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strada, birmingham mailbox.

Strada has become known for a modern approach to Italian dining, with well known dishes and unusual ingredients alike. They pride themselves on fresh pasta, authentic Italian ingredients and knowledgable staff. Having just launched their Summer set menu at The Mailbox venue in Birmingham, I went along with my mum to sample their offerings.

First off, we couldn't get over what brilliant value the lunch menu was. Served from 12-7pm on Monday-Friday, you can enjoy two courses for £9.95 or three for £11.90. We began with a classic caprese salad and prosciutto di Parma, rocket, mozzarella and sticky balsamic.

These would have made fantastic light bites to enjoy with a glass of wine on their own. I love caprese salad when done well; fresh and good quality buffalo fior de latte mozzarella, with vibrant tomatoes and a subtle dressing. My mum enjoyed a chilled glass of white whilst I enjoyed an iced limonata, saving my glass of wine for the menu. (Doh, driving again!)

For mains, we chose chicken caesar salad and fish fritti, with a side of Italian rosemary potatoes (£3.75).

Again really light, my mum enjoyed her chargrilled chicken and well seasoned salad. Whilst I really liked he fried calamari, I thought the batter was a little heavy for the salmon and seabass. Just a touch lighter on the batter and this would have been a lunchtime favourite for seafood lovers. The potatoes on the side were seriously tasty, with just the right amount of crispness. The waiter paired this with the San Vincenzo white, which was very crisp with a slight rosy peach aroma.

To finish, my mum ordered the chocolate ice cream whilst I chose the tiramisu. The artisanal ice cream and sorbet, which comes from Jude's in Hampshire, came in a choice of chocolate, vanilla or strawberry. We thought these were a little basic, and although family friendly, we would have loved to see pistachio, Sicilian lemon, bacio or stracciatella. 

On the other hand, my tiramisu was the overall winner! Gorgeous creamy layers, just a hint of coffee, spike of booze and bitter chocolate dusting. I would definitely go back and order than with an espresso - perfect for perking me up after a morning's shopping!

In all, we though the menu was fantastic value for two or three courses and would definitely recommend Strada for a light lunch with friends. Looking forward to seeing what the new set menu brings!

Have you ever been to Strada? What are your favourite Italian dishes?

Note: I was invited to Strada to review the set menu. All opinions are honest and my own.

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