Truffle season is easily one of the times of the year I look forward to most. From my annual trip down south with the girls for Truffle Kerfuffle, to adding on thin slices of black gold onto my dishes when dining out and about… ahh it’s all just a delicious winter treat. Recently I was invited to attend an intimate progressive dinner at Crown’s venues where Pemberton’s Stonebarn Truffles were in the spotlight and some limited time only dishes were sampled.
Crown are running these limited edition black truffle menus from 18 July until 28 August, so hurry in while there’s still time!
Our evening started at La Vie to enjoy a truffle inspired cocktail, and some little toasties with slices of truffle throughout. Not to mention a cheeky visit from a truffle dog who stole our hearts!
Having just returned from Manjimup, it was a wonderful experience for me to try Pemberton’s offering of the premium French perigord black truffle and to learn more about Stonebarn’s operations from owner Dion.
It was particularly interesting to learn that Stonebarn is not just a 2,000 tree trufflerie, but also a luxury Lodge that can accomodate 12 guests. They’re a popular destination for groups heading away, or for weddings too.
Once our cocktails were downed, we headed over to Silks to try Chef Pat Cheong’s homemade duck wonton consommé with winter vegetables and freshly shaved truffle.
It was a beautifully elegant dish. Seemingly simple but actually quite robust in it’s flavour combination. I loved the paper thin pastry, and the texture of the duck inside. There’s a reason why Silks have built themselves a reputation for being a premier destination for dumplings!
Progressive dining is an incredible way to experience a range of cooking styles and dishes – and something I just love partaking in! So keeping to our strict schedule we trotted quickly over to the beautiful Bistro Guillaume for our next course.
It didn’t disappoint in the least. Donnybrook marron with octopus and truffle carpaccio, finger lime, juniper, baby heirloom radish and kale. Chef Robert Murphy executed this so well, with the marron cooked just right – the meat just the tiniest bit translucent in the centre. The octopus was pounded flat and even, and with little pops of citrus bursting in your mouth as you bit down on the finger lime, it was truly a delight.
This definitely reminded me that a return visit to Bistro Guillaume is needed soon!
There was a unanimous agreement around the table that the main dish enjoyed at Nobu by Chef Leif Huru was our favourite for the evening.
Braised wagyu stripling with hearts of palm tagliatelle, black garlic puree, truffle teriyaki sauce and freshly shaved truffle. This was my first time trying grade 10 wagyu (previously I’d only reached grade 9) and by god it was heavenly. I know I have experience meat that melts in your mouth, but this was like butter – it just dissolved with an incredible flavour.
The “tagliatelle” was a clever addition, with an interesting texture and a mildness that was well accompanied by the truffle. With the inclusion of the truffle teriyaki sauce I felt that the hero of our evening sung in every bite.
After Nobu we were all feeling quite full (and yes, a little sauced from the accompanying wines), but there was one more stop on our progressive dining experience and that was Modo Mio.
Here we enjoyed dessert in the form of a truffle and marsala semifreddo with orange, caramelised hazelnut and amaretti crumble and lemon thyme infused honey thanks to Chef Alasdair Thompson. A light and creamy Italian sweet ending to the night that again heroed truffle in a way that celebrated the unique flavour without distracting or overpowering.
It was a wonderful night out with great company and delicious food. If you love truffles like I do, I definitely recommend you get down to Crown to try these or some of the other truffle menu dishes while they’re still available. I can’t believe the season is almost over again for the year!!