Of Ratatouille & Tony Roma’s

Luqman squeals with delight the moment I fish out a copy of Ratatouille DVD from my bag. Oh! For crying out loud kid, it’s a story about rats! He goofs around merrily while I juggle to slot the DVD into the player. For the next one and half hour, he stays glued to the screen – eyes as big as saucers – watching the movie to the exclusion of his mom who is watching him in utter disbelief.

Ratatouile is a movie about a rat, Remy, who dreams of becoming a chef in Paris. No offense to my cousin, Remy, if you are reading this crap; a rat named after you Abang? (Evil laugh echoes). Ah, Paris – the city of lights, the city of love. Trust Walt Disney to make a movie about rats living in Paris. Hold on to your horses folks, I am getting somewhere with this rat story.

The dead Chef Gusteau’s restaurant has been subjected to poor review about its dwindling performance by Ego; the mean but widely-publicised food critic. I love this Ego character to bits. His appaling demeanor sends the best of cooks in Paris scattering around in desperate attempt to please his, oh well, impossible-to-please taste buds.

I thought to myself – in my 32 years of living – I haven’t been adventerous with food at all. After years of eating tasteless food in boarding school tops with years of bake potatoes and fish & chips in England; I lost interest in the quest of finding good food. Pathetic, aren’t I? Books I can tell; books I can criticise or laud from the introduction right up to the glossary. But I am no Einstien in food. My vocabulary range in culinary equates to those in pre-school.

However, on January 3, things changed. Jefree and I went out on an impromptu date that day. After the movie, we dined at Tony Roma’s despite our hearts wrenched in guilt for leaving Luqman behind. We thwarted that little nagging feeling and stepped into the semi-darkness of the restaurant in Pavilion. The over-cheerful waiter, Adi, placed the thick menu in front of us. At this point, I would not hide my disdain with food menu; it is often overrated and the picture is a complete different version from what being served on your table.

But the food connoisseur in my life, Encik Jefree, urged me to have Bountiful Beef Ribs. After frowning at the exorbitant price of the dish, I readily agreed to his suggestion. Adi appeared back at our table after sending the orders to the kitchen with four types of Tony Roma’s sauces to go with my ribs. While I strained to make head and tail of his peculiar English’s accent; I appreciate his enthusiasm in serving me a decent meal. Kudos Adi!

My plate arrived shortly thereafter. The first chew of the rib transported me to nirvana of taste like never before. The chef tenderised the meat to perfection amidst heaven of flavours. The ribs were precisely served to my request of medium-well like no other American’s joints I frequented before. Juices and flavours oozed out from the meat the moment I sliced my huge knife through the ribs. The meal was served with 2 additional side dishes of my choice. I opted for sweet corn on cob and – my favourite comfort food of all time – mash potatoes. The mash potato was a bit starchy but dollops of cream on top of it made me forget the starchiness.

I devoured everything on my plate in record time and started poking on Jefree’s chicken. His chicken was, undoubtedly, mediocre as opposed to my awesome ribs.

Go ahead then, give Tony Roma’s a try. But if you order anything else than the ribs, please don’t hold me responsible. I told you I am no Nigella Lawson.

23 thoughts on “Of Ratatouille & Tony Roma’s

  1. love tht movie! have u watched enchanted? try it if u havent. i pleaded (literally) w michael to go watch it and even he said tht its not a bad movie!😉

    heard abt tony roma in msia. we have tht here but they only serve pork ribs.😦 i too dah addicted to beef ribs. thank god for hometown buffet for serving them every thursday!

    Farina,

    Of course I have watched Enchanted. Because of one thing only – Patrick Dempsey aka Dr. Derek Sheperd is in that movie. A bit far fetched from the reality though (about Enchanted), if you asked me.

  2. I absolutely adored Ratatouile!! A lovable character, an underdog to root for and a heartwarming tale to boot.

    Anton Ego (voiced by thespian Peter O’Toole) was a tour-de-force performance.

    Here’s some gems from Ego:

    “After reading a lot of overheated puffery about your new cook, you know what I’m craving? A little perspective. That’s it. I’d like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that? ”

    If you think that’s good, the review he wrote (narrated in the Ego voice) went straight to my heart.

    “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more. ”

    See Elviza, this movie is not just a kid’s movie. It it heartfelt, it is sincere and so, it speaks to a wide multitude. Anyone who love cooking or simply love good food, will find this movie touching his/her heart.

    And Anton Ego, far from being appalling, is simply a deliciously pompous character. I loved him too. There was an bitchy quality in him that would have despised in anyone but perfectly understandable in a Frenchman….heheh.

    The defining moment of the movie (n its best scene) was Ego taking a spoonful of the rattatouile and goings straight back to his childhood.

    Inspired!

    Friend,

    Awesome write ups. But I was actually trying to give TR a review, I seriously didn’t know how I manage to drag Ratatouille along!

  3. to dine at tony roma’s without having their signature beef ribs is like spending a weekend in melaka without a sip of asam pedas.

