When we first came to London we used to eat in a few different Strada restaurants quite a bit, well we were new to the big smoke from a small old market town.
I did become a little addicted to their pizza’s over time, as they reminded me slightly of the ones in Argentina and it was really all I ate off their menu.But as time moved on and we finally managed to escape from Brentford and moved to Islington and the discovery of my now favourite pizza pub, the visits to Strada stopped pretty abruptly.
So when we were invited to attend the launch of the new Strada menu at the amazing Riverside restaurant at London Place, I thought it would be good as we had plenty of good casuals meal at Strada over the years.
Strada’s new menu has been designed to be a kind of walk through the street food of Italy, reflecting the rich diversity and regional history of Italian cuisine.
A minor crisis at work that afternoon almost made me shelve the night, but thankfully my amazing Vietnamese DMC’s pulled together and saved the day.
I was still really late and only managed to appear at the very end of the cooking demonstration, which was being done on the upstairs dining room with awesome views over towards London Bridge and the City. Spectacular.
As we entered the smell of pancetta was scenting the air like a lavish tart at a dinner party, a truly wonderful aroma.
It was a shame we missed the cooking demo, as Chef Maurice Maffeo was in full swing and really enjoying himself there.
I tried to have a quick word with the man himself but he was in and out of the kitchen that I never managed to grab some tips of him. I think his focus that night was making sure that the small grazing plates kept coming out of the kitchen and that they did.
We were treated to so many tastings from the new menu that I really think we tried the whole menu.
In no particular order we were treated to a platter of Italian flavours of Parma Ham, Napoli Salami, Speck Ham from Trentino which I could not keep my hands off, well anyone who is not into cured meats does not belong on the world.
We also got to try the Strozzapreti Pugliese, a classic dish from Puglia, made with sausage, pancetta and broccoli with Grana Padano cheese with a hint of chilli in it as well for that southern Italian kick. Delish.
The Risotto Verdure made with asparagus, green beans, peas, courgette, spinach, lemon and mint was probably one of the best veggie dishes I’ve tasted in a long time.
I think the girl who was carrying around the tray of Milanese must have either thought I was trying to make a play for her or I was a greedy so and so as I ate so many of them. Reminders of Argentina.
But the real delight of the night was the platters of thinly sliced chargrilled rump steak that were making their way around. I wasn’t the only one trying to eat it all.
I knew there were puddings going around but I’m not really a sweet eater these days, maybe I’m watching the figure.
But the location of this restaurant is priceless, I’ve no idea how much they had to pay for this site, but it is worth every single penny. My mother in law is going to love this restaurant when she comes over to see us.
So if you happen to be along the South Bank and are in need of some nourishment them Strada will set you right, plus with that view. Wow.