“ 147 Upper Richmond Road / Putney / London / SW15 2TX / Tel: 0871 0752308. „
My friend and I are usually more than happy to slob out in front of the TV with a take-away on a Friday night. Last week, though, we had plans to meet up someone we were at university with a couple of years ago and we didnt particularly want him to see us in all our glory (or distinct lack of). We therefore decided a trip to a local restaurant was in order and as we were meeting in Putney, a restaurant in Putney it was. My friend chose Strada because shed eaten there before and knew that the food was good as well as being reasonably priced.
Just off Putney High Street at the intersection with Upper Richmond Road, the restaurant is in walking distance from East Putney and Putney Bridge tube stations.
147 Upper Richmond Road
London SW15 2TX
Tel: 020 8789 6996
The restaurant fits in well with the general air of poshness that Putney exudes. There are two or three tables out front, perfect for nice weather, set well enough back from the road to not be too noisy. Late September at 8 oclock was a bit chilly, so we sat inside by the window. The inside of the restaurant is fairly plain, but smart, and definitely very clean. Comfortable bench-style seats are along both lengths of the wall (the restaurant is long and thin). The tables are perhaps a little close together, but when the restaurant is fairly full (as it apparently is on a Friday night), nobody could really overhear our conversation anyway.
We were immediately greeted by a waitress who showed us to our table and brought us the wine list and menu. We explained that we were waiting for a friend and she was quite happy to bring us our drinks and then leave us until we were ready.
The menu had a good choice of dishes, including the usual pizzas, all cooked in a wood-fired stove, fish dishes, pasta and risotto. We chose a simple dish of olives and garlic bread for starters, which was brought promptly, while we were still choosing our main courses. Other starters included mozzarella with sun-ripened tomatoes, antipasto, crostini with aubergine, ham and mozzarella, and bruschetta. I then opted for the rigatoni in a light cheese sauce with thin-sliced ham. This may sound boring, but it was cooked to perfection. It was just the right temperature and the combination of the cheese and ham was beautiful. One friend had the seafood risotto, which smelled fabulous, and apparently tasted wonderful, stuffed with mussels, shrimp and other morsels. The other, who likes his food to consist of mainly meat, opted for a steak, which he asked to have well done and was exactly as he had wanted. There was a fairly wide range of other dishes; nothing too fancy though.
We didnt have desert; mainly because we couldnt fit it in, but the desert menu did look good, including tiramisu, chocolate tart and iced nougat semi-freddo, which looked delicious, and all for under a fiver. We opted for coffee, which was excellent, hot and full of flavour.
None of us drank that night, although apparently the wine is very good value.
I couldnt really fault the service. The girls were friendly and polite, without being too in our face and the food came promptly.
I thought the meal was really good value. For starters (albeit the cheapest), three main courses, non-alcoholic drinks and coffee, the bill came to 56 pounds, including 12.5% service charge, less than 20 pounds per head. This was perhaps the only annoying thing the service charge was automatically added in. We could, of course, have opted out, which we didnt, but I would have preferred to be given the decision ourselves.
For a casual, trendy place to eat where the food is simple, the service is quick and the price is reasonable, you cant go far wrong with this restaurant. It is apparently one of a chain of restaurants across London with the same name, although I have heard that this is one of the best examples. I would certainly go back if I was in the area. Highly recommended.