by the aforementiond dishes. My favourite quarter was the artichoke, but the other quarters were disappointing.

Desserts were next - what a treat!

The Affogato was completely creamy nutty, coffee deliciousness - this is my ultimate favourite Strada dessert and it didn’t disappoint! The Bunet Piemontese was a soft, creamy, extremely chocolatey set custard topped off with crispy amaretto biscuits and amaretto liquer - stunning! Pistachio Gelato was tasty and creamy and the perfect way to round off a delightful meal.

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Fitzrovia,
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Tel: 0203 597 7414