A new chef, an all-new menu. Has Prego finally discovered its mojo?
Alessandro Bechini is a restless Chef; he’s clearly hands on, a doer more than a talker. But aside from letting his food do the talking, he also keeps dropping in for a quick word. Prego, Taj Coromandel’s Italian restaurant can use some of his energy. It’s been nine years since Prego opened its doors. A nine-year ride that’s seen the restaurant swing from snooty fine diner to casual Italian restaurant with Chefs pulling it in different directions.
Alessandro Bechini, (a San Lorenzo trained chef), doesn’t care much about food presentation. ‘What’s the point in plating something if it arrives cold at the table’. We agree. He’d rather focus on the food quality. No gimmicky reinterpretations, just authentic home-grown recipes. His grandmother would probably approve. Like the Papa Al Pomodoro, a slow-cooked soup with focaccia, vegetables and parmesan. Simple yet flavoursome. It is the standout dish of his new menu.
It’s not just authentic recipes, Bechini’s obsession with high quality ingredients elevates even the most simplest dishes like the grilled Chilean sea bass or the cleverly baked, crusted king prawns. Bechini encourages diners to use their hands, whether its the focaccia stuffed with parma ham and marinated figs or the Sicilian Cannoli – a tube shaped pastry filled with ricotta, probably the best dessert on the menu. Bechini loves to talk about his alcohol-free Tiramisu. He figured it’s only fair that the kids dig into a Tiramisu glass at Prego. That’s quite a change from a time when Prego used to be a stiff fine dining restaurant where kids were not exactly welcome.
Prego is at the Taj Coromandel and is a dinner only restaurant. 37, Nungambakkam High Road, Chennai Phone: (044) 6600-2827. Meal for 2: Rs 3500/-