Going Italian for Sunday brunch

De Cecco placing a pizza into a wood fire oven. Pizzas will also feature in the brunch buffet.

ITALIAN families are known to enjoy a meal together over Sunday brunch. It is common for families to head home and cook a feast, which will be enjoyed together after attending Sunday mass, said Westin Kuala Lumpur Italian chef de cuisine Marco De Cecco.

An Italian himself De Cecco said Sunday brunch gatherings were always loud and cheerful.

Family members take the opportunity to showcase their cooking talent and outdo each other with their recipes in a good way, he shared.

“We make everything from scratch, such as bread and pasta. We even knead the dough together and have fun making various types of pasta,” said De Cecco who is from a family of chefs.


Sicilian Caponata with Croutons.
Sicilian Caponata with Croutons.


He wants to achieve this friendly family atmosphere at the Westin Kuala Lumpur’s  Viva Italia Sunday Brunch at Prego which will be launched on June 9. The brunch will be available every Sunday.

Despite holding a degree in civil engineering, De Cecco decided to pursue his interest in culinary arts just like many others in family.

“I grew up in the apartment above my grandparents’ restaurant. My grandmother made good bread in abundance and gave them away to customers, too. My family also made good sausages from scratch paired with potato. I will be serving this to our customers at Prego,” said De Cecco who comes Udine, a city located north-east of Venice, Italy.

He said appetisers would commonly be the various types of cheese and frittata which is a type of omelette - a must have in his family’s meals.

Polenta with its golden yellow shade reminds one of mashed potatoes and it is served with boiled sausages.


The lamb ribs just melt in the mouth.
The lamb ribs just melt in the mouth. 


Cecco takes pride in the  sausages and potatoes he prepares, and hopes guests will enjoy it as much as he enjoys preparing them.

“Guest should try the lamb sausages which is best paired with potatoes, onions, garlic and rosemary. It may sound simple but it needs to be prepared right. Otherwise, it would not go well,” he said.

De Cecco will also incorporate other Italian dishes such as grilled lamb shoulder and pasta dishes cooked in various styles as well as pizza and risotto.

“I will, occasionally, throw in a surprise dish such as pasta made using uncommon ingredients at the buffet and I hope guests from all backgrounds will enjoy the meal,” said De Cecco.

Prego has a large pool of expatriate customers as well as locals who enjoyed savouring original Italian food, he said. Just to add an extra Italian touch to the brunch, the servers at Prego will be dressed like Venetian gondoliers.

From the carving station — the roast chicken and roast lamb shoulder.
From the carving station — the roast chicken and roast lamb shoulder. 

Guests, especially children, might enjoy the live cooking station where they can see the chefs prepare pasta from scratch or any other highlights of the day.

The Viva Italia Sunday brunch on Sunday is from 11.30am to 2.30pm.

The brunch (food only) is priced at RM188nett and add RM160nett for free flow of red, white and Prosecco, draught beer, special Sunday cocktails, soft drinks and chilled juices.

PREGO Restaurant, The Westin Kuala Lumpur, 199, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.

(Tel: 03-2731 8333) Business hours: Noon to 11pm, daily. Sunday brunch starts at 11.30am.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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