It's been a while since we last visited La Strada, and the first time we've dined here since the new chef was installed. As expected, the menu's been revamped; the pastas and risottos have shrunk while the appetizers, meats and seafood have expanded. Bestselling signatures have remained, like the carbonara and tagliolini al granchio, but there's definitely a deliberate paradigm shift in the restaurant's approach to the menu.
A bonus to our return: it's white truffle season! YUMS.
A seasonal special off the white truffle menu, the Piedmont Beef Tartare ($64) was perhaps the most exquisite rendition ever. Sumptuously full-bodied, a drizzling of olive oil, shavings of parmesan, and flecks of white truffle came together to make an elegant, flavoursome starter.
The Fritto Misto ($32), a melange of lightly battered shrimp, squid, fish, whitebait, zucchini, and eggplant, was deep fried to a golden perfection. A sundried tomato aioli added a refreshing piquancy.
A must-try appetizer, the Porcini ($26) layered juicy porcini flavoured with bacon lardo, thyme, and parmigiano, with an egg confit. Absolutely delicious smeared all together.
Another awesome appetizer was the Piadina ($28) of a fluffy char-grilled flat bread topped with shimeiji mushrooms, and silky ribbons of parma ham. So simple but so good.
A special of the day, the Grilled Seabass ($40) was done just right, seasoned with lemon, rosemary, and sea salt. It would have helped if this was deboned; we spent considerable effort picking off the bones from this.
The Pollo alla Cacciatora ($33) a Hunter-style chicken stew choc-a-bloc with carrots, mushrooms, and green olives, was comforting and rustic, but refined at the same time. We requested another serving of crusty bread to mop up that scrumptious tomato-based sauce.
The Saltimbocca alla Romana ($36), a veal scallopini swaddled in prosciutto, and sage, and slathered in a white wine sauce, was luscious.
The veal was sided by bowl of mixed greens served separately; a crisp and fresh counterpoint to the rich saucy meat.
The sauteed Mixed Mushrooms ($15) was simple but delicious.
The Risotto alla Porcini e Lumache ($32) with porcini mushrooms and romanzini snails, was beautifully done; each fat grain imbued with an earthy wholesome flavour.
A signature, and a must-try, the Carbonara ($28) 'guitar-string' pasta, with lardo crumble, egg confit, parmesan, and truffle butter, has made fans of every single friend I've brought to La Strada.
1 Scotts Road
#01-11 Shaw Centre
Tel: 6735 6656
Open daily from 12noon to 2.30pm for lunch and 6.30pm to 10pm for dinner