Prego
Italian

PregoGetstheItalianStampofApproval

Brought to you by Prego Gets the Italian Stamp

Chef Samuele Alvisi looks pained when he talks about Italian food in Malaysia. “It is so hard to find authentic Italian cuisine,” he laments. That is, of course, unless he cooks it himself. This Italian chef has been in front of an oven since the age of 12 (he fed the family in exchange for his pocket money), and his 16 years of experience can be tasted in every morsel that comes out of the open kitchen at Prego.

The Westin located Italian restaurant welcomed Chef Samuele in November 2012 and he has wasted no time in stamping his mark on the menu. He is creative within the pork-free limits, and his pastas are among the silkiest that have ever slipped over my tongue (don’t miss the rich Lamb Parpadelle).

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Food is made to be shared at Prego, and the bright, cosy environment of the two-level restaurant lends itself to chilled chatting as you observe the team at work in the open kitchen. Is there any better way to work up an appetite than watching pizzas being eased in and out of a stone oven? The crisp, generously topped creations tasted all the better for having been prepared in front of our hungry eyes.

A meal always starts with fluffy home baked bread and an addictive tomato dip while appetizers – the Goose Liver with Spicy Mango Jam is a creative flourish – should not be missed, but enjoyed with caution; you don’t want to be too full for mains. Meat lovers will cry with joy at the size, taste, and quality of the 1kg T-bone steak, while the Seabass in Salt Crust is one of the chef’s favourites from the fish selection.

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As is only fitting in a fine Italian dining establishment, the wine list is varied and carefully selected, but those avoiding the alcohol will rejoice at the funky signature softies such as Ice Strawberry Tea, which blitzes strawberries, syrup, mint, and tea into a tasty frenzy. Desserts are as glorious as the Italian sunshine, and the signature Zuccotto al ciocolatto (chocolate mud cake) competes with a pistachio- and coffee-flavoured Crème Brulee for the best way to indulge.

Prego is a place to laugh and chat as the best flavours of Italian cuisine grace your plate, courtesy of the knowledgeable staff and their proud Italian leader; Chef Samuele. “I’m not just saying this, but my pizzas are the best I have ever tasted,” he tells me with a firm nod of the head. I would be inclined to agree. Go and judge for yourself.

First published August, 2013

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