Saturday, 24 April 2021

Lahling Eats Italian : A'Roma Dinings, Paramount Garden

Italian food. Errr..... I am not partial to Italian. I mean sure, I love pizza and pasta but those are the localized versions and besides, surely dinner at A'Roma Dinings is more than just pizza and pasta. Just the thought of Parmesan and Grana Padano cheese, I already pening....

I was not looking forwards to the dinner party (I mean the food, not the company). My partner lagi worse. He is very Ah Pek. How to eat Italian? wahahaha... So we had this conversation. 

Yup, earlier in the week, we had planned on revisiting Madam Leow, a place more up our alley.

As evening approached, visions of Gennaro Contaldo and Antonio Carluccio enthusiastically grating pecorino over freshly cooked pasta played in my mind. "Dis pasta is ah FUN-TAS-TIK and you MUST grate dah PECORINO. You MUST!"

We were a little bit late and as we stepped inside we noted how popular this restaurant is as it was almost full house. As soon as we sat down, we looked at the menu (the one I downloaded in advance apparently was not updated) and I had already decided on pasta for me and my partner.

However our gracious host decided that we should not order the same thing and since my partner is a rice man (hah..hah...) a risotto was decided for him. 

The first thing that came to the table was a complimentary starter (two sets since there were six of us) of crispy flatbread with a tomato based dip. I'm sorry I don't know the proper name of this dish (and the ones to come).

I'm afraid the bread was not crispy already (masuk angin hah..hah...) perhaps due to storage issues.

The tomato based dip was quite nice so that sort of made up for the not-crispy bread.

Another starter of bread with pate and an olive oil/balsamic vinegar mix. This one I liked, the pate tasted a little bit like luncheon meat. 

More starters came our way.

This is Arancini, something familiar simply because I always see this on TV. I know that it is deep fried rice balls that are stuffed with among other things, cheese and the parmesan shavings on top of each rice ball made me very afraid.

Three Arancini, shared among six people, so each of us had one half each. Surprisingly it was very good. I liked this Arancini a lot. Too bad I only had so little of it.

This is something that needs no introduction - deep fried calamari. Yes, I love this and again had too little of it.

And now the mains. 

This is the something Saltimbocca (usually it's veal but not sure about this one). I wish I had known about this dish. I would have ordered it because it was delicious. As with what I deem a trend in eating, everyone had a little bit from each other's plate, I will share my thoughts on this later.

This is another dish that I would have gone for. The salmon was perfectly executed and was just so darn good.

This is not my pasta. It has got Italian sausage and vegetables and I did not taste it.

Ah! This is my fettuccine with pork ragu. Big plate, small food.

It was not bad and fortunately, the cheese was only offered right after serving and it was a big no thank you from me. I didn't have much as it was shared with others.

This rissotto with osso buco was for my partner. Quite honestly, I dislike rissotto immensely. Our host mistook veal (osso buco is cross cut veal shank) for lamb and my lahling does not eat beef (for those not familiar, veal is the meat of calves).

And so my lahling quickly offered me his dish (because I love beef) and suggested that he eat whatever that was left of my pasta.

So I had to eat this. The veal was all right, very tender. But I am sorry, it was a pain eating the risotto. My partner took over to finish the risotto and agreed with me that the cheese in the risotto was quite strong.

At the end of the meal, the birthday person was served with a slice of Tiramisu.

There was another serving of Tiramisu so that there would be enough to go around.

At the end of the evening, although I was full (thanks in part to my heavy lunch and dessert), I was left wanting.

Eating a little bit here and a little bit there from each other's plates is just not my thing. I am very territorial when it comes to food and I must have my main meal all to myself. I don't mind sharing starters and desserts but mains, I must have my own.

But whatever it is, many thanks to our hosts for the Italian experience!


  1. Can't say there was anything that caught my eye. Ya... I am not a fan of risotto too. So the Saltimbocca was good? Wouldn't mind giving it a try. Perhaps those people could work on the presentation of their dishes, make them look more alluring.

    1. If you have a chance to eat Veal Saltimbocca, go for it. Really delicious!

  2. P.S.
    Happy birthday to your darling! No photo of the lovebirds on their dinner date? LOL!!!

  3. I love to eat all the food here. This restaurant keeps appearing in advert in insta so I was thinking of ordering delivery from them but they don't deliver to my area. So sad. Now I know why u cannot tahan tofu busok cos u can't tahan cheese as well. Does the host read your blog? If yes, then they would know that evening was a dreaded evening for both of you. Ah, u like those food that u tested a bit due to sharing. If eat too much of them, you may not like them. I always tell my friends, after eat something 3 times most likely you all won't like it already cos too much. Your partner's birthday?

    1. You will like the food since you enjoy cheese. No, they don't read my blog, fortunately. LOL!

  4. Is the host paying for everyone? If not, you could order another plate of pasta just for yourself cos not full mah, what to do, have to order another plate so u can enjoy it to the max la.

  5. Hee hee. Italian is one of my favourites! I like the simplicity of the recipes and use of only a few quality ingredients.

    1. I am sure it is! Yes, I have watched many cooking shows by Gennaro Contaldo and Antonio Carlucci and some of the recipes just use 3 or 4 ingredients.

  6. Ah, so I was right in guessing why you would be apprehensive of this meal...the cheese thing! For that very reason, Italian food is not among my favourite either. I think the flatbread was not meant to be crispy as I know some recipes make them with a chewier texture. You're also lucky the arancini served here does not contain much cheese as I've seen gooey ones before. And I stay clear of risotto as I've seen it made (on TV) and there's lots of cheese in it + I'm not a fan of mushy, gooey rice like risotto is meant to be. How's the freshly house-made pasta? Should be good as the one I've eaten before tasted above and beyond the commercial dried ones.

    Haha, you're very territorial with your food (you sound like any cat!). As for the food sharing, I'm ok with it coz that's how me and my friends roll when we go out. As there can be anything from 4 - 8 of us, sharing 4 - 8 plates of food allows us to taste more dishes so that when we do return (on our own or with our families), we know exactly which dish we want to order. Although during times of pandemic, this may not necessarily be the best thing to do as we don't wish to share food or That's why I've repeatedly said no to my friends invitation to meet (I don't want to take the risk mingling with people other than family as I do not know how strict they are with their SOPs). Yeah, we can always use a separate set of cutlery just for cutting and dividing purposes but sometimes we tend to forget and will dig right in with our own set of cutlery. So, during this time, it's probably better if we stick to our own dishes.

    P/S: I'm surprised that your lahling's family members (I'm assuming they're the hosts) don't seem to know you and your partner's eating preferences. If I was hosting, I make sure I find a place that I know my guests will like (as in the type of food). If not, I make sure I order something that is more to their palate.

    1. The house made pasta was good but I can't tell the difference between that and they dry ones. Maybe if I had had my entire portion, I might be able to tell hah..hah...

      Oh, I am like a cat when it comes to food LOL! Ah, so all that sharing is meant to be like a tasting party so that you can taste as many dishes and come back for the ones you enjoyed. I was actually not comfortable with the food sharing but we were careful not to double dip and our utensils only touched the portions we took.

      Oh, they do know his eating preference but maybe they want to broaden his horizons hah..hah...

  7. A dinner that you've expected to be a not enjoyable one, how's the feeling ar...aiyoyo :(

    1. LOL! Surprisingly I enjoyed some of the dishes, so it was not as bad as I had anticipated.


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