Two visits to Divido in one month! I’m a lucky lady. The first, earlier in July had been to enjoy their Champagne Monday special (http://perthmunchkin.com/2011/07/21/divido/) and secondly on July 24th was for their Truffle Degustation Dinner. July is truffle month in Perth and I have always wanted to spend some quality time enjoying the black gold goodness.
So GG and I made a booking and headed along. It’s such a wonderfully cosy restaurant. Very intimate. We were seated in one of their booths on this visit, which was lovely. It was a smaller group that they had for this event. Around 25 to 30 from a quick count. So the service was wonderfully attentive as it always is.
Upon arrival we decided we’d enjoy a glass of bubbles and they also brought out some freshly baked sour dough bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A tasty start to the meal and definitely made me all the more excited about the upcoming courses. Plus good bread is one of life’s joys.
But given it was dinner time we made quick work of the bread and the first course was soon presented. It definitely sounded intriguing – Lardo, Apple Chestnuts, Truffle Honey, which came with a ’08 Domaine William Fevre Petit Chablis.
It looked wonderfully fresh to me, almost like an intricite salad of sorts. The lardo is a thinly sliced fat, pork from memory, and the chestnuts had been soaked in apple cider given them a delicious crunchy sweetness. The sweetness carried through to the honey in the dish and then there were the decadent slices of truffle. This was probably my first proper taste of this highly decorated black gold wonder. I savoured a slither by itself to really appreciate the flavour.
It was a really earthy flavour, quite solid and lingering. I enjoyed it. I’m not sure if it was love at first bite or anything but I appreciated the taste.
Great first course.
The second course was Celeriac, Veal Sweetbreads, Rottnest Island Scallops, Manjimup Black Truffle with an ’09 Luis Canas White Rioja. The menu spiel didn’t give away too much but this was a soup course. A rich and indulgent celeriac soup, made all the more special with the addition of a scallop, cooked to sweet perfection and speaking of sweet, then there were the sweet breads. I had been slightly nercous about the sweetbreads as I’ve never been a huge offal fan but these just melted in your mouth. The combination of that and some of the soup and some of the star attraction being the truffle was simply divine. Soup can be simple at times, but this was a complex and tremendous wonder.
Now I had such fond memories of the gnocchi I had enjoyed on my last visit to Divido that the chance to sample of their other homemade pastas was simply divine. And how good does this sound…. Handmade Tortellini, Ricotta, Fontina Fonduta, Manjimup Black Truffle, with an ’09 Torbrek Juveniles.
I was right to be excited about this course. Melt in your mouth fresh pasta, with an incredibly creamy sauce, enhanced all the more with the earthy wonder that is the truffle. I loved good pasta dishes and this was just amazing.
The last savoury course of this impressive menu was a Truffle Stuffed Brooklea Quail, Jerusalem Artichoke, Green Beans and a ’08 Thierry Violet Bourgogne Rouge. What a bird! An entirely succulent wonder, just bursting with flavour. And the best part was that the majority of bones had been removed! I love quail but they can be fiddly. Not the case for this course. With its crisy vegies, the truffle was more of a subtle addition but it remained a sensation.
One thing I enjoyed was watching GG eat the teeny tiny little quail legs, tehehe watching him be dainty with them was quite the sight. He wasn’t about to leave anything behind – couldn’t blame him 🙂
The best way to round out a desustation, truffle or otherwise, is with something to satisfy the resident sweet tooths. I’ll put my hand up in this category. So I was pleased when I read the menu and saw… Pear, Orange, Polenta Torta, Truffle and Honey Icecream with an ’08 Frogmore Creek Iced Riesling. Dessert is some kind of wonder to me and when I dessert arrived with the fresh honeycomb balanced on top I smiled happily because it just looked so fabulously induglent. Straight from the bee hive it appeared!
Whilst flavour combination is generally an important way to go I found the temptation too great and bit into the whole piece of honeycomb in one mouthful. It was incredibly sweet but I just couldn’t get enough and chewed my way to nothing but a ball of wax. GG appeared bemused at this effort.
The truffle and honey ice cream was a tasty treat that worked a treat with the torta, the icream seemed to counter some of the sweetness of the dish.
It was a really special evening to be at Divido in such a small group. The chance to say hello (and thank you) to the chef for his creative wonder and also to his lovely wife for her brilliantly attentive service added to the experience. I’d head back to Divido in a flash!
I thoroughly enjoyed all the courses. The food was delicious, the flavours in perfect harmony, but I’m not sure that I am as smitten as I should be with the truffle. They do add an intensity of flavour to some of the dishes, but you see them in their humble simplicity and I suppose I sort of wondered what the fuss was all about.
I am glad that I had the chance to pay tribute to the truffle on this evening though – it’s a pin up fungus after all and I was happy to have given it a go 🙂