From Cannoli to Arancini, Sicilian food is quite popular. Like the different regions of neighboring Italy, the clement Mediterranean island of Sicily has a distinct cuisine that’s steeped in history. Thanks to complex mish mash of cultures of different nationalities over many centuries, Sicilian food is a real mixed bag – a fusion cuisine that’s influenced by French, Arabic and North African settlers.
Was happy to have been invited for the Chef’s Table at the ongoing Sicilian Food Festival at Prego – The Westin Mindspace Hyderabad where I was overwhelmed by Chef Pradeep’s skills on this niche cuisine. I like the fact on how Prego doesn’t limit its offering only to mainstream Italian food but also quite frequently comes up with food promotions from niche regions of Italy.
The Sicilian cuisine has a long tradition for being full of flavors and that was rightly adapted at the ongoing food promotion. Started off my gourmet experience with Smoked Carpaccio Di Tonno – a delicate Sardinian smoked tuna with drizzle of virgin oil over raw mango and pickled cucumber was a refreshing start for the humid afternoon. Next up was Frutti Di Mare Arrancini – a delicious saffron risotto rice ball stuffed with mozzarella and sea food that was served along with tomato compote. The fortified version of tomatoes with raisins paired well with the soft Arancini. Loved it!
Not many countries can say that their national dish has become an international phenomenon unlike Italy where Pizza & Pasta are staple. I love hard boiled eggs and I love tuna but surprisingly I haven’t come across a place that serves a pizza with these two combinations. Tonnarella Pizza that was on offer was exactly what I was craving for. Thin crust pizza with tomato sauce as the base topped with mozzarella cheese, cherry tomato, tuna, boiled egg and onion was a delicious treat although I would’ve loved some more additional tuna topping.
Frutti Di Mare Acquapazza as Chef Pradeep calls it as poor man’s broth aka “crazy water” was made of mixed seafood cooked in white wine, tomato, olive, pine nut and basil. A scrumptious meal in itself the moist seafood of squids, fish poached in tomato and white wine broth and topped with an oyster was extremely delicious and healthy. Next up was Pollo Piccante Siciliano – a spicy Sicilian chicken with balsamic vinegar, chilli and oregano topped with raisins and paired with orzo pasta. Shaped like a large grain of rice – the orzo pasta was the perfect match to the spicier version of Pollo Piccante.
Pesce Spada Alla Griglia – grilled sword fish topped on a potato olive hash brown and salsa was next on the list. This meaty sword fish steak with a rustic and briny sauce was super delicious on the flavored potato olive hash brown.
Cannoli Fritti & Cassatelle Alla Siciliana were the desserts on offer. The little tubes of crispy cannoli shells filled with candid fruit and paired with raspberry yogurt was my personal favorite and it could’nt have been better than this while Cassatelle Alla Siciliana was a Sicilian pastry filled with cinnamon choco chip and ricotta cream was just about decent.
One of the most important aspects of Sicilian cuisine is to make sure that the ingredients are fresh which sometimes becomes impossible to source. Kudos to Chef Pradeep and his team for curating one of the most ingredient driven regional cuisine of Italy and nearly perfecting it!
Thumbs up for this one !
Place: Prego, The Westin Mindspace Hyderabad
Adddress: Raheja IT Park, Hitec City, Madhapur · Hyderabad, Telangana, 500 081
Disclaimer: I was invited by The Westin Mindspace to review the ongoing Sicilian Food Festival at Prego, the opinions expressed in the review are Honest & Unbiased.