Prego is one of those eating establishments that is just there. I hardly hear of friends who “crave” for it but praises abound whenever one has visited. It is one of those reliable eating establishments that has been there forever and always delivers homey Italian food. Last night’s dinner was no different but I also noticed the good food was paired with great service. Every staff was ready with big smiles and a genuine desire to serve. I found myself smiling not only at the food but also at their willingness to accommodate us. It is heartening to find the restaurant hasn’t given in to those annoying hire-only-Singaporeans calls, and continues to hire an army of Filipino staff. At the end of the day good service trumps all else.
With four friends, two new ones (these opportunities are such a blessing), our dinner at Prego was a spontaneous choice. We began the evening at 7.30pm with a talk on valuing art at Ode To Art next door. Disappointing and annoyingly so, NO wine or canapés were served. I felt it was a tad rude on the part of the organizers, to be honest. The talk dragged on until close to 9pm before our starving selves took over and we bounced out the door before the end. Dinner was a choice between Prego or PuTien, where I am still so enamored with the Fried Oyster Omelet. Prego triumphed in the end as it was the closest to the art gallery and Italian food paired better with wine. At 9pm, a time way past peak dinner service, I was surprised we even had to wait.
For dinner, we shared two starters and desserts, a bottle of wine, and a pasta for each of us. Food here is neither stellar nor astoundingly good but every dish was well-seasoned, and flavours on point. All-in-all, we were hard-pressed to find faults.
The Fegato Grasso: Roasted Foie Gras, Warm Leek, Watercress, Toasted Hazelnut and Vinaigrette, arrived beautifully plated with balanced harmony of flavours and textures. However there was a disappointing element; the toasted white bread on the side. The soft bread did not compliment the equally soft foie gras. This choice of bread was surprising given the sturdier complimentary bread.
The Calamari Fritti: Fried Calamari, Lemon, Spicy Tomato Dip, could have been better. A thicker crispier batter encasing the non-rubbery squid would have been appreciated. I guess one can’t be a winner in every aspect.
The staff apologized profusely when we asked for their famous complimentary bread that is baked in-house. There was no need to apologize. It was us who should apologize to our waistlines; no one held back.
Next came our pastas. Despite our faint complaint about the generous portion, it did not stop us from finishing to the very last carbohydrate.
I went for the Penne Tartufate: Sauteed Mushrooms, Creamy Truffle Sauce which I substituted for Fettuccine. My initial thought about its boring-ness (just mushrooms, cream and carbs) quickly dissipated when the plate arrived. It was a truffly-bomb, alright!
I really could not have asked for more. Generous amount of tender assorted mushrooms, pleasurably rich cream, and al dente fresh fettucine topped off with a strong truffle essence. It was simply satisfying. I got what I asked for. Prego really triumphed with this simple goodness.
All my friends were pleased as a punch with their pasta choices too.
Our two desserts were not mind-blowing but its straightforward execution did not lack flavour or stinginess with portion.
The Tiramisu, a House Signature, set out what it intended to be.
The Mousse al Cioccolato: Milk Chocolate Mousse, Caramel Fudge, Chocolate Sauce was akin to a chocolate cheesecake with the smooth chocolate mousse atop the brownie-like bottom. Crunchiness was delivered with those chocolate nut brittles and the single drop of chocolate fudge sauce prevented our tummies from exploding at the end of the high carbohydrate dinner.
Dinner at Prego was a wise choice. I left impressed with their desire to not complicate food and the ever-smiley staff who bade us farewell with high levels of enthusiasm despite the late hour.