Castellana, one of our favourite fine-dining Italian restaurants and this year’s Foodie Forks Editors’ Choice Best New Restaurant, recently unveiled its white truffle tasting menu just in time for the autumn season.
Created in collaboration with two-Michelin-starred chef Marco Sacco of Italy’s Piccolo Lago restaurant, the elegant establishment takes up the 10th floor of the CUBUS building in Causeway Bay and focuses on the authentic flavours of Piedmont.
The new menu celebrates the revered “white diamond” of the fungi world: the white truffle from Alba. Unlike its cousin, the black truffle, white truffles cannot be farmed and can only be foraged from the wild. The white truffle menu centres on this delicacy, hand-picked from the hilly Alba region of Piedmont in north-western Italy.
Two tasting menus are on offer – a four-course menu priced at $1,580 and a seven-course menu priced at $1,980. Three grams of the coveted Alba white truffle come freshly shaven over each dish.
First to arrive on our seven-course menu was the tonno rosso, creamy Japanese tuna marinated with fennel and beetroot juice, kissed with a slight flambé. A generous mountain of freshly shaved white truffle blanketed the delicious arrangement.
Marshmallow with egg? The uovo di montagna, presented whimsically in a cloud-like cocoon of egg white, features a velvety organic egg yolk that flows like indulgent lava into perfumed white truffle shavings. The meringue-like egg white was created by the chef to entice his son into eating eggs. That’s one lucky kid!
The perfect classic Piedmontese dish for the cooling temperatures of autumn, the brodo “au plin” is a soothing winter cabbage broth dotted with agnolotti pasta that’s stuffed with flavourful Wagyu, hazelnut and Grana Padano cheese. The pungent white truffle added to the earthiness of this dish.
It’s difficult to surpass the winning trio of carbs, fat and truffle. The tagliolini al tartufo bianco d’Alba is really a flavour combination made in heaven with its handmade tagliolini pasta cooked to textural perfection, tossed in mountain butter and thoroughly infused with the aroma of white truffle.
The hero of the meal had to be the astice blu mare, featuring perfectly poached Brittany blue lobster blanketed under a smoky potato and leek cream sauce. The lobster was sweet and delicate and had succulent bounce.
By this time we were rather full, so we opted for only a half portion of the Fassona beef terrine, although we regretted it after tasting the melt-in-the-mouth creaminess of the Piedmontese beef. The tender, flavourful beef was infused with rhubarb, mushroom and onion alongside a gratin of sinfully addictive fontina cheese. The freshly shaved white truffle added to the decadence.
What better way to end an extensive white truffle tasting menu than with... dessert served with more white truffle! The gianduiotto, a traditional treat made with glazed chestnuts infused with Barolo grappa, was served alongside the restaurant’s Gianduiotto Piemontesi Turin chocolate. The nuttiness of the chestnut and deep complexity of the chocolate really complemented the intensity of the truffle.
We can think of no better place to enjoy the decadence of Alba white truffles than at a refined Italian fine-dining establishment dedicated to Piedmontese cuisine. By using the best of Italian produce from the same soil from which the Alba truffles are plucked, Castellana’s white truffle menu feels almost like a homecoming celebration.
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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