When you are holidaying on an island dotted with seafood restaurants one after another, and you are already overwhelmed with more-or-less the same menu, having a break from it sounds like a prayer. And your prayer is actually well answered with the superb and authentic Italian restaurant called Prego.
Located on Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui, Prego welcomes guests with a contemporary ambience in which the scents of freshly baked pizza from the wood-fired oven touch your nose and lure your appetite upon arrival. The rustic seating sets a cosy vibe, while the air-conditioned indoor spaces tucked at the back on both sides provide a more expansive and formal experience. Prego originally started to serve authentic Italian dishes to locals and tourists alike on Samui island in 2003, and it has been under the baton of Chef Marco Boscaini ever since. Chef Marco’s recipes are inspired from his childhood in northern Italy, as he particularly mentioned the Saturday afternoons that he spent making pasta by hand with his father, in preparation for traditional Italian family Sunday get-together lunches.
“It was a nice but long process, starting from the flour, add eggs in the centre, a bit of olive oil, salt and start to mix,” he said. “I remember my father’s big hands giving the last, smooth, final touch before we started to create lasagna, ravioli and so on.” No wonder the staple of Chef Marco’s menu is pasta, with important details from hand rolling to the use of real semolina flour, inspiring decadent taste and texture. With his gentle smile, Chef Marco told us how glad he is to be able to work on this fertile island, where fresh seafood is second to none, as he’s really committed to fresh, high-quality ingredients to produce delectable gastronomy.
The long-listed menu of Prego could put you in a real dilemma, as all of the dishes sound awesome. Turning to the welcoming chef for his suggestions, Chef Marco kicked off our splendid meal with Burrata Fresca – fresh burrata cheese on marinated tomato. This particular dish is in high demand for most of the time, thus advance reservation is recommended, said the waiter. And it lives up to its fame, as the fresh cheese was so tender and went very well with the tomato.
Antipasto Misto – an assorted selection of Italian cold cuts, vegetables and cheeses, arrived on our table next, and we came to the realisation of what Chef Marco means when he referred to “only the finest ingredients”. While we were about to give him a compliment from our hearts as he walked past, he smilingly said: “Wait till you try my favourite.” The Saffron Pappardelle with Roasted Lamb Ragu and Porcini Mushrooms was his most-loved menu item. “There is nothing quite like home-made pappardelle, which is a sort of large, flat ribboned fettuccine accompanied with a rich meat sauce,” quoted Chef Marco, and we couldn’t help but wholeheartedly agree with him!
As we thought we did not have any space left in our stomachs, Chef Marco went on and prepared us an aromatic pizza to perfection. Of course, we could not resist it for definite. “Italian dishes are meant for sharing, just like Thais,” said Chef Marco. “It would do no harm for just a bite or two.” And we went on, finishing the whole of it over a good conversation and splendid wine pairing, plus Italian craft beer, imported from Birra del Borgo, one of Italy’s leading craft breweries.
Opposite Amari Koh Samui on Chaweng Beach Road (the northern part of town)
PREGO is managed by the Amari Koh Samui, Samui 84320
T: +66 (0) 7730 0306, +66 (0) 7730 0317