My foray into the Les Amis Group has been limited to French cuisine so far: once at Au Jardin, twice at Bistro Du Vin. Time to remedy that with a trip to La Strada, the Italian arm of the group! This was also the last food bloggers’ get-together for 2009 as we gathered together for a meal during the festive season. The 2 course set lunch is reasonably priced at $28++, 3 course at $34++.
None of us ordered any pizzas but we had a sample of complimentary pizza bread topped with tomato and herbs. The crust was quite thick so I didn’t like it.
Justifiably, the Duo of Crostini garnered raves from all of us. I love the pairing of saltish olive tapenade with sweet confit cherry tomatoes! So simple, yet so good. The company also praised the pork ragu with a piece of pork crankling which I didn’t try.
The chef kindly agreed to change the grilled chicken in the mesclun salad to either salmon or tuna for me. I went for the latter but they got the order wrong and gave me salmon instead. If not for my main of salmon, I wouldn’t mind sticking to this!
I was really glad that I returned the salmon salad to the kitchen when I tasted the tuna salad. Topped with a poached egg, the moist and briny tuna flakes gave the plain greens a boost of flavour. The portion was also substantial enough to be a main course!
After the tuna salad, I had another dose of omega-3 from the pan-fried salmon. It was perfectly done just the way I like: medium-done with some pink in the centre and crispy skin with no burnt marks! The roasted new potatoes on the side were a tad dry though.
The carnivores in the group enjoyed the char-grilled 70 day grain-fed sirloin very much!
The tart of the day was pecan tart with basil ice cream. While the former was just average, the latter was very interesting! The taste of basil was distinct and it’s like a creamy sweet pesto that’s light and refreshing.
The meal ended on a good note with mini madeleines fresh out of the oven. I didn’t expect much but the madeleines were surprisingly good! Not too buttery and sweet, they went well with the cuppa.
Overall, this was a pleasantly long lunch with delectable food and good service, and made even more enjoyable by the company of these lovely people:
Daniel from Memoirs of Food with his friend, Serene;
Gavin from Every Meal an Adventure; and
Justin from j2k3blogs with his candid mother.