Prego

Market Fish (Snapper) with herb risotto

Awarded by Annabelle White, Food & Travel Writer

It’s not unusual to see a line of people outside Prego (Est .1986) as the doors open at noon on any given day and often by 12.30 all the tables are taken. Nothing at all for them to serve 500 people in a day, but the slick service and good spacing means it’s busy, but it’s also relaxed gracious dining. White table cloths yes, the gentle hum of traffic and chatter of pedestrians outside yes, but here locals can gather for some time over the innovative wine list and share a gourmet pizza. There are committed regulars who come to order the same dish so staff keep a little book of notes of their preferences or simply just remember. It’s like a gourmet community centre serving great food – the perfect glimpse of a humming local scene. The one word people use to describe Prego is consistency – every time I visit it’s hard to by-pass the market fish with dill and chervil risotto. On offer usually two fish options - one delicate like today’s pan-fried John Dory or if you prefer a stronger flavour – King fish. The number one favourite is always the snapper. Perfectly cooked fish sitting on a generous bed of risotto and with an orange and dill vinaigrette – the citrus dressing/sauce adds a luscious sparkle to the dish and it’s a substantial offering, but still lightly and delicately constructed. The heart of Auckland on steroids.

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