Truffle Festival – Canberra

by Suha on June 27, 2010

I have come to realize that Truffles are by far my most favorite ingredient added to any cuisine. The aroma and taste just add magic to anything they are added to. Eggs, pasta, mash, butter, cheese, foie gras….endless options and sensational. I have always wanted to go on a truffle hunt in Italy or France but was never there at the right time of year. So when I read about Canberra starting their first truffle festival in 2009, I had to make sure we were around for it in 2010. We booked way in advance and planned to spend the full weekend in the southern highlands and booked in for a truffle dinner, truffle hunt and truffle lunch. Check out the dinner we had at Le Tres Bon on this blog. It was by far the highlight of the weekend. The dinner was exceptional and the quantity and quality of the truffles were amazing. The lunch at Restaurant Senso on the Sunday was a bit of a let down. However the hunt was great fun and very educational. Here are some highlights of the hunt and details on the lunch.

 

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Zeta – our truffle hunting dog was fantastic, We managed to find over a kg of truffles in an hour.

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Wayne the owner of the truffle farm has just found a huge truffle…

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This one is big

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and it smells amazing…….wish i could bite into it 🙂

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and another one….smells good

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happy 🙂 – wish i could take it with me…

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do you think i could change professions too? would love to own a truffle farm!!!! any tips?

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Lunch at Senso – Celeriac, snails and bitter orange with truffles. This was the best dish of the day. Snails were perfectly cooked and the truffle was just right for the dish.

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Plating the pappardelle

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Pappardelle with veal jus and truffles. The pasta was well cooked but the aroma of the lime zest owerpowered the truffle. Would have preferred more truffle for sure.

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Wagyu rump, shallots and truffle. This dish was ok. Hardly any truffles and not really worth mentioning.

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Not sure what this dish was as the waitress said she didnt know either but we think it was spatzle with truffle. Not very good. Cold and hard and doughy.

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Truffles shiraz reduction and beet parfait. For the first time ever I did not finish my dessert. It just did not do it for me. The reduction was way too sour and beetroot? Unfortunately everyone on our table agreed and didnt finish it either.

Overall – I would highly recommend the truffle hunt to anyone nterested. Would pass on senso though. The service was shocking. Everything took too long, the staff had no idea of what they were serving and the food was ok. It could have been a busy time for senso with the festival on and we figured that they may have got temp staff for the sunday. Hopefully that is the case as we feel it does have potential.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Forager June 27, 2010 at 11:57 PM

Love that photo of you with the truffle! You look an inch away of biting into it! 🙂 Thanks for organising the day – had great fun!

Canberra Diner July 25, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Jan Gundlach is a talented chef but his restaurant is open only on the weekends and his business is mainly in doing cooking classes and corporate functions. We have eaten there a number of times and the food has been excellent and innovative.He has been a breath of fresh air in the Canberra dining scene. Sorry to hear the meal did not come up to expectations on this visit. Service can be slow as he can only employ limited staff. If he were able to employ double the staff that the has then it would be a top class fine dining restaurant.

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