Prominently placed on East Street, where competition between eateries is fierce, Strada holds its own as a top rate Italian restaurant. While many will think of it as the perfect romantic hub for couples, or that swanky eatery to hold a works’ do, few may realise that there is a kids’ menu to rival the best around. Cue The District Post’s latest (and youngest) reviewers: Elianna (14), Jacob (12), Catalina (7), Isabella (4), Willow (7) and Emma (7).
On arrival, the children were led to their table, set with crayons and activity pack (including stickers, to colour in) and 3 jugs of juice. Our children, particularly the younger ones, set to work swiftly; All gave a big thumbs up for the activity pack.
The table arrangement, throughout the establishment, is generously spaced. This is just as well, as our youngest reviewer, Isabella, tends to push her chair out whilst perching on the very edge! Despite this, there was plenty of room for waiting staff, and other patrons, to move around the table: Good news for parents, when it comes to those inevitable toilet trips!
Soon after the last child was seated, food began to arrive. Served by friendly and informative staff, the children were presented with starters: Veggie Dippers (Carrot and cucumber sticks, baby tomatoes and a tomato sauce), were well recieved. Some of the kids chose to use the dip, while others were happy to do without.
We used a scoring system, whereby the children were asked to rate a dish, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most satisfying score. Veggie Dippers were awarded an average of 4.25, but were just pipped at the post by Garlic Bread (with Mozzarella), which recieved a full 5 marks!
Through an adult’s eyes, the mains menu is more than enough to whet the appetite. It was time to see how the younger generation felt and the tension was building, as plates and glasses were being shuffled around, in preparation for the next course.
The mains had arrived and little hands were reaching for the familiar Margherita Pizza (Tomato, mozzarella and basil). Giving it an unsurprisingly good 4.3, the little hands then turned to the Chargrilled Chicken (with lemony rosemary juices) and the Chargrilled 6oz British Steak. The chicken recieved a whopping 4.75 and the steak, a decent 4.5. The Rigatoni Pomodoro (With basil and Grana Padano) scored 4.25.
A surprising 4.25 was also awarded to the Baked Market Fish Fillet (With lemon and mayo). Parents, were stunned to see the younger members of the group, tuck, so vigorously, into the dish. Bev, mother of Emma, declared it her personal winner, stating: “This is the first time she’s ever eaten fish that wasn’t coated in breadcrumbs!”
The Pasta Carbonara (Pancetta, peas, egg and Grana Padano) was awarded a 2 and the Seasonal Vegetable Risotto (With lemon and olive oil), scored 2.5.
On to the desserts: Chocolate and Hazelnut Pizzetta (Warm dough topped with melting hazelnut chocolate spread), Ice Cream (A scoop of artisan ice cream in a choice of chocolate, strawberry or vanilla) – Wow! The 5s were in full flow and it came as no surprise that they both scored top marks!
With bellies full and smiles on their faces, our young reviewers were completely satisfied with their first Strada experience. In fact, two have since requested to celebrate their birthdays there and every single child wishes to return.
What more is there to say? Happy children, means happy parents. Strada, we shall most definitely be seeing you again.
For information on Strada Horsham’s Jazz night, or to see the Christmas menu, please visit their website: http://www.strada.co.uk/italian-restaurant/horsham or call: 01403 248 887