In a city full of Italian restaurants (with one even sharing the same name) we went to Ristorante Prego with barely any expectations. But we returned surprised. We walked in on a rainy weekend evening to find the place packed, mostly with swish locals. The décor seems at odds with the menu. With its dark-wood panels, hemp-rope lamps, exposed-stone walls and uncovered pipes, the restaurant has a more neo-Asian feel to it than that of a warm Italian eatery. We were seated on chairs too high and uncomfortable, and there seemed to be no regular tables for two.
We braved the niggling backache and charged ahead, ordering the Herbed Flatbread (R375) and Shallow Fried Chicken (R295). Both the appetisers arrived in gigantic servings — a pleasant surprise in a city where micro-portions are gaining ground as ‘fashionable’. The herbed flatbread was topped with deliciously spiced chorizo and marinated arugula leaves slathered with pesto. The flavours went perfectly together and made it a great starter.
The fried chicken, meanwhile, had a Parmesan batter, but the chef had been frugal with the cheese. The chicken was overdone and the batter was limp, with no crunch. Even the dip accompanying it couldn’t save it. This is a dish we’d completely avoid.
In spite of not finishing our appetisers, we ploughed on and called for the main course a dish that everyone around us seemed to be enjoying — the pizza. There has been a considerable pie explosion in the city recently and we were all set to judge Prego by its pizza. The Mixed Meat Pizza (R395) blew our minds. The golden-baked base was covered with just the right amount of sauce and topped with generous amounts of juicy chorizo and pepperoni slices, and pieces of herb-smoked chicken. The chicken had a hint of rosemary which added that zing to every bite. We managed to devour almost all of the pizza on already-full stomachs.
Even though we were now stuffed to the point where we needed assistance in reaching our car, we decided that we couldn’t leave an Italian restaurant without tasting their Tiramisu (R225). Our forks went smoothly through the dessert’s thick mascarpone and ladyfinger layers, but it lacked the kick of coffee. All in all, we’d recommend Prego for the food.
— HT Café reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.
What: Ristorante Prego
where: 31, ground floor, CR2 Mall, Nariman Point
Call: 6617 2008/09
What’s on the menu: Italian cuisine
What we like
What we don’t like