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An old favourite Italian favorite that everyone should know about….

If you have lived in Abu Dhabi for a while, you’ll surely have visited Prego’s at Beach Rotana. It’s an old favorite that never disappoints.

The outdoor terrace will instantly transport you into holiday mode-the best part is that it is shaded and you can sit there all year round including lunchtime in the summer!

There is a planted water channel – with fish – right beside the terrace that gives some privacy behind the diners and the hotel guests resting at the beach lawn facing the sea. Views are even more impressive when night comes with the buildings on Reem Island and the Cleveland Clinic illuminated at nighttime.

Our bespoke tasting prepared by Silician Chef Antonino

Invited to visit and review Prego’s, Chef Antonino, who joined Prego’s mid-2018, prepared for us a bespoke sharing menu to taste some of the signature dishes proposed in their à la carte menu. It doesn’t happen often but if we had to answer which dish we preferred, we would be clueless as each of them had something very special and was truly tasty and worth every bite!

We started off our lunch with Focaccia con burrata (75AED) topped with fresh tomatoes, anchovies and burrata. A typical warm starter that whetted our appetite.

Focaccia con burrata

Chef Antonino went on to impress us with Polipo arrostito con crema di patate (95 AED), roasted octopus served on a homemade mashed potato.  Those who follow us have certainly noticed we are always in for trying octopus and this dish was a winner. First boiled, then steamed before being roasted, the octopus was very soft and tasty and the pairing of mashed potato topped with breadcrumbs was a gourmet side: creamy and velvety without feeling heavy at all.

Polipo arrostito con crema di patate

For our first main course, we shared Calamarata alla pescatora (120AED) that we also highly recommend. Prepared with calamarata pasta – shaped as large calamari rings – it came with a generous seafood mix of clams, mussels, octopus, shrimp and scallops. The sauce was prepared with fish stock, pesto and cooked basil leaves, there was no cream involved, and it was an absolute delight!

Calamarata alla pescatora

Our second and last main course to share was Branzino al cartoccio (190AED), a baked seabass with a side of newborn roasted potatoes.

The seabass fillet came to the table wrapped in baking paper and foil. Chef Antonino’s recipe involves cooking it in the oven the healthy way. The fillet is topped with fresh tomatoes, kalamata olives, fresh capers and olive oil. The fish was packed with wonderful Mediterranean flavours infused in every single bite. Make sure to order the roasted potatoes as a side as they also were a pure delight. We have never managed to make them that soft at home!

Branzino al cartoccio

To end this wholesome sunny lunch with an Italian flair, the Silician Chef brought a Silician speciality to our table. Homemade cannoli filled with ricotta, dried fruits and with chocolate chips on both sides.

Any Italian will tell you how difficult it is to master the baking technique to prepare cannoli and that’s why it is so rare to find it in the city. If it’s a dessert you are into, go for it with no hesitation. The dough was crispy, not too sweet-what we liked was that the ricotta cream was sugar-free and it is only the dried fruits that gave this sweet taste.

Homemade Cannoli

This memorable lunch transported us far away from Abu Dhabi and truly awakened our tastebuds!

Prego’s is also a great spot to consider at dinner time as the outdoor terrace has a completely different vibe in the evening.

To conclude…

Next time you are craving a foodie holiday, just take a few hours in your schedule to visit Prego’s at Beach Rotana and book a table at their terrace. We promise you’ll feel recharged while enjoying wholesome Italian cuisine.

PREGO’S | Beach Rotana Hotel, beside Abu Dhabi Mall, 10th Street, Al Zahiya Area – Abu Dhabi

Tel: +971 2 697 9000

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