    Glad to know there are TR’s fans amongst us here. you, me and a certain Dawg from the Zoo.

    BD likes it too? Good good… lets go soon!

  4. Sis Elviza,

    I see a little bit of you in Luq — the trademark exuberance. I love kids cos they can make an event out of nothing.

    Your culinary vocab may be kindi stuff as you put it, but you sure make my gastronomical imagination running riot.

    Dear Hi & Lo,

    Really? Trademark exuberance? LOL LOL

    Well, he’s mine, so that is kind of expected isnt it? Must come to KL to give TR a try!

  5. Elviza,
    Hi, been visiting ur site several times – love it reading ur postings.. this time I decided to make a note ..
    I had Tony Roma’s pizza once… but not all TRs chains selling pizza as they normally opt for ribs, but the one at Avenue K has pizza… After having TR pizza, Pizza Hut is no longer in the list.

  6. Elviza,
    I confess that i have been visiting ur site quite frequently and finally, I am ready to make an appearance by leaving a comment.

    One day, I tried Tony Roma’s pizza, and after that, Pizza Hut is out of the list….
    So far most of TR (at Damansara and to be opened at Gardens) don’t serve pizza.. the one that I went was at Avenue K.

    Dear J’da,

    Thank you for honouring me with your presence here in my blog. The next time I go to TR, I ll be sure to order the pizza!

  7. Hi Elviza,
    What happen to the rat, anyway?

    He he he he… that you have to ask Galadriel! He turns out to be a renowned chef in Paris – just like his dream…

  8. Ahah, from book review to food review. Not bad Elviza, not bad…🙂

    Yer Pi yer… itulah namanya dah tak der idea apa nak tulis!! Merapu jer… Selamat menyambut maal hijrah Pi, semoga tahun ini dimurahkan lagi rezeki anda.

  9. So…it is really Mummy that is into that ‘pouqoui pas moi’ rat eh? Bukan Lukkey boy?

    Can you do a review on ‘Chicken Chop’ at at SS19/6 stall in Subang Jaya? I think it less than $10.00 but the rasa…voila!!! Rasa nak balik sekarang jugak!!!

    Esah, you pernah makan Chicken Chop kat Uptown Hawker center tak? In the same cluster with that famous kuey teow? Its delicious weh…

  10. Daer Elviza,

    i have always forgotten to wish you during the festivals, but ‘Selamat maal Hijrah” (borrowed from High & Lo) May u enjoy the holiday.

    Cheers
    Harrisson bin Hansome

    Dear Harrison,

    Thank you so much …

  11. Selamat Maal Hijrah too Elviza…
    Hmmmm… never been to Pavilion, now I have a good reason, prob a visit to TR wont hurt…
    Yeah.. I just told my DH about your blog, he would love to click a visit too…
    Btw, SAHM stands for “stay at home mom” and DH stands for “darling hubby” or “dear hubby” or “damn hubby” depending on the mood. LOL!!

    Salam Maal Hijrah Sally…

    Damn Hubby?????? LOL LOL LOL! But the “stay at home mom” is absolutely cool!

  12. Elviza,
    Aik? Makan nampak kak? Beef’s Rib lagi.
    Hahahaha. Who say Rattatoille for kids? My friends and I watched it too, and it is good.
    Anyway, salam Maal Hijrah kak, to you and your hubby and Luke.

    Akmal,

    Its true, I watched the movie and totally love it. Luke and I are going for the rerun of the DVD soon…

  13. Salam Elviza:

    Beef ribs.Tony Roma.Pavillin. KL.

    Mrs TA just sms me while I was reading this entry, asking wheteher we should go to Pavillion after my kuliah. Now after reading your beef ribs, I might have to postpone my appointment for Mendi Lamb in Fortuna Hotel.

    Ohhh…I’m hungry right now!!

    Salam Bro,

    Pegi pegi pegi… jangan tak pegi, then you text me to tell whether its good or not ok?

  14. Hmm.. Just wondering. Actually, how much did that plate of beef ribs cost you (plus the ++) ?

    Hello Anon,

    I think, if you add up the plus plus, it would come around RM50 or so. Then again, I am terrible in Maths, you might want to take it with pinch of salt🙂

  15. far-fetched? hehe. well, it is a new kinda fairy tale. lol! well, fyi, i love anything fairy tale and pirate. i told michael tht in my previous life i was a pirate and lived in a fairy tale land.

  16. Elviza, I have tried the food there. Indeed it is a great place to fine dine with loved one. BTW did you know there is a great grill in Kuantan that worth a visit. Have a nice day and take care.

  17. You’re no Nigella Lawson, I know. But close. Where the hell is Mat Bangkai when we need him?🙂

    Back home I could practically walk over to TR’s but no chance yet. Now you made my mouth water. And it’s not because of Nigella Lawson.

    As for Ratatouille.. and as a self-proclaimed Steve Jobs fanatic, it is one of the project he pushed after being made head of Disney. The guy’s a genius!

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