I have to admit, I was a little hesitant when I was asked to go and review Prego’s Saturday Italian buffet lunch, that runs from noon-3pm at the Royal Golf Club. Don’t get me wrong, I love my food, so going to review anything is always a welcome way to pass a few hours, but I have never been a fan of food that is being kept warm for hours on end and rarely find it an enjoyable experience. I needn’t have worried though, while not perfect, this was one buffet that I would be happy to go back to on a regular basis.
Good service is an equal part of what makes eating out enjoyable, and from the moment we walked in, we were welcomed by friendly smiling staff who were attentive and helpful, without hovering, throughout meal.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon so we decided to sit out on the terrace overlooking the swimming pool but it wasn’t long before we drifted back inside to look over the buffet which, at first glance looked pretty limited, but as we walked around it, we realised it had good variety of all the things you would expect to find in an Italian feast, and a few more European treats besides, with a very enticing mix of both rustic and fine dining quality dishes.
The first thing you notice is how beautifully the canapé starters are presented in mouth-watering style, with most of them tasting as good as they look. My favourites, which I admit I went back for a couple of times, were the bite-sized salmon mousse tartlet with beautifully crumbly home-made pastry and a deliciously smooth mousse and the Greek-style rice stuffed vine leaves, which were succulent, without the chewiness that often comes from leaving the vein in.
Moving on to the warm entrées, there was a varied collection of bruschetta and thin-crust pizza as well as a delicious two-bite explosion of flavour, in the form of caramelised onion and goat’s cheese on perfectly flaky puff pastry.
There was nice variety main courses to choose from, including traditional Italian lasagna and spinach stuffed cannelloni, along with delicious beef medallions and steamed vegetable parcels on a bed of sliced potatoes that soaked up the juices of the gravy and melted in the mouth. This however is where my usual hesitance of buffets came into play, as while everything tasted great, it all had that slightly overcooked quality that is unavoidable for food that is being kept warm for any length of time.
The obligatory live cooking station featured everything you could ask for in a pasta dish, including extravagances like black truffles in oil. Unfortunately though this is where the meal fell short. While the pasta dishes we tried arrived looking delicious, it wasn’t look before the sauces split and we were left with pasta swimming in oil.
There wasn’t as big a variety of desserts as other buffets usually have but by the time you’ve eaten you fill of everything else you don’t really mind. The chocolate torte (which was much more cake-like than torte-like), tiramisu, cannoli and profiteroles were nothing to write home about but they were good enough. And let’s face it, all is forgiven when you turn around and see the Haagen-Dazs fridge packed to bursting with a wide variety of delicious ice-creams!
The bill (for two) Total (inc tax) BD24.000
Time Out Bahrain staffhttp://www.timeoutbahrain.com