Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Prego, Raffles The Plaza

I've never really eaten at Prego (Level 1, Raffles The Plaza) before so was my first time visit. The previous couple of visits in the past many years ago involved only tiramisu. I've also been hearing the usual ramble about how this place used to be much better in the past and that the quality of the food has noticeably declined over the years. Well, I don't know anything of that from the past so I guess there will be nothing but a clean slate, unblemished by real or imagined prejudices.

Service from the wait staff was very prompt and attentive. That's pretty much about the only thing I pay attention to in most circumstances and anything more is a bonus. Frankly, prompt and attentive service is a yardstick that many places claim to do and fail so miserably. But I am digressing.

The menu comes with pretty standard offerings for starters, salads, pizza, pasta, mains and dessert.  The differences between the restaurants hence lies in the execution of the dishes. And certain in house specialties that set themselves apart. Prego serves a tasty wheeled bread which is accompanied with a chilled tomato pesto of sorts which I thought was pretty good.

The Parma ham starter which I had came with a blob of fig preserve on the side which I was initially skeptical of. It turned out that the preserve was an excellent accompaniment to the ham and melon.

The osso buco had very delicious meat. I ate the whole thing with a fork since the meat fell off the bone that easily. The only gripe was that there was no marrow to be had. So this was like a veal shank than a real osso buco since the marrow is suppose to be part of what made the dish. The shank was served on lemon scented carrot strips and a bed of saffron risotto which tasted only lightly of the saffron but much more of cheese. It definitely felt like a cheese risotto with a hint of saffron rather than just a saffron risotto. It was enjoyable, just not what I had expected.

This dessert on the menu was known as ravioli al Gianduja, Composta al Rabarbaro e Fragole. It's described to be a chocolate dumpling with a rhubarb & strawberry compote and liquorice ice cream. The ice cream in the photo looked like chocolate because it was chocolate. We swapped out the liquorice.  I didn't think I would have enjoyed liquorice anything and it was definitely a good call that we did swap because the chocolate ice cream was probably the best thing from this dessert. And that was not because of the quality on the ice cream, but rather, the round "dumpling" which I could only describe as 'just like Ferraro Rocher'. Crispy outer shell filled with a creamy hazelnut chocolate centre. How does one spell unremarkable again?

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