Prego is a new Italian restaurant at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali. It’s all about the food of course, but while you are there dining can be a load of fun too.
Text by Trauts Photos by Sulthon
Columbian-born to Italian parents, Chef de Cuisine Valerio Pachetti was involved from the planning stages of the restaurant, which is sited in a brand new, 99-room wing of the Westin Resort, right through to creating the menu and now overseeing the operation of the restaurant itself. He came to Bali earlier this year from the Prego restaurant at The Westin Pune Koreagon Park in India, of which he was also in charge. Prego is the name used for the Italian restaurants in many Westin Resorts around the world and, holding with tradition, Valerio and the staff at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua are keeping the atmosphere light and family orientated.
I visited the brightly coloured Prego for dinner recently and the first thing I noticed was the chef cruising around the tables chatting with guests. Not such an odd thing in restaurants you could say, but in hotel restaurants, mostly yes. He eventually made his way to our table and while he was amiably suggesting dishes that may be of interest to us we managed to glean some information about Prego.
“I’ve worked in a few Prego restaurants around the region,” Chef Valerio says next to our table. “And this one is similar. This is the full Prego concept with separate parking and direct access from the road, independent to the hotel, and with realistic economical pricing for all the family. We use a few gimmicks with the staff like wearing funny noses and other costume accessories to create a relaxed environment,” continues Valerio. “Especially at the Prego Family Brunch that we are really pushing towards the families, with special themes and a separate swimming pool area adjacent to the restaurant that people can enjoy all day long.” More about the atmosphere later, but for now, how about the food?
After speaking with the chef we chose a variety of dishes to get the feel of the Prego flavours and dining.
From the cold antipasti selection we chose a sharing plate of affettiall Italiana (Rp185k – all prices are nett), a selection of imported cold meats, roasted vegetables and Prego bread sticks, which the chef assured us were some of the best imported cold meats available on the island. He should know because according to him he buys all the best at one time that the suppliers have available. Coming with that platter and off the hot antipasti section we had the calamari fritti (Rp98k), which was a plate of perfectly deep-fried squid rings coated in a light crumb and served with a spicy tartare sauce. They were fried in the crispy Italian style and my companion noted that she loved the sauce.Click to view slideshow.
There is a long list of pastas available at Prego which can be matched with half or full portions of all the usual favourite sauces that can be found in most Italian restaurants. We chose the carbonara (Rp98/125k) from that list and one from the homemade pasta selection, caramelle ai sette formaggi (Rp119k). As has been said before, it’s all about having some fun at Prego and the candy-shaped ravioli filled with seven cheeses is a novel idea and decidedly tasty too. The carbonara sauce was made in the more local fashion using a little cream more than the traditional egg-based method, but tasty all the same. Chef Valerio acknowledged this fact saying that parts of the menu have been created to suit the tastes of the local clientele. You have to admire a chef who knows his guests.
Washing these dishes down with a Banfi red wine from Italy, we went onto the mains and tried the involtini di pesce spada e peperonata (Rp189k), a swordfish rolled with spinach and raisons, with potato and a southern Italian style, lightly spiced roasted pepper relish on the side. We shared this main as most of the dishes coming to the table were of a substantial size and, like everything else we were trying that evening, this one too was well-cooked and presented from the open kitchen not far away buzzing with Chef Valerio’s team.
There is a plethora of items on the Prego menu to choose from, including a wide selection of hot and cold starters, soups, pastas, wood-fired pizzas, risottos, seafood, meats and desserts. Just about anything you could imagine in Italian cuisine is there and Chef Valerio and his team are preparing and serving it with Italian gusto.
There are three areas to dine at the restaurant. Inside in the large main dining area, outside on the small landing overlooking the grass and gardens, or by the swimming pool on the opposite side near the entrance. The pool area can also be taken advantage of by guests enjoying the Prego Family Brunch (Adults Rp280k, Kids 4 – 12 Rp140k) at a small extra price per person. The Sunday Brunches are becoming a popular choice in Prego for family groups and everyone else, and feature loads of great Italian food and activities for the kids from 11.30am to 3pm.
Prego is a new addition to Nusa Dua’s culinary scene. It’s not trying to be too fine dining or pretentious, but it does have good, competent service and fine Italian food on offer, and it’s set in a pleasant fun atmosphere. For families, couples and anyone for that matter, it’s a good new choice to have in Bali’s premium tourist precinct.
The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali
Phone: +62 361 771 906