Saturday, July 10, 2010

Prego's, Media Rotana

In a nutshell: very good food but restaurant lacks atmosphere.
4/5

Prego's is the Media Rotana's only real restaurant; the others are a pub, a buffet restaurant and a lobby lounge. It is a large open room with high ceilings which prevents it from having any sort of cosy, intimate feel. Nearly all the tables are set up for 4 people so Simon and I had to sit at a large table which did not feel in the least romantic considering we were on a 'date night' (luckily nothing like the Date Night movie). We had booked a table for 2, so it wasn't as though we just turned up and they didn't have time to prepare an appropriate table.

As the name suggests, Prego's is an Italian restaurant and since my own Italian cooking had not turned out too well (see earlier blog entry) we decided to erase the memories with a good Italian meal! The menu is mainly pizza, pasta and risotto but there was a page of fish / poultry / meat and there was 2 pages of 'charcuterie'. We were brought an entire loaf of bread! Just for the 2 of us! A nice idea since it was fresh out of the oven, but very wasteful and how would you manage a 3 course meal if you had eaten half a loaf of bread before you had even started? The kitchen opens out into the restaurant and on the bar area there was a huge dish with a massive Parmesan cheese inside which they scoop out to serve with the bread - another original touch.
The meal was very nice: my mushroom soup was light and flavourful and my sea bass was tender with just enough vegetables to accompany every mouthful. However, the 'roast potatoes' appeared to be deep fried rather than roasted and I the saffron sauce was too strong and overpowered the other flavours. Simon's carpaccio of beef was tender and his hammour, served with mixed salad leaves and boiled potatoes was light but substantial enough that he didn't have room for dessert afterwards.

Although the food was very good, it didn't blow us away like Dante's at The Grand Millennium (see first blog entry) and the lack of atmosphere didn't help. Without a Rotana Rewards card, the prices are very much the same as any other hotel (around Dhs 50-80 for starters and Dhs 80-130 for mains) but thanks to our magic card our evening cost just Dhs 100 each. Plus Rotana are doing a summer promotion that rewards you with a voucher for 50% of the value of your meal to use in the future (in our case, Dhs 100). So although Prego's doesn't rate as my top Italian restaurant, I can't complain about the value for money we got!

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