Prego: Italian food that doesn't come in jars

 photo IMG_7567_zps2a283442.jpg

Fans of hearty Italian cuisine have lots of options to choose from these days, what with the recent spate of fine dining restaurants that have opened in recent months. But few outlets can challenge the quality delivered by an old timer on the scene, Prego at Fairmont Hotel. Honest, homey Italian fare in Trattoria style. Think large wheels of Parmesan cheese on marble counter tops, strings of Italian Proscuitto and sausages hanging from the awnings and large wooden communal tables awaiting to be filled up with a tidal wave of generous feasting.

 photo IMG_7566_zps5a9d83e4.jpg

 photo IMG_7582_zpsa1cdbaaa.jpg

Kick starting the night, we were treated to a basket of bread baked in-house served with a variety of dips. Tomato with Basil, Caramelized Onion with Ricotta Cheese and Truffle with Ricotta Cheese. I adored the rich intensity of the Truffle with Ricotta Cheese sauce, creamy with tantalising nuances of forest mushrooms, it made for a memorable way to whet our appetites for what was coming our way.

 photo IMG_7585_zpsf2ad3719.jpg

Insalata Mista ($19) - mixed green salad, radicchio, fennel, red onion and lemon dressing

Not my favourite dish of the night since I wasn't feeling the part of a cow this evening. Pardon my prejudices.

 photo IMG_7594_zpsa38f83a5.jpg

Not to be missed is the Stracciatella di Bufala($26), a crystal clear marinated king prawn topped with a mixture of fresh tomatoes, oregano and spring onions and finally placed idyllically on a bed of pillowy buffalo stracciatella. A love story to be savoured in small doses.

 photo IMG_7572_zpsc20d6a6b.jpg

Let me bring to your attention, the wine cart at our disposal. Under the guidance of our friendly wine expert, Avy, we sampled a couple of wines that were suggested as complimentary to the courses being served. The Riesling Donnhoff, Nahe, Germany (off dry) being one of the memorable ones for me; with intense lemon and lengthy mineral notes.

 photo IMG_7595_zps411e05bc.jpg

Our next course of Cotechino($23) was a rather fatty Italian pork sausage finished off in a roasted organic sweet pepper sauce. This dish was tender and juicy, the acidity of the peppers in the sauce helping to cut through the opulent fattiness of the sausage. Well balanced and extremely well received by all the diners.

 photo IMG_7602_zpsd6fa7af8.jpg

 photo IMG_7626_zps8ee4723d.jpg

If there are minor grouses, it would be the Bucatini ($36). Thick straw like pasta served with calamari, bread crumbs, chilli, black anchovies and fennel. This dish proved a little too dry for my liking and could have benefited from a heavier use of extra virgin olive oil to highlight the slick flavor of the pasta employed.

 photo IMG_7635_zps78709fb6.jpg

 photo IMG_7630_zps17d6a7a1.jpg

The Paccheri ($42) was perfect, large hollow tube like pasta bathed in a lovely roasted heirloom tomato sauce, adorned with fresh basil and finally graced with sweet lobster flesh cooked to a seductive firmness.

 photo page_zps94bc1ce8.jpg

 photo IMG_7647_zps6e02f938.jpg

Merluzzo($42), baked cod fish was a dream in the mouth. The tender sweetness of the flesh complimented by earthy tones of the artichoke and kalamata olives, accompaniments to the dish.

 photo IMG_7654_zps6fbcb02d.jpg

the Stinco d'Agnello ($30) was yet another stellar dish featuring the likes of braised lamb served with roasted fennel and potatoes. A classic dish found on many Italian menus, Prego sure does an impressive take on the regular with fall off the bone lamb that was melt in your mouth delicious.

 photo IMG_7659_zps55503cbd.jpg

The end of the meal was marked by a traditional Italian dessert, Zabaglione ($14), essentially egg yolks cooked over a bain marie till it attains a light creamy texture; port wine was introduced into this rendition for a richer complimentary cream to the fresh berries it formed a nappage over.

 photo IMG_7562_zps1f5099ce.jpg

The attention to detail on Prego's part is extremely enlightening. Prego definitely has that extra bit of polished refinement in terms of food, and for the most part, the excellent ingredients and sophisticated decor go hand in hand with the execution of the dish. Definitely highly recommended on my part should you be in dire need of an Italian fix.

Fairmont Singapore Hotel
Level 1
80 Bras Basah Road
Singapore 189560
Tel: +65 64316156

No comments: