Strada in Westfields is what you would expect in a shopping centre. There are a few chains that will always be ear-marked for these type of spaces including Yo! Sushi, Nandos etc. Strada has been around for a while and continues to do decent things. It is never going to be the best Italian, but it is certainly a step above some of the other Italian chains out there. Westfields in particular is built for volume. Busy shoppers, no doubt demanding service and then periods of quiet after lunch, before dinner.
My last Strada experience was near Holborn before a trip to the theatre. That was not a good one at all. Not sure what happened but it was a bit of a fail in terms of quality. Here in Stratford, they show their central neighbours how it’s done. A warm welcome on arrival, seated wherever I wanted and as I was debating whether to get a glass of bubbly, a cheeky push to the decision saying ‘go on you deserve it’. I liked her style. So it was an Elderflower Spritz to help alleviate the shopping stress.
I placed my order quite quickly and felt really comfortable in the spot. Sometimes as a solo diner you feel self aware, but I am beginning to realise the places I can go when I am flying solo without feeling uncomfortable – this and the Ping Pong in here are two of the places in the vicinity.
For my food order it was some seared king prawn in garlic and lemon and then for main, chicken with mushrooms, potato and wild rocket. The king prawns was a little tough, but the sauce was lush and I lapped up with the bread which is something I never do (i.e. have bread, ever). The chicken was lovely and the sauce really mushroomy, as opposed to sickly creamy. The potatoes were actually cooked quite well too.
All in all, for a shopping centre there are worse experiences you can have. For a while Ping Pong was my go-to place and also Searcy’s Champagne bar when I am with my girl Eleanor, but yep, Strada is added to the list for a generally good experience. As I always come here to shop, braving the fact that there was an acid attack here recently, it is good to have choice.
313 The Loft
London E20 1ET