I’ve been searching for a good place to take rif for his birthday dinner last month and it wasn’t an easy thought process. For starters, he’s not big on fine dining so quite a few restaurants were out of the list. I was pretty set on taking him to a restaurant in Changkat, but an elevator conversation with my MD got me thinking that Strato would be a good option.
Strato does not accept reservations. If you’re lucky to secure a table, good for you. Otherwise, have a pre-dinner drink at Claret downstairs while waiting for the next available table. Since the menu is available online, I had the luxury of looking through in advance and deciding on our order.
The fresh clams and fried country bread in spicy arrabiata sauce (RM 40) was chunky and robustly flavoured. I was told the kitchen ran out of mussels that night so we were offered clams as a replacement.
For my main course, I had the squid ink linguini with prawns, artichoke cream and fried artichokes (RM50) and it was delicious. The pasta was perfectly al dente and the prawns, justly cooked and succulent throughout. It was good pasta.
Also noteworthy was the grilled ribeye steak (RM85), cooked as per rif’s preference – medium. The beef was juicy and tender, and further flavoured with basil pesto and ricotta cheese. While it wasn’t the best steak in town, it was certainly a decent version and one I wouldn’t mind ordering again.
We also shared a mystery pizza (RM40), a tasty assemblage of what the pizza chef felt like serving us that night. I only found out what the ingredients were after two slices – braised chicken feet, mushrooms, anchovies and cheese. Odd combination and for the record, I don’t eat chicken feet but this was good stuff. We ate everything.
Our waiter recommended the pistachio cake (not in the menu) and it was lovely. Buttery, moist and not too sweet. The birthday boy was happy and so was I. Service was good that night. The staff were polite and attentive throughout, and made great food recommendations.
Total bill was close to RM500 inclusive of a bottle of (good) white. Minus that and we’re looking at RM300-350 for two pax. By the way, the stairs leading up to Strato is quite steep and ‘open’, so you might want to rethink that super short skirt and killer heels. Or risk it and make the people downstairs at Claret very happy. ;)
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Food: 7/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Good experience overall. Do give the prawn linguine a try.
Strato Italian Restaurant
Level 23A, Troika Sky Dining
Troika, Lorong Binjai
Tel: 03-2162 0886