Newest Review: ... if pizza isn't your sort of thing (that'll be me then!). There are lots of more interesting meat and fish dishes such as Branzino Basilic... more
Member Name: Huomenna
Advantages: good food
Disadvantages: some staff rude (Richmond branch)
Strada is a relatively well known Italian restaurant which has 'branches' all over the country. Personally I have been to 3 of them - one on South Bank (London), Richmond (Surrey) and Portsmouth.
Each one is styled in the same general fashion, regardless of size. The main colour that dominates the restaurant is red and the furniture is dark brown, with tables often closely packed together.
I've never been to Italy so I can't give an opinion on whether the food tastes like authentic Italian food, but it is good. They do a wide range of pizza's, pastas and risotto etc. with the menu available to download from their website (http://www.strada.co.uk/assets/pdf/strada_main_me nu.pdf) so you can decide if there's anything that takes your fancy before you even go! I usually end up having the Rigatoni Speck e Gorgonzola (pasta in a creamy sauce with smoked ham) which is absolutely delicious. The only thing I would say is that I wish the portions were bigger!
Generally speaking I've found the staff to be polite and helpful - they don't make you wait ages before taking any drink and food orders and they check to make sure you're happy with the meal.
I did have one negative staff experience though - my mum and I decided to go to Strada in Richmond for an early christmas meal together (she was going to be in Australia at christmas so we were celebrating early). I got my usual pasta and mum ordered one of the risottos, as she started eating she discovered a hair in her food so called over one of the waitresses. The waitress took away the hair and said she'd tell the manager - a couple of minutes later the manager comes back, with the hair and says 'I'm not saying anything but the hair you found is red and no one who works here has red hair' then looked at me in an accusatory manner (I had dyed red hair at the time). I was annoyed that she obviously thought the hair was mine and that I had planted it in my mum's food to get something off the bill. I pointed out that the hair was a different shade of red and my head never went near my mum's plate of food (on the other side of the table) and she said 'Well you can have it for free, this time.' Needless to say I was very unimpressed at her attitude. I wrote a letter to Strada's head office to complain (no point in writing to the Richmond one seeing as she was the one in charge) and never heard anything back.
The food prices aren't too high - I can't remember exactly as I haven't been in a while, but most mains are under £10. They also have a set lunch menu which has a discount and if you go online you can often find vouchers for Strada such as buy one get one free/ half price or buy one get one for £1 (usually only valid between Monday and Thursdays).
Summary: Lovely italian restaurant, just don't go to the Richmond branch