Reviewed by timnovis on August 14, 2019

Pret, as I’ve written about in columns past, is a scourge on our high streets; but the alluring nature of a warm, amber-lit room filled with snacks is too much to resist on a blustery, drizzly August day. Today’s visit was utterly chaotic, queues miles long, hot items nowhere to be seen - having already been snapped up by other hungry lunchgoers. I waited, I persisted, I sat on the windowsill of my nearest branch, waiting for the Pret worker to come out with their basket of hot macaroni cheese to place back on the shelves. It was worth every second.

Taste

A beautiful, cheesy, but not overbearing flavour. The prosciutto adds much needed mouthfeel to this otherwise mono-textured dish, and providing a certain saltiness that is unmatched by any alternative ingredient. This was hot, fresh from the Pret kitchen, and perfect for a miserable day like today. Only to be eaten alone at your desk for the authentic Pret experience, otherwise what’s the point? You don’t make friends by eating Pret. I’ve marked it down for the unnecessary crunch of al dente cauliflower, an ingredient that I truly believe has no place in this dish.

Presentation

A golden, crisp layer forms the top of the pasta with shards of carmine red prosciutto rearing their heads from the bake. Coming in a standard pret box, the perfect vessel to consume your lunch from. I can’t fault this, I’m trying - but I can’t.

Value for Money

Coming in at roughly a fiver, it’s by no means cheap - but for a hot lunch on an otherwise depressing day, it’s worth every penny. I do find Pret, on the whole, to be grossly overpriced - but they’ve captured my business, and it’s a loop I can’t break from. Highly recommend sampling as soon as possible.