We all love to revisit our childhood every once in a while just for the sake of good old days. A very tough task for me as I kind of sort of you know actually what I mean is I like to believe that while I left childhood behind long ago, my childhood never left me. Get it? Don’t worry it is never going to come in an exam.
So I watch a lot of animation movies with my kids and every once in a while one gets a movie that one loves to watch again and again. One such movie was Ratatouille which I have watched many times and always wanted to try the dish that the rat made in the movie. As we all know Pondicherry was a French Colony and has retained the flavor even after so many years. A lot of Europeans come there and Restaurants of all hues claim to serve French cuisine in Pondicherry, some going to the extent of claiming that they have French Chefs.
While in Pondicherry some time back we went for dinner to a restaurant called Satsanga which is a Hindi word, but the restaurant claims to serve French and Italian cuisine, though a few of the Indian dishes are also on the menu. It is in the French or White Town of the Pondicherry and very close to the beach road. I was hoping to try some authentic french food in Pondicherry, after all if you can not get French food in Pondicherry in India where would you get it?
We reached there in a group of around 30+ people as part of the before marriage get together for the International wedding that we have gone to attend in Pondicherry. I must say that the restaurant has a very nice ambiance and in the dim lights in the evening it is a very romantic kind of place. Our friends from Europe and Australia enjoyed the evening there. I also found the food OK (remember this is guy on food, who loved only his grandmother’s cooking) and the service slow. But since most of us were busy talking no body seemed to mind the same.
While glancing through the menu I spotted Ratatouille on the menu and instantly I got transferred to the fields of southern France where the dish is served in rural homes, full or aroma of chives, garlic and other herbs that are used in homes. While I was not expecting the authentic or exotic Ratatouille like seen in the movie or in this picture taken from Smitten Kitchen website, I was not ready for what I got. I assured myself that Ratatouille is a french dish and we are in Pondicherry so let me order Ratatouille in Pondicherry which was a French colony.
In place of crisp beautiful inviting perfectly cut chunks of zucchini, tomatoes, and other seasonal vegetables what I got was this puree of stampeded vegetables with only one or two pieces of veggies surviving the onslaught of Gnus used to trample them. It seemed the cook forgot that he was making the dish of dreams of an overgrown boy and allowed it to simmer in the pot for more than needed, Or he just mixed his Ratatouille recipe with Bhaji that had decided to divorce the Pav.
My appetite died the moment I saw the apology for Ratatouille that was served, but more was in the plate. It seemed not only the chef has decided to dump all the leftover veggies in the dish and boil them enough to be not recognized less their relatives come to ask for compensation for a life wasted, he also had added enough vinegar to the same to give me a hangover. 3 Of us could not finish the same, and I was still hungry , so I ordered some veg fried rice to feed the poor disappointed boy in me. Fortunately they were OK but hey I wanted my Ratatouille and not veg fried rice in the first place. But let me assure you dear Remy my enthusiasm for your masterpiece is not over, I will continue my search for that yummy Ratatouille that you served in the movie.
Dear Reader if you had Ratatouille that you liked please inform me, and I will go to that restaurant to try it. In the mean time l want to try the Smitten kitchen site Ratatouille recipe (First picture is from their website). Would I recommend Satsanga to you, yes it seemed like a good place with nice view and ambiance, but just don’t order Ratatouille.
Other Posts in the Pondicherry Series
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