The world’s most sought-after truffle, the white truffle that’s most often associated with Alba, is something of a cultural treasure to Italians.
Lifelong truffle hunters in the north of Italy hold secret searching spots close to their vests, as if they were family heirlooms, some even likening their fondness for their dogs – their well-trained truffle-hunting partners – to their love for their family.
For those of us who favour the prized fungi’s perfume and taste to the thrill of the hunt, the white truffle is no less of a beauty to behold. Its deeply earthy flavour, delicate texture and intoxicating aroma justify its lofty position in gourmet circles.
Luckily for us, we don’t have to go traipsing around the Italian forests to appreciate it.
This month, some top Bangkok restaurants are featuring white truffles on special menus. Here’s where you can go to get a taste of the seasonal gourmet treat.
Long a favourite dining venue for its impeccable service, Anantara Siam’s Biscotti gets in on the truffle action from November onward with special degustation and à la carte menus.
Of the offerings, a standout is clearly the Tartar di Manzo, a beef tartare elevated with quail eggs and liberal shavings of Alba truffle. A selection of fine wines is available to complement each dish, as well.
Sathorn 10’s stately Sorrento is currently serving a range of dishes with eye-catching amounts of Alba truffle shaved on top, from tomahawk steak to pasta to macadamia nut ice cream.
Sorrento gets a fresh stock of white truffles from Italy each week, so stop by before the season ends and supplies become limited.
The Sukhothai Bangkok’s magnificent Italian restaurant La Scala is offering an à la carte menu of white truffle-centric dishes, each featuring five freshly shaved grams of the good stuff. One dish that has our eye is the veal chop with Jerusalem artichoke purée, anchovy oil and white truffle.
Chef/partner Luca Appino is a native of Piedmont, the hotbed of Italian white truffles, which makes him both an enthusiast and expert on the matter.
At Il Fumo, where charcoal grilling is the cooking method of choice, he’s letting the truffle do the talking on his rustic grilled dishes, such as the Australian wagyu and Hokkaido scallops, both topped with two grams of fresh Alba truffle.
The sommelier also has specially selected Piedmont wines to pair with these dishes.
Another outlet part-owned by Appino, the always-immaculate Vesper is offering its own Alba truffle menu. Dishes here include handmade tagliolini and a rich Italian risotto with Parmesan cheese, each elevated with freshly shaved white truffle.
Jojo at The St. Regis is offering a four-course degustation menu featuring the irregularly shaped white truffle from Alba. Some rare cuts appear here, such as beef tartare with white truffle and a truffle mayonnaise sauce, as well as an egg yolk raviolone with a Parmesan cheese emulsion and shaved white truffle.
This standalone restaurant always delivers in all the crucial categories – atmosphere, presentation and, most importantly, taste – so during these two truffle-crazy months, it’s worth trekking over to the southern reaches of Sathorn to see what’s cooking.
Sensi has put together both a degustation menu and an à la carte menu highlighting the knobby white delicacy. Foremost among the choices is a morel and white truffle risotto, starring two of the world’s rarest (and most delicious) mushrooms. But don’t miss the chestnut gianduiotto with white truffle for dessert, either.
Another standout standalone, Lenzi is currently shaving some very large white truffles on top of its impeccable Tuscan dishes, including freshly made spaghetti and tagliatelle.
While the namesake Chef Francesco Lenzi usually makes liberal use of black truffle, the seasonal white variety, which he sources from his native Tuscany, is only around a short time.
Maison de la Truffe
Seeing as its name means “house of truffles” in French, it’s no surprise this new opening in Phrom Pong promises truffles, truffles and more truffles.
Maison de la Truffe offers something none of these other restaurants can – French dishes with white truffles.