[invite] Bianca: Once the temperature drops, that usually signifies one thing in a food-obsessed person’s mind, truffles! We’ve had a few experiences with truffle dego’s and themed menus once it ticks over to June and this year so far we’ve indulged in Three Williams and now 117 Dining at the Intercontinental Hotel Sydney. Truffles are sourced from Oberon’s Lowes Mount Truffiere.
I’ve done a High Coffee and the rest of the FFS team have also enjoyed the Intercon’s newly unveiled High Tea and we have all been blown away by the quality of the food coming out of the dining departments.
The Truffle Tasting was unveiled almost 2 weeks ago and comprises of 5 courses for $139 p.p and $184 with matching wines. Relishing the fact I was not driving, I took the plunge and went with the matching wines. I tend to look at any truffle menu as a bit of a special occasion, so I’m definitely for ‘going all out’. I will firstly commend all staff on service, yes we were invited but I saw everybody receive the same friendly and hospitable service we enjoyed.
Kicking off the degustation was the Truffle and Egg – Truffle pasta, slow cooked egg, burnt butter sabayon & shaved truffle. Tiny specks of truffle dotted the elegantly presented pappardelle. Once the yolk was pierced it coated the strands of pasta, mixed with the scatterings of parmesan cheese and a generous amount of shaved truffle adorning the dish. This instantly set the tone for the meal that was to come. Paired with a sake, I was a little sceptical how it would meld but the sake was smooth and lingered at the back of the palate allowing the food to shine.
Truffle, Chicken & Grain – w/ cornfed chicken breast, mixed grain risotto, toasted honey oats & grated truffle followed. The chicken was succulent and juicy, the sauce deep and umami-rich. A truffle fairy floss of sorts gave just a hint of earthiness. It was however unanimous that the pairing of the mixed grain risotto/toasted oats wasn’t entirely successful.
The final savoury was our favourite dish of the night. Truffle, Lamb & Roots – w/Braised shoulder, onion, truffle parsnip, glazed carrot, jus, shaved truffle. The slow cooked lamb truly out of this world. I’m rarely wowed by lamb but this was really something special. There was still a bit of bite to the root veg which I appreciated and if there was a dish to the hero truffles (not that they need it) this was a great spotlight. We also loved the pairing of the Grenache Shiraz Mataro from the Barossa.
The Pre-Dessert -w/Rose & quince sorbet, verbena, french meringue & Mandarin both appealed to the taste-buds and my love of the theatrical. Dry ice is poured over the meringue & dried mandarin, which you then smash to create a concoction of sweet and tart elements – all tied together by the refreshing sorbet. A smart palate cleanser to prepare you for the finale.
And what an ending it is. The final course Black Truffle – w/Black Truffle ice-cream, quince, dark chocolate vanilla foam & caramel cremeux. On paper, I wasn’t really expecting to be blown away but I was happy to be pleasantly surprised. So many intricate textures and flavours. A nice amount of citrus, in what I assumed to be a curd. I wish I could tell you I only had a few bites and pushed it away BUT I ate every single thing and scraped the plate clean, it was absolutely delicious. All washed down with two glasses of Hanwood Tawny Port, giving you that real ‘fire in the belly’ feeling.
As far as truffle menus/inspired dishes this was one of the better ones I’ve experienced. In terms of value for money, you’re essentially paying close to $28 per dish but for the portion sizes, quality, flavour and the amount of truffles used I do feel like you get your money’s worth.
-Please excuse the photos, my camera literally died the day I went 🙁
*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of 117 Dining and the Intercontinental Sydney but all opinions are our own and independent.