Prego: Ambrosial Italy
Reviewed by : Hildra Gwee. Other Foodadvisor Writers?
When it comes to restaurants that serve good Italian food in Singapore , Prego, which means “welcome” in Italian, will be on most top 5 lists. Located just on the ground level of Raffles the Plaza in the dynamic City Hall precinct, Prego works its charms with its elegance and pairs it off with rich colors, flavours and aromas of Italy to afford an ambrosial dining experience.
- The Vibe
With full glass windows that allows its diners to gaze out lazily onto the busy city streets of Bras Basah and Beach Road, Prego is very much an idyllic enclave to dine in. Arranged in a semi-circle fashion, with high ceilings and warm maple wood panels, guests can feel right at home in the warm ambience of this restaurant. Furthermore, there are huge open kitchens on site where diners can take joy in watching the chefs at work as they prepare the various delicacies before their eyes, and allow the aromas to waft throughout the space, creating an enticing atmosphere that will whet all appetites.
- The Food
The lunch and dinner menus run the gamut from heartwarmingly familiar delicacies to contemporary Italian dishes created by Italian Chef Antonio Massagli. You will do well to commence your meal at Prego with the specialty Calamari Fritti ($26). This scrumptious plate of crispy calamari is lightly spiced with pepper and tastes fragrantly of artichoke marinate which tastes even better when paired off with a homemade spicy tartar sauce and a spritz of tangy lemon. For a more extravagant entrance into your meal, do make a note to order the Piatto di Antipasti ($40) which is a kaleidoscopic palette of starters that will pamper your taste buds silly. Depending on the season and mood of the brilliant chefs, you will savour a medley of fresh salads, hams, light pastas, greens and seafood all in one platter that can be shared amongst up to 4 or 5 people.
A dish that you should not miss out on is the chef's homemade Tagliolini Neri in Salsa di Scampi, Zafferano e Pomodori Pachino ($26) that is available only for dinner. Unlike most squid ink pastas served in other restaurants, the one served in Prego will not leave any traces of ink on your mouth, but still tastes as excellent as it normally does. Creamy and fragranced with hints of butter and saffron, the Tagliolini pasta is further sweetened with cherry tomatoes and langoustine, affording tastes that were just divine. Another noteworthy homemade pasta dish to have is the Ravioli alla Piemontese ($23) which is handcrafted ravioli stuffed with veal and ricotta cheese, then served with pine nuts and glazed over with a piquant cream and beef sauce.
If you are one who needs your daily dose of meat, the oven baked Lamb Ribs ($38) seasoned with an aromatic assortment of herbs will be my recommendation. Zesty on the outside and tender on the inside, this main course that comes paired with roasted potatoes offers a wholesome satisfaction without being too heavy on the palate.
For desserts, the moist coffee-flavoured Tiramisu ($12.50) and Kahlua flavoured Zuccotto mudpie served with caramel and vanilla sauce ($12) are amongst the top picks.
- The Service
If you are one who has been disappointed with the service standards in Singapore , you will be pleased to know that the staffs are Prego are definitely of a separate caliber. Greeted politely by every single staff member as you are ushered from the door to your seat, you can truly feel welcomed and looked after. Overall, they were prompt with service, although the cutlery and plates of the restaurant should have been cleaned more thoroughly as I often saw traces of pepper on them when the staff changed my plate for a supposed cleaner one.
The SD Food Advisor's take on Prego
Prego has all that one could wish for in a fine Italian restaurant; an elegant, yet comfortable atmosphere, attentive service and cuisine that strikes the perfect balance between traditional authenticity and innovative preparations. Together with a stellar chef team, this restaurant has almost fine-tuned all the little details and made Prego a sharply focused restaurant that is in contention for being a part of the city's best culinary honours.