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The name Prego has always been synonymous with superb Italian food in Koh Samui. One of the longest established and best loved eateries on the island, Prego has been delighting its diners for over eleven years.
The décor at Prego, despite being designed over a decade ago, is still pleasingly current, which really illustrates how ‘ahead of its time’ it was when its doors first opened to the public, to rapturous applause from the residents and visitors to Koh Samui who, in a bygone age, had been starved of restaurants of its quality. It is also a testament to Chef Marco and his team, that now, on an island bursting at the seams with dining venues, it remains one of the most popular restaurants on the island.
It does not take very long once you arrive at Prego to understand the reason behind its success. Charismatic Italian Chef Marco Boscaini has clearly made it his mission on the island to provide his diners with the finest Italian Cuisine in this stylish restaurant that gives no hint it is not a standalone venue, but in fact part of the prestigious Amari Palm Reef resort.
The restaurant features an open-air pizza oven that is complemented by its al fresco-style dining setting, spacious layout and subtle lighting, that is low enough to provide a stylish atmosphere without you wishing you had brought a torch along with your reading glasses to be able to read the extensive menu of over 100 authentic Italian dishes.
To the rear of the restaurant you will find a comfortable bar area with natural walls of live bamboo that provides the perfect spot for enjoying pre dinner drinks and cocktails as well as post dinner drinks and perhaps a cigar. Of course the drinks list is extensive and contains ‘old favorite’ cocktails such as the famous Mai Tai and Planters Punch among many others. You will find special tipples such as the Grappino Crush – grappa, lime juice and brown sugar, Caipi Mexx – tequila, fresh limes, orange and brown sugar and of course the Prego Caipi of Campari, fresh limes and brown sugar. If you enjoy a taste of the sour then try the Amaretto Sour with lemon juice and sugar syrup, if your tastes run to shots then the B52 is always a favorite. Of course if you prefer your tipples virgin you will find a super range of alcohol-free alternatives.
“Le Specialita da Bere di Prego” (Prego drink specials) include the Aperol Spritz, a refreshing combination of Prosecco and Aperol, Peroni Nastro Azzurro the famous and delicious Italian lager style beer and a Chocolate grappa – Chef Marco’s sinful house-made creation. Premium Spirits, Aperitifs, Bitters, Sherry & Port, Brandy & Cognacs, local and imported beers and Italian soft drinks such as Aranciata, Chinotto, Aranciata Rosso and Limonata are all also on the drinks menu.
The wine list is a highly impressive collection of over 150 labels containing perfectly selected delights of the grape from Italy, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Spain, France, New Zealand, Thailand, the USA and Argentina. Red wines, white wines, sparkling wines, rose wines and champagnes, caress the menu for your enjoyment. Wines are available by the glass as well as by the bottle that pleasingly start at around only one thousand baht a bottle.
Before we get onto the menu, let us take a second to discover something of the man behind it. Chef Marco’s culinary experience reads like a love letter to Italian Cuisine. Having completed his culinary training at the Insituto Giovanni Pastore in Varallo Sesia in Northern Italy in 1983 he invested over twenty years perfecting his trade, starting out in apprenticeship positions before arriving as the Head Chef and Owner of his own establishment Il Campetto.
He arrived on Koh Samui’s relatively underdeveloped shores in 2003 and treated the folk of Samui to the new and upscale dining experience of Prego. His menu is comprised from his own recipe book, his dishes created from the finest imported ingredients from in and around his homeland. To this day Prego is known for its superior service, consistency and delectable Italian dishes thanks to him and his handpicked, and impressively hand trained team.
The menu is a roller coaster ride of Italian delights. The journey starts with traditional Bruschetta, Insalata of Mediterranean of green salad leaves, tomato, olives, artichoke, carrot, bell pepper, mozzarella and basil with balsamico dressing or if you prefer, Arugula salad with sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts and a light gorgonzola dressing. For those whose tastes edge towards the luxurious then Rock lobster salad with artichokes, peppers and lemon dressing should hit the mark and for lovers of seafood the Warm seafood salad with basil pesto and grilled tomatoes will not fail to impress. Other tantalizing dishes that are hard to ignore include the Grilled U.S scallops on a bed of parma ham and marinated zucchini, dressed with a light lemon cream sauce and the Norwegian smoked salmon served with a roman style artichoke to name but two. If you are dining as a group, Prego is the perfect venue for even very large parties thanks to its size and layout. The Antipasto Misto Alla Prego – the chef’s selection of assorted antipasti is a ‘must order’ dish.
