Samui Wining & Dining
ITALIAN REPLICA
The soul of Italian traditions with just the right atmosphere at Prego Italian Restaurant Samui.

The soul of Italian traditions with just the right atmosphere at Prego Italian Restaurant Samui.Along the northern part of the beach road in Chaweng, you’ll see a rather pleasing-to-the-eye establishment that is one of Samui’s most successful restaurants. This is Prego Italian Restaurant Samui, a lively institution that’s been going strong since 2003, and which has been helmed throughout all those years by a single chef, Marco Boscaini. He’s a maestro who is adventurous in all the best ways, and who deftly combines the contemporary with the traditional. That specific blend has resulted in Prego being immensely popular, and pleasing its many guests. They number not just the holidaymakers who come across it – the restaurant is hard to miss, thanks to its clean, sleek lines – but also local people and long-stay residents.

          

Definitely chic and imbued with an understated elegance, Prego is exactly the kind of venue that you’d find in Italy; it’s a friendly place, one that brings people together, a sort of home from home. A lot of the dishes are designed so that they can be shared. The restaurant is popular not just with couples but also groups of varying sizes. Drop in and you’ll soon be soaking up the Italian feel of the place. 

          

The restaurant faces onto the street and is just across the road from Amari Koh Samui. Prego has a bar out at the front, ideal for people watching, and then has a large interior which also boasts two air-con rooms, each of which can accommodate 45 guests. Pride of place goes to Prego’s authentic wood-fired oven, ideal for not just pizzas,The soul of Italian traditions with just the right atmosphere at Prego Italian Restaurant Samui. but also for a whole range of delicious baked goods. 

          

Towards the back of the restaurant you’ll see the chilled cabinets containing the large wine collection. Prego has over 70 labels that include not just Italian but other varieties, with everything selected for both taste and value. 

          

The food, meanwhile, is sumptuous. You’ll find many of the dishes are the kind that have been eaten in various parts of Italy since time immemorial – these are best-loved classics, and Chef Marco has faithfully recreated them here on the other side of the world. They taste every bit as good as the originals, especially since he imports the typically Italian foodstuffs from back home. He uses a special kind of mozzarella from Puglia, for example, and this becomes a starter, Buratta Cheese, a great way to begin a meal here. Pasta that Marco gets from Tuscany he uses to complete a favourite dish, I Pici di Chef Marco, which is yumminess itself – it’s a beef ragout made more flavoursome still thanks to Pecorino cheese. Most of what you’ll find here at Prego is made in person by Marco or his staff; dishes are prepared from scratch, and certainly he’s behind the inspiration for it all. 

          

Fish comes in many forms, notably a grilled seafood platter with authentic Mediterranean tastes, or pan-roasted sea bass fillet. You can also have baked salmon or lobster, which comes with garlic chilli linguine and a parmesan basket. There’s plenty of meat on the menu with oven-baked rack of lamb, along with fresh herbs, 32-3pecorino polenta and a vegetable caponata. Naturally there are delights such as Angus beef sirloin or Australian tenderloin, too, which come with various accompaniments. 

          

A meal at Prego can be incredibly varied. The menu is long and detailed - a mouth-watering read in itself. It also contains many of the more usual favourites, such as pizzas, which you can either order direct from the menu or build your own out of a host of ingredients with sauces, meats, seafood, vegetables and no less than seven different cheeses. Try, too, the pasta and risotto, including Marco’s own excellent lasagne. 

          

Hold back on the mains, though, as they shouldn’t be the end of any meal at Prego. Dessert aficionados will be wowed. Marco’s very own tiramisu heads the list here and is large enough to share. Or you can opt for the panna cotta, which has a southern-style orange flavour – these are just two of the very moreish options. 

          

Prego is one of a growing number of restaurants that takes its diners’ diets and restrictions very seriously. Certainly there are many vegetarian recipes on the menu, but you’ll also find that there’s a gluten-free menu and vegan cheeses available. For Marco it’s easy to make a three-course meal for anyone who has food intolerances. 

          

Prices are remarkably affordable, making the restaurant a go-to place when it comes to excellent value as well as authenticity. Sit back and enjoy a fine lunch or dinner in genuinely Italian surroundings – you’ll be pleased that you came.

          

 Dimitri Waring


 


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