Prego Italian Restaurant

Prego Italian Restaurant


The brand new Prego Italian Restaurant at the Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali combines a fun, family-friendly atmosphere with five-star cuisine courtesy of Chef Valerio Pachetti.


The logo for Prego features four irregular boxes in primary colours of red, blue, orange and yellow. It’s a simple graphic but one that immediately lets you know a few things about the restaurant – it’s honest, bold and, like the multicoloured boxes in the logo, slightly off-kilter from what you would expect from an Italian restaurant at a five star resort hotel.
Prego is not a fancy fine dining ristorante, nor is it a clichéd spaghetti and meatballs in red sauce joint. The kitchen is headed up by Chef Valerio Pachetti, who headed up the Prego at the Westin Pune Koreagon Park in India before coming to Bali. After receiving his culinary education in Rome, Chef Valerio cooked in kitchens around the world before perfecting his technique while working at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Sicily. The menu reflects his diverse culinary influences, with dishes that are playful yet sophisticated. Highlights include fresh homemade pastas in a variety of sauces, pizzas with creative toppings cooked in a wood-burning oven and meaty grilled entrées.

The restaurant itself is casual, comfortable and filled with quirky surprises. The dining room features a motif of marble set against dark wooden slats, with copper lamps providing warm soft lighting. Chef Valerio takes pride of place in an open kitchen at the back of the house, where you can watch him and his team in action. Besides the kitchen is a dedicated children’s area, with miniature chairs and tables, a slide, toys and games on hand to keep rambunctious kids happy and feeling at home. There is also outdoor seating in the back, with each table set in islands inside a pond, with a peaceful garden, which will soon grow herbs and vegetables to be used in the kitchen, as a backdrop.

For the start of our meal, Chef Valerio put together an antipasti misto, or appetiser sampler, featuring some of his favourite morsels. The plate came loaded with crisp well-seasoned calamari, delicate arrancini (balls of creamy risotto rice and meat, crumbed and deep-fried) and salty slices of fine prosciutto topping cubes of multi-coloured melon (in a nod to the Prego logo) all surrounding the star of the plate – an oozing mound of startlingly fresh, buttery burrata cheese (made in Bali!) served atop a vibrant salad filled with bits of pumpkin and sun-dried tomato.

As with the burrata, Chef Valerio uses high quality local ingredients whenever possible in all of his dishes, which has the effect of keeping the menu’s prices mostly quite reasonable by Bali standards. But the standards of his cuisine remained consistently high throughout our meal. The next dish we tried was the caramelle ai sette formagi, which translates to “candy of seven cheeses.” And that’s exactly what it looks like – unlike the standard pillow pockets, the ravioli pasta in this dish gets twisted around the seven cheese filling to look exactly like a candy wrapper. But the dish is much more than a cute gimmick. The creamy pesto sauce and bright cherry tomatoes provide a great platform for the delicious multicoloured pasta.



For dessert, we sampled Chef Valerio’s take on an Italian classic, Cannoli alla Siciliana. The deep-fried dough tubes were made using a bit of wine in the batter, giving them a light texture and delicate crunchiness, while the filling of ricotta (again, locally produced), chocolate chips and forest honey was creamy and rich. The richness was cut by a pool of strawberry soup, accented with vanilla and basil, and slivers of crunch candied orange, giving the dessert a surprisingly complex character.

Chef Valerio has promised to pack plenty of surprises into the Prego experience. We got one when, after the dessert, a waiter came to us holding a silver domed tray. We insisted that we had ordered nothing else, and he nodded with a smile. “So you ordered nothing, right?” and he raised the dome to reveal a plate with the word “nothing” artfully written out in chocolate sauce. We won’t spoil any of the other surprises for you, but if you get offered a red clown nose, just wear it – there may be a free cappuccino in it for you.

So while they have more than a few tricks up their sleeves, the food at Prego is honest and straightforward, like the best kind of home cooking. And it’s clear the goal here is not just to make the restaurant family-friendly, but to make the guests feel like family. In that spirit, they also just started offering a Sunday brunch at Prego featuring lots of delicacies for adults, like custom pasta options and carving stations serving up Australian lamb, roasted chicken with truffle jus and fresh chilled seafood, while kids will have a blast enjoying the cotton candy machines, chocolate fountains, cupcake decorating competitions and much more.