Ever wondered whether a white truffle is worth it?

Dining on white truffles

The white truffle is a true rarity. It grows almost exclusively in Alba, Italy, must be foraged for by special pigs, for only a couple of months a year. And they are declining in output each year. So a special white truffle dinner menu at Balla Restaurant, with fresh truffles airlifted overnight, is very appealing (although all those air miles do trigger the guilt factor as well).

Like many, I’ve experienced many bad-to-horrible truffle oil experiences, some not so good quality black truffle dishes and a couple of superb black truffle dishes. So I’m approaching this with excitement and some trepidation.

The first dish, a surprisingly robust mix of seared scallops, cauliflower, broccoli, and truffle, is a hit, particularly the balance of scallop and truffle. The classic risotto comes next, so subtle and creamy, with just the rice, reggiano and truffles, perfectly done. I’m wondering how the bigger flavours of pork in pancetta gel with the white truffle and quickly get an answer – brilliantly richly!

Panfried scallops, cauliflower, white truffles @ Balla
Panfried scallops, cauliflower, white truffles @ Balla
Acquerello carnaroli with white truffle and reggiano @ Balla
Acquerello carnaroli with white truffle and reggiano @ Balla
Pork wrapped in pancetta, sauteed mushrooms and white truffle @ Balla
Pork wrapped in pancetta, sauteed mushrooms and white truffle @ Balla
wine with truffles @ Balla
wine with truffles @ Balla
refreshing non-truffle ice cream @ Balla
refreshing non-truffle ice cream @ Balla
Cheese platter @ Balla
Cheese platter @ Balla
Special White truffle menu @ Balla
Special White truffle menu @ Balla

Bringing it home.

Sensibly the restaurant don’t go over the top and try and have a truffle dessert too. Creamy ice cream and a cheese board round out the meal nicely for us.

By the way, I love this Time magazine description of the aroma of a white truffle: unique aroma, a combination of newly plowed soil, fall rain, burrowing earthworms and the pungent memory of lost youth and old love affairs! That’ll do me.

Best Bits: The truffles of course, totally lived up to their reputation.

Worst bits: The serving sizes were too big, smaller plates would have been as enjoyable and more comfortable

Where am I? 80 Pyrmont Street | Level G, Harbourside, The Star, Pyrmont, Sydney

 

Vicki P Written by:

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