If you are fond of soup then you have three choices, a hearty traditional Italian vegetable soup with basil pesto, a beautiful lobster soup with a subtle taste of brandy or a warming pumpkin soup with toasted almonds.
There are also three impossible to choose from risotto dishes, Risotto with saffron and Italian pork sausage, Risotto with Italian Gorgonzola and a superb mixed seafood risotto with roasted cherry tomatoes.
Of course, it goes without saying that Prego is renowned for its Pizza and Pasta. The pasta menu is bursting with the delights of Italy and handmade, hand rolled pasta. All of your favorites can be found on the menu that also includes a dreamy dish of Egg fettuccine with Phuket Lobster, tomato and herbs and, a delightfully decadent dish of Fettuccine with fresh porcini mushrooms and black truffle. The delicious ravioli comes filled with Ricotta cheese, spinach with butter and sage or Veal and mushrooms in a tomato sauce with basil. The fabulous Gnocchi cannot be ignored with either walnuts and gorgonzola or tomatoes and basil pesto. It goes without saying the lasagne is one of the best to make its way out of Italy.
The pizza menu is just as impressive and, like the pasta menu, of course has all of your traditional favorites. If you fancy straying away from your tried and tested options try the Romana with tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, capers and olives or the devilish Diavola with tomato, mozzarella, spicy salami and chili that will rival any other pleasures you indulge in during your life. All of the pizzas are prepared in a eucalyptus wood fired pizza oven and are baked to perfection.
The main course menu is a plethora of indulgence with Australian beef tenderloin, Roasted chicken roll filled with spinach and buffalo mozzarella served with rosemary potatoes and seasonal vegetables, Pan fried veal loin with white wine sauce, crispy parmesan and a broccoli puree, Grilled Italian Luganega sausage, New Zealand lamb, grilled prawns, rock lobster, squid, pan fried snow fish, seabass, grilled salmon and tuna fillets also grace this impressive menu.
Prego caters for all tastes and persuasions and offers an extensive vegetarian menu as well as an impressive gluten free menu, that is something virtually unheard of in a world of Italian delights.
As well as the main menu, Prego has a specials menu that changes every couple of weeks to ensure that its guests, many of whom return time after time, always have something new and exciting to indulge in such asthe Pici a la Chinatigiana, with the hand-rolled rustic Tuscan pasta with the Australian beef tenderloin stewed in Chianti wine with rosemary.
For some, contemplating dessert after such culinary delights may seem a little on the side of obscene, but once Pandora’s box has been opened it will be impossible to resist the decadent selection of pure wickedness inside. Those with a hearty appetite will be glad they have the constitution for such indulgence.
The heavenly journey through the Prego dessert menu starts with Wood oven-baked apple tart with ice cream before moving onto Tiramisu of the Chef’s own very special recipe, Panna Cotta, Chocolate brownie served with hot chocolate sauce, Homemade lemon sherbet blended with limoncello liqueur, a disgustingly beautiful and indulgent range of sorbets, a very naughty Chocolate-walnut mousse cake with amarena cherries and orange filets, and a Sour cream cheese cake served with mixed berry compote that is so delicious it can hardly be considered legal. For die hard cheese lovers the Assorted Italian cheese platter with traditional condiments is, without question, a must have end to your incredible culinary journey.
No mention of Prego can not include the wonderful team of staff who attend to your every need, almost before you realize that you had a need! They have a comprehensive knowledge of the menu as well as the wine menu and are happy to help you with some creative wine pairing and really nothing is too much trouble as they diligently float around the restaurant ensuring that everything required is provided.
Dining at Prego is a must for anybody who is visiting the island and for those lucky enough to call the island home a 20% off resident discount card is waiting for you with Chef Marco.
To book a table call 077 300 317