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Seasonal white truffles, prized for their pungent aroma and delicate flavour, hail from the Alba region of Piedmont in north-western Italy. Their harvest is extremely regulated, and they are hunted by specially trained dogs, growing on the roots of oak or hazelnut trees up to 10 centimetres under the ground. Although expensive, selling for as much as US$3,600 a pound, they are not so decadent when it comes to your health, with 100 grams of freshly shaved, paper-thin white truffle clocking in at a mere 31 calories.
Here are the top spots to get your white truffle fix this year in Hong Kong:
208 Duecento Otto
Sheung Wan Italian stalwart 208 has teamed up with a small but renowned truffle hunter in the Langhe area of Piedmont, who also happens to be a producer of fine Barolo wines. Each dish is topped with a whopping five
grams of white truffle and, if really want to gild the lily, extra can be added at $75 per gram. Get your truffle fix with dishes such as homemade tagliolini with 30 egg yolks, artisanal butter and Alba white truffle ($488), pizza with fontina, buffalo mozzarella and Alba white truffle ($468) and eggnog à la minute with Recioto di Soave sweet white wine and Alba white truffle ($418).
Associazione Chianti & Carbone
Black Sheep Restaurants’ Italian stunners Associazione Chianti and Carbone have these supremely aromatic morsels on the menu until early December. Over at Carbone, tuxedo-clad waiters present the white truffles tableside, priced at $138 per gram, for shaving over your dish of choice. Or you can order one of several white truffle specials including Japanese egg on brioche ($498), truffle fettuccine ($648) and truffle tortellini ($748). Truffles adorn the steaks at Associazione Chianti, where diners can top up with shavings of white truffle at $138 per gram in addition to truffle butter added tableside. Tagliatelle with butter and white truffle ($218) and truffle polenta ($108) are other non-meaty options.
Editor-at-Large Celia Hu adored the Alba white truffle tasting menu ($1,580 for 4 courses or $1,980 for 7 courses) at fine-dining Piedmontese restaurant Castellana, winner of Foodie Forks 2020 Editors’ Choice Best New Restaurant. Read the review to discover why a full order of this Fassona beef terrine topped with freshly shaved white truffle is a must-order. Note that each dish includes three grams of Alba white truffle as its crowning glory.
With DiVino Group’s No Menu, No Limitations, No Rules concept, diners at its DiVino Patio, DiVino Wine Bar & Restaurant and Spasso portfolio of Italian restaurants can be as creative as they like with their white truffle dishes or they can play it safe by choosing from a selection of suggestions at each restaurant – be it potato and pumpkin soup with soft egg and white truffle shavings at DiVino Patio, DiVino Wine Bar’s spaghetti carbonara with guanciale, Italian egg, Pecorino cheese and white truffle or Australian filet mignon with celery root cream, shaved foie gras and white truffle courtesy of Spasso. The dish prices change weekly based on market value of the truffles.
Gradini Ristorante e Bar Italiano
Available until 12 December, Gradini’s lunch and dinner à-la-carte white truffle dishes are truly enticing. We’re particularly lusting after the homemade taglierini with truffle butter sauce ($538; pictured), the white truffle Carnaroli risotto ($528) and, uniquely for dessert, the vanilla ice cream with shaved white truffle ($188). And if that’s not enough truffle for you, additional shavings can be added at $128 per gram.
LPM Restaurant & Bar
The only non-Italian truffle offering on our list, elegant French-Med eatery LPM’s white truffle dishes and special cocktail are yours for the taking until the end of November. The tipple in question is Delicatesse ($110), a truffle-infused riff on the old-fashioned shaken with Diplomático Reserva rum, East India sherry, nut bitters, truffle honey and date balsamic vinegar. All white truffle dishes are priced at $838 and include the likes of homemade rigatoni, linguine or gnocchi in truffle cream sauce, creamy eggs with shaved white truffle and the beauty that is the white truffle with burrata, shown above. Read David Greenberg’s recent review of LPM here, which he rated an uncommonly high 4.5 out of 5, and check out Foodie’s recent review of the restaurant’s white truffle dishes.
Italian import Paper Moon’s seasonal white truffles hail from Savigno in northern Italy, which rivals Alba for the finest tarfufi in the country. Executive Chef Sergio Landi’s innovative white truffle dishes are topped with three grams of truffle shaved tableside and include baked Hokkaido scallop au gratin with mixed mushrooms ($228; above), 65-degree sous-vide Paolo Parisi egg with truffle fondue, green almond and asparagus ($288), truffle pizza ($338), grilled MB6 Wagyu striploin with porcini mousse and crispy asparagus ($468) and white truffle semifreddo ($228). Extra truffle is priced at just $68 per gram, and if you correctly guess the weight of the truffle you covet, it’s yours for free!
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