Monday is my least favourite day of the week. I’m sure you’ll agree with me. As it’s Bank Holiday Monday today I’m not in work, but normally right now, I’d be sat at my desk ready for another five days in the office before I get to enjoy another two days off work. A great way of making the week seem that little less boring (and rewarding yourself for getting through your first day back at the office!) is to arrange to meet up with a friend after work on a Monday evening.
I did just this only a few Mondays ago, when I popped along to the Cardiff branch of Italian restaurant chain, Strada for a catch-up over dinner with my friend, Lisa. I’ve never been to Strada before, but they are running a deal where you can get any pizza you like for just £5 on a Monday!
Strada Cardiff is based overlooking the waterfront in Mermaid Quay, next door to Starbucks, with dining space both inside the restaurant and on the heated patio area outside. As it was a warm, sunny evening, we chose a sunny spot outside.
As we browsed the menu, I sipped on a San Pellegrino and Lisa went for an Appletiser (each priced at £2.50); despite it being a Monday evening, we were both on antibiotics so unfortunately couldn’t indulge in our usual glass of wine!
To start, we shared a selection of schiacciatella (flatbreads). The Aglio flatbread (£3.95) was topped with crushed garlic, rosemary and olive oil, while the Genovese flatbread (£4.25) was laden with passata sauce, fresh oregano and basil pesto.
Both torn between pizza, pasta and risotto, we decided to share two main courses. First up was the Pescatore pizza (usually £12.95) with tomato base, capers, anchovies, tiger prawns and pesto (it normally includes white crab too, but I’m not a fan so we requested for this to be left off). The base was soft and doughy, while the anchovies, prawns and pesto were a drool-inducing combination.
In addition, we ordered the Risotto Luganica (£11.95); a hearty risotto interspersed with herby meatballs, pancetta, chestnut mushrooms, pangrattato and Parmesan. This was well-seasoned, warming and full of flavour – perfect comfort food!
We enjoyed sharing our main courses as it meant we got to sample two different dishes. Plus, I don’t think I could eat a whole pizza to myself; I was so full after eating half of the pizza and the risotto, I decided to skip dessert.
Instead, I ordered a latte (£2.50) to wake me up for the journey home. This was served in a white Musetti-branded cup and saucer, and paired with an Italian amaretti biscuit.
Meanwhile, Lisa rounded off her meal with the chocolate fondant (£5.45); a rich, moist chocolate pudding with a liquid chocolate centre, dusted with icing sugar and served with creamy salted caramel icecream. Just one look at this was enough to make me wish I’d ordered dessert!
Strada Cardiff was the perfect place for a catch-up after work and I’d definitely go back there again. While it may not be my favourite pizzeria in Cardiff (Dusty Knuckle Co. holds a special place in my heart!), you can’t beat a freshly baked pizza for a fiver to liven up a miserable Monday!
24 Mermaid Quay
*Please note, this branch is now closed (as of January 2018).
I was invited to Strada Cardiff as a guest and our food and drink was provided complimentary; however, I was not obliged to write a positive review.