Truffles are a subterranean ascomycete fungus, now in demand thanks to 'fine dining' cuisines. They have a distinct pungent smell and taste that could become overwhelming if overused. We visited the Truffle Farm in Canberra on 23rd August 2020 and after truffle hunting with the dogs (read full experience HERE), we got to eat a degustation lunch cooked by Chef Damian Brabender.
This meal was based on the daily produce so our lunch was actually very unique to our visit. The degustation lunch was included in the whole truffle experience for $200 per person. We shared this with our friends: Annie, Theresa and Steve.
We purchased 50 grams of truffle to take home so I'll share our cooking experience at the end of this post.
We started our meal with sourdough and truffle-infused butter. The centre of the bread was very airy, with a nice crunch on the crust.
The truffle-infused butter was thick and chilled, with a slight lactic acid note. It needed some warming up by the bread before we could spread it evenly. Most of us gave up and ate it in chunk-sized bites 😂. The truffle flavour was moderate. Together, the two were a insatiable pair of creamy carb goodness.
WOAH! WOAH! WOAH! This was the first time we had a dish that came close to our dining experience with Gordon Ramsay in London. Dare we say, this dish was on par with Gordon's truffle pasta that we keep gushing about 😳.
This truffled-infused creme pasta with shaved truffle was divine! The truffle flavour was moderately intense and well-infused in every aspect of the dish. We could taste the hint of truffle in the creme and cheese. And the shaved truffle elevated its own profile with texture and flavour, making us mmmm and ahhhh in satisfaction. The pasta was slightly al dente and the sauce was very creamy so it was a delicious juxtaposition. We stayed back 20 minutes just to give our compliments to the chef. Bravo, Damian!
This beautiful snack was a simple scallop with truffle. Again, the truffle was well-infused into the cream sauce, and the shaved truffles intensified the flavour, so it ended up being a well-rounded and delicious bite of truffle. The scallop was fresh, thick and soft. It was so good, we licked our shells clean and used it to scoop up any remaining cream LOL
This gorgeous pile of mess was a beef cheek with beetroot puree and truffle butter. I took so many photos that my butter melted over my meat 😂 This might not look appealing but it definitely tasted good. The beef was very tender, pulling away with a touch of our forks. The beetroot puree was mildly sweet, enhancing the savouriness of the beef and the earthiness of the truffle. The truffle-butter flavour was moderate, having seeped into every available orifice of the meat. It was such a fat luxury chowing down on this dish and we were glad we dieted during the week leading up to this delicious lunch. Also, thanks Annie for licking all the plates clean.
This simple crackers with truffle and triple brie was beautiful! How did they infuse a perfectly thin layer of truffle inside the cheese? This was homemade by Damian at the Truffle Farm and it was sooooo soft and creamy, we bought a packet to take home. The cracker had a mix of fruits and nuts, contrasting well with the soft cheese. My eyes are rolling thinking back to this snack 😍
This was a truffle-infused creme brûlée with a layer of chocolate crumbs. So good! The cream was mildly sweet, light and velvety. The truffle flavour was more mild than the savoury dishes, but this was a good thing because we could taste the sweet and pungent balance. This was the perfect dessert to end the meal.
Thank goodness for the unlimited wines because we definitely had our value's worth. We were the rowdiest group of the session but then again, we're naturally rowdy, even when sober 😂
Thank you for the delicious lunch, Damian!! Looking forward to visiting your restaurant, Otio, and eating your cooking again.
Overall, we loved the lunch and the entire truffle hunting experience at the Truffle Farm but we probably would not pay $200 for it again. We considered it a one time experience.
Cooking with truffle
These were the truffles our dog, Taz, managed to find during the truffle hunting experience HERE. He found about 600 grams of gold.
When we got home, we divided our 50 grams of truffle into 6 pieces, each one in a seperate container with:
We've rated the intensity of truffle flavour a score out of 10. Some of the dishes we made were:
Outcome: It was really, really, really fucking hard to get a whiff of truffle flavour in our food. Even with all the different truffle elements and the long infusion period, we barely hit 20% of flavour in the final dish. We used the salt and rice for every common meal and there was nothing but disappointment. It was unfortunate we wasted our money but from this, we've gained a new appreciation for any chef who can incorporate truffle well into their dish.
We also reckon truffle tastes better in a cream-based pasta or as shaved slices so if you see these on the menu, give it a try. Don't be afraid of the pungent aroma 😉
Thanks for reading! Happy eating, folks!