Prego Fairmont Singapore is presenting its newest lineup this year for all its guests who are keen to sample a refreshed range of Italian fare. Conceptualised by Chef Antonio, the spread this time round features highlights like the Spaghetti Aglio Bianco Bruciato e Olio, a Risotto alla Milanese con Rane in Guazzetto and my favourite of Panino Tiepido.
I’ve always enjoyed the cuisine at Prego. My last visit to the Italian restaurant saw a delectable truffle line up. Chef Antonio always does an excellent job in crafting warmhearted Italian cuisine for his guests.
Meals at Prego always start with some freshly prepared spread for the day. This time round it was back to homely tomato puree that simply carried a flavour that was rich and vegetable sweet, lasting and refreshing.
Focaccia and Breadsticks for dipping.
A little something to start with.
From the Spring Menu comes the Cuore di Bue (Campania). Heart Tomato, Buffalo Burrata Cheese, Garden Herb are presented together for a refreshing, light hearted dish. The tomatoes are exceptionally sweet, much more so than the regular tomato that carry a tangier punch with a slightly more runny interior. These brought out the flavour of the burrata cheese, which on its own was fragrant and light, easy on the palate. A simple starter, yet easily a favourite if you are a fan of clean tastes.
Aragosta In Insalata. Roasted Lobster, Asparagus, Haricot Beans, Cipolline Onions and Truffle Vinaigrette. A clean option that didn’t work its best for me as the flavours were more detached than wholesome. Paired with WV Zandetto Proseco Brut, Italy.
Foie Gras is always a classic. The Fegato Grasso with Roasted Foie Gras, Warm Leeks, Water Cress, Toasted Hazelnut Vinaigrette carries the traditional blend of fatty flavours. Paired with 2010 Gunderloch Rothenberg Spahese Riesling, Germany.
I was taken aback by the Spaghetti, Aglio Bianco Bruciato e Olio. The choice of Roasted Garlic, Olive Oil, Chilli Flakes, and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil would be the traditional setting of a good Aglio Olio. However, the key ingredient in this dish is clearly the Nduja Tipo Calabra (Spicy Salami) that leaves a warm, spicy sensation after each bite. It is fatty, rich, with its meaty flavours from a combination of pork neck, pork fat and chilli acutely concentrated. I love the lip smacking oiliness, and the pepperish heat is extremely satisfying. Paired with the 2011 Isde e Olena Chianti Classico, Italy.
Chef Antonio then brought out a portion of Italian Pork Fat oven baked over some bread for all of us try. Italian pork fat is flavoured quite differently from the more regular lard found locally. Its flavours, hearty and buttery, with a slight amount of texture to get through is occasionally used in Chef’s dishes.
Cream pasta lovers will go for the Garganelli. Roasted Artichokes, Hazelnuts and Light Gorgonzola Cream form the accompaniment in this dish. The cream is thick and well flavoured, leaving each portion satisfying. It is an excellent portion but I do recommend it shared.
The Locharburn that goes with the next dish of Risotto.
Up next was the Risotto alla Milanese con Rane in Guazzetto. Saffron Risotto and Fennel is presented with a portion of Sauteed Frog Legs. The petite frog legs were tender and freshwater sweet, complementing the bolder and richer risotto. This is one dish that will remind me of an Italian countryside home. Its creamy and wet texture looks, with a good amount of flavour infused within, looks like a dish that is lovingly prepared from start to finish. Paired with 2009 Locharburn Pinot Noir, New Zealand.
For the dish of Trota Salmonata, it was the side of crushed peas and mint that stood out. As peas carries a very distinct sweet, grassy flavour with an equally rough texture, it was interesting to see it combined with mint for a lighter twist to its overall presence and flavour profile. Have that with the side of ocean trout, and what you get is a compelling main that deserves a closer look. Paired with 2012 Feudi di San Gregorio, Falaghina, Italy
The 2012 Falaghina and the 2011 Chadon Pinot Noir
For dessert, I had the Panino Tiepido. This creation of Vanilla Cream Filled Brioche, Strawberry Soup and Fior di Latte Gelato was probably the best ending this meal could have. Light and airy, with a sweetness that was not cloying but delicate and crisp, I enjoyed this through and through. Paired with NV Media Ermete Lambrusco Dolce, Italy, a sweet wine with a more distinctive rounded bitter flavour.
The wines for the session.
Lunch at Prego is always a session look forward to favourably. While the new dishes this time round were both hits and misses for me, dishes like the Aglio Olio, Risotto and Strawberry Soup dessert stood out favourably for me. Maybe its the more general, clean tasting profile that seemed like a theme through the various dishes that is distinctly different from its more flavourful and wholesome past. Although I prefer the latter, this range does show diversity in creation, making this an interesting option to look forward to if you are in the mood for refreshing flavours.
Thank you Fairmont Singapore for the invitation.
80 Bras Basah Road
Reservations: 6431 6156
Mon to Sat 11.30am – 2.30pm
Daily 6.30pm – 10.30pm