For a precious few months each year West Australians are a spoilt bunch and able to enjoy the decadent wonder of truffles, grown right here in our home state. And lucky for us that time is now. Black diamonds or ‘diamant noir’ as treasured truffles are referred to in France are a highly sought after ingredient, with chefs around Perth clamouring to secure a stash during the season. The team from Crown Perth is amongst the venues looking to showcase truffles!
From July 18th through to August 28th they would like you to ‘Let our acclaimed chefs take you on a sensory journey with expertly curated menus that showcase this ‘diamond’ of WA ingredients. Indulge in an item from the truffle menu at Silks, Nobu, Modo Mio or Bistro Guillaume and you can go into the draw to take home 200g of premium West Australian Manjimup Truffle from Stonebarn Trufflerie, valued at $500.’ Truffle at home…can you imagine the luxury? Truffle on your scrambled eggs, in your mashed potatoes, shaved onto an amazing risotto, a whole lot of exciting options!
The other night I was invited along to Crown for a preview of some of their truffle dishes in a progressive style dinner, wandering from venue to venue in the complex. I can honestly say that this invitation was like being sent the Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but better because it was with truffles!
We began our night in the beautiful La Vie, Crown’s stylish champagne lounge, where we heard from Dion Rangé from Stonebarn Trufflerie about their story (and got the chance to say hello to Peri, his truffle wonder dog – yay!) We got to marvel at the intense aroma of fresh truffles when the glass lid was lifted from a plate where two half kilo truffles that had been dug up the day before were presented. That scent, so distinct and so incredibly heady. It’s a marvel.
Stonebarn in Pemberton is a luxury Lodge as well as a 2,000 tree Trufflerie. All our truffles are premium French Perigord Black Truffle.
Truffle season is from June to late August. Weekly truffle hunts occur throughout the season and we supply Truffle to local restaurants and retailers as well as throughout Australia and all over the world including USA, France, Hong Kong, China, Singapore and New Zealand.
The Truffle hunt occurs on average once a week in the morning and we endeavour to have our Truffles cleaned, graded, packed and shipped or delivered to you within the shortest possible time from harvest for maximum freshness, (you’ll receive them usually one – three days after harvest, depending on your location).
What I enjoyed about the dishes I tried was that each was completely in keeping with the styling of the restaurant and really had its own stamp. Such different culinary representations of what is possible with truffles. Each talented kitchen plated up something that was creative, visually beautiful and entirely delicious.
SILKS – Homemade Duck Wonton Consommé with Winter Vegetables, Freshly Shaved Truffle
There was a refined simplicity to this elegant dish. An incredible depth of flavour in that consommé, with welcome hints of truffle and a dainty duck dumpling that was complete perfection. Chopsticks deftly reached for that dumpling and it was eagerly devoured, all the flavours thoroughly savoured, then those golden spoons were put to work to ensure that not a drop of that consommé was left behind. A sensational first course and it raised the bar for the dining adventure ahead.
BISTRO GUILLAUME – Donnybrook Marron with Octopus and Truffle Carpaccio, Finger Lime, Juniper, Baby Heirloom Radish and Kale
Any meal with a second entree is always going to be lavish, but when Bistro Guillaume’s dish actually arrived, it surpassed even my now high expectations. What a vision! It was an artistic arrangement of the plump marron tail, encircled with the disks of octopus and crisp radish, topped with a smattering of crunchy kale and ribbons of fresh truffle. On paper alone this dish sounded impressive, what with the addition of native finger limes and herbaceous juniper in the mix. The flavours had all been so considered and expertly balanced, from the sweet marron to the ever earthy truffle, it was wow on a plate. And it was the best octopus I’ve ever eaten, which granted isn’t a lot, but this was just so tender!
NOBU – Braised Wagyu Striploin, Hearts of Palm Tagliatelle, Black Garlic Puree, Truffle Teriyaki Sauce, Freshly Shaved Truffles
Beef was on the menu as we ventured to Nobu for mains and it was wagyu no less! It was another dish where that now familiar and ever welcome scent of truffles arrived to us before the plates had reached the table. The beef was melt in your mouth tender and lovingly covered in the cleverly truffle infused teriyaki sauce. It really gave an already delicious sauce such added depth and potent wow factor. It had me wishing all teriyaki sauce could be truffled going forward! Seeing tagliatelle on the menu I wondered how a classic Italian element would tie into a Japanese focused dish and I’ll tell you how, you make it out of palm heart, so you have an illusion of pasta, but a subtle crunch too because it is a veggie. A totally creative spin! I harnessed all my chopsticks skill to as expertly as possible (and I say expert in jest, because my skills are rookie at best) devour every last morsel. Ahh, savouring the exciting flavour profile, featuring the star of the show, the truffle. Bliss.
MODO MIO – Truffle and Marsala Semifreddo with Orange, Caramelised Hazelnut and Armaretti Crumble and Lemon Thyme Infused Honey
Now dessert, how would a truffle fit in the mix as we turned our attention to sweet treats? Turns out that with clever expertise, wondrous truffle inspired desserts are possible. Why not spike a semifreddo with sweet Marsala and a sprinkle of truffle? Would it work? It was a resounding yes! Bellissimo! The lush creaminess of the semifreddo perfectly paired with the citrus tang from the orange pieces, along with a welcome crunch from that nutty and biscuity blend and added sweetness from the herbed up honey. Oh and of course there was fresh truffle shaved in amongst it to up the luxury factor all the more. Interesting, imaginative and again a sublime blend of distinctive flavours, which showcased what is possible in the dessert space when you work with precious truffles.
I would really struggle to pick a favourite amongst them because I honestly loved every single course. Each offered something different and unique while showcasing this celebrated ingredient. It was an evening of indulgences and I felt incredibly fortunate to have been invited along. Bravo Stonebarn on your sensational truffles and my thanks to the ever charming team from Crown for an amazing evening.
You’ve got another month now to enjoy these beautiful dishes at Crown Perth restaurants so be sure to lock in a visit soon. And if you haven’t tried truffles before, then these dishes are the way to do it, a very impressive introduction to these West Aussie treasures.