Not only do the colder months bring about the changing leaves and fall coats, but the season also gift us with some of the most coveted ingredients in the world—truffles.
Truffles are usually classified by their colour and the time of year that they are harvested. White winter truffles are harvested from October to December, making them rare and all the more enticing. There aren't many ingredients that come close to the unique smell and flavour of truffles, and when used properly, they can elevate almost any dish. Luxury food writer Ina Yulo scours the capital to find the best dishes that highlight the decadent mushroom.
White truffle season is always an exciting time of the year. The team at Italian restaurant and bar, Harry’s Bar, has welcomed this festive period with a dedicated white truffle menu with truffles hand-selected from Alba. The menu created by Executive Chef Simon Gregory includes tagliolini with parmesan, butter, and white truffles; white truffle risotto with carnaroli rice, parmesan, and butter: white-based truffle pizza with wild mushrooms and mascarpone; and creamy white truffle burrata drizzled with Harry’s olive oil.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who does not enjoy a plate of warm and cosy pasta. That’s exactly what Chef, Gary Foulkes, of Michelin-starred Angler at the South Place Hotel had in mind when he was whipping up his special truffle dishes for the season. Take the lift up to the seventh floor where you will be greeted by City views, excellent service, and some of the chef’s hand-rolled spaghetti with 36-month-aged Parmesan and white truffle or the wild boar agnolotti with fermented barley, ceps, and white truffle.
As one of London's oldest Italian restaurants, Franco’s knows a thing or two about truffles. After a recent makeover by acclaimed interiors specialists Cheah Rothe, the Jermyn Street establishment is ready for the truffle season with a four-course truffle menu featuring dishes like beef carpaccio with porcini mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and black truffle, homemade tagliatelle with white truffle, pan-fried venison with barley and truffle risotto, plus an assortment of Italian cheeses with truffle honey to end the meal. Available until the 21st of December, the Franco’s truffle menu costs £130 and can be booked here.
Despite being relatively new to the neighbourhood, Kutir, the modern Indian restaurant inside a townhouse in Chelsea, has fast become a favourite local haunt. Chef Rohit Ghai and his team have turned their “small cottage in the middle of nowhere” into a place where families and friends gather to enjoy good food in a colourful and intimate setting. A mainstay on the menu is the quail naan with scrambled egg and shaved black truffle.
New dining destination, Isla, on the ground floor of The Standard in King´s Cross, has been making waves with dishes as unique as its décor. Since its opening, one dish has become a fast favourite and has solidified its place in the ever-changing menu. Isla’s fuzi takes the traditional Istrian pasta and cooks it in a delicate and delicious sauce made with cep mushroom, egg yolk, and black truffle.
Within the lifestyle destination of Petersham Nurseries, Covent Garden lies La Goccia. The Italian hideaway allows guests to enjoy their cicchetti with a view of the theatrics that goes on in the restaurant’s open kitchen, which also features a wood-fired oven. You can sample the delights of Petersham Nurseries at their Richmond based restaurant, The Petersham, too; bringing a feel for nature into the concrete jungle is no easy task, but it is one that the team at The Petersham excels at. To feature one of Italy’s best exports, The Petersham’s chefs have created a taglioni with 3g of Alba white truffles.
Soho members’ club Quo Vadis is where a discerning clientele go to enjoy high-quality food away from the maddening crowds. This season, white Alba truffles have made their way back to the kitchen of acclaimed chef Jeremy Lee, where guests have the ability to add truffles to any dish on the menu. Sold at cost at £3 per gram, diners can pre-order truffles by weight and book a table by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0207 440 1464. We suggest pairing the truffles with the silky tajarin pasta.
Chef Jason Atherton knows a thing or two about running an award-winning restaurant. At the Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social, he takes his signature ingredients-led cooking and mixes it with a moral informal and social setting which gives the spot a modern, urban feel. His Mayfair flagship restaurant is no stranger to incorporating truffles into dishes and diners are spoilt for choice: John Dory with crayfish, garlic, and truffle; and New Forest wild mushroom, roasted hazelnut, pear, sourdough, and truffle.
Ben Tish’s new Sicilian restaurant, Norma, has been featured on many a hotlist in recent months. Located on Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia, the restaurant focuses on the Moorish influences of the island and welcomes guests with old school Italian hospitality. Vegetarians can rejoice as Norma’s has a truffle offering that is meatless yet still flavourful. Fresh truffle risotto is used as a filling for a roast baby pumpkin and is topped with toasted hazelnuts and melted truffle pecorino.
Clapham’s Michelin-starred Trinity is offering quite the treat for truffle lovers with a special truffle menu available from the 11th-24th of November. The white truffle series will come to a close at Trinity Upstairs, with a truffle and wine pairing dinner on the 25th. Priced at £195pp, the dinner will feature Jean-Marie Guffens wines from Burgundy and Segla from Bordeaux. The wines will be expertly paired with Chef Adam Byatt’s dishes including beef tartare with Umbrian white truffle and whole turbot braised in oxidised white Burgundy with broccoli and shaved white truffles.
Theo Randall, Chef Patron at Theo Randall at The InterContinental Park Lane has a deep appreciation for the beloved mushroom and makes an effort to create connections with his suppliers. He says: “Alfredo Romani has been our truffle supplier for many years. He supplies us with white and black truffles throughout the season. We always get to pick the truffles and his knowledge of truffles is second to none. The truffle season of white and winter black truffles lasts for about five months, so we see Alfredo a lot. I love his honesty and passion, so I tend to only buy truffles from Alfredo and no one else, there are lots of good suppliers, but in my opinion, Alfredo is the best.” Randall’s limited-edition menu includes dishes such as fresh taglierini pasta with violet artichokes and Périgord black truffles, and tartare of beef fillet with rocket salad, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Périgord black truffles.
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