195 Anfu Lu,
A few friends have been telling me to check out La Strada for months, but we never had a chance to go because it’s a little out of our usual hangout areas and we kept getting side-tracked. Boy, am I glad we finally found ourselves there!
Owned by Craig Willis (of Mr Willis restaurant above La Strada), the restaurant is casual and bustling with diners when we arrive for dinner. We’re lucky to score a corner table by the window despite not making a reservation, and happily settle down to peruse the menu with a glass of wine in hand.
The menu is not huge, but since it’s our first time, we were happy with the selections available. We are particularly impressed with our pizza, whose base is thin and crispy and isn’t at all soggy (so many thin crust pizzas in Shanghai fall prey to the soggy factor). The ingredients are fairly generous though I wish they’d put the ingredients on the outer edge of the pizza too so I’m not left with a large piece of plain crust at the end. The spicy salami and mushrooms are fabulous on the pizza and we merrily devour it.
The macaroni and cheese gratin sounds simple, and is. However, it’s beautifully cooked. Juicy macaroni shells baked in creamy cheese and scattered with some bacon bits. The bacon bits are a little pathetic as there should’ve been 3 times more of it, and it seems the chef entirely forgot to add herbs/salt to the dish – it has an extremely bland flavour. That said, we sprinkle on some herbs (in a little pot on every table) generously and the pasta actually tastes very good.
But the winner, by far is the tiramisu. It is, frankly, stunning. It’s hard to come by a good Tiramisu in Shanghai (many of them come with little/no liquer or weird ‘cream’ is used), but La Strada do it well. A hunk of tiramisu arrives in a bowl, and it is slightly wet and oozy – just the way I like it. It’s creamy and soft, with a great perk of flavour, and is absolutely enjoyed by us down to the last mouthful. The portion is a little small for me though, and you’d agree unless you have a tiny appetite.
A lovely, casual restaurant for a simple date or to catch up with friends. I’m looking forward to our next visit :)
The clipboard menu
Macaroni and cheese bake
Bigger than my head, LOL
The amazing tiramisu