Jul 28, 2012

Mundaring Truffle Festival 2012 - Eating at the event

I thought I'd put together a short post with some tips for diners at the Mundaring Truffle Festival this year. I think it's a terrible shame that so many of Perth's food producers are choosing to use Truffle Oil at the festival that promotes Australian truffles.

There are a lot of hit and miss food items this year. Here's a list of goodies that Ondine and I tried, so you wont have to.

Whats Good:
Mondo's truffle chicken, rose petal and mushroom pasta ($20)
Easily the most expensive dish at the festival, but it is made using real Italian grandmothers, before covering it in a mushroom sauce, piles of parmesan and fresh truffle. Best flavoured hot meal tried.

Loose Box truffle brie on baguette ($5)
The least expensive way to taste fresh truffle at the show. Get them while they are fresh - in the warm sun they were fading fast.

Mondo's Truffle Pasta

Whats Not:
Jean Pierre Sancho's truffled macaron ($3)
Sorry Jean Pierre Sancho - your Macarons are just not that good. They don't have a crunch, tend to be dense and they are far too chewy. The cream in the truffle version seems to have used artificial truffle oil rather than real truffles, and the killer - they used too much. When the oil is over used like this it makes the food taste more of hydrocarbons than truffle.

Linley Valley Pork tent - pork knuckle soup ($5)
Oily and insipid. No obvious truffle flavour and not enough seasoning. Avoid.

Jean Pierre Sancho's Macarons (two kinds)

What's not bad - if it's your thing:
This is a subjective category. Between us over the course of four hours we tried a lot of new foods, and had a good look at everything there. Some of this is perhaps over priced, or won't be to everyone's tastes. I think a lot of what we tried very nearly fell into the "worst food" category. 

Rochelle Adonis - Valrhona 70% chocolate mousse with salted caramel ($8)
Surprisingly not as sweet as it looks, but very very rich. Everything Rochelle does is good, but for me this was a new treat. Recommended.

Loose Box - parsnip and pumpkin soup ($5)
Good value - a large cup of nicely seasoned pumpkin soup with truffle infused oil. Note: truffle infused. There is a huge (pleasant) flavour difference between actual truffles and the oil that was developed to train truffle dogs!

Apple Tart

Loose Box - Apple Tart ($5)
Pleasant enough. Shaved truffles over a baked apple pastry. Not terribly truffly though, but a nice way to start your morning.

Linley Valley Pork - Stephen Clarke - Pork Cassoulet with truffles ($10)
Hearty winter flavours and some good pork, but just too soupy to be a cassoulet. I like my cassoulet to look like it's made of beans and pork, and your spoon stands up in it. The truffle oiled polenta likewise was runny.

Pork Lasagne with Truffles

Linley Valley Pork - Peter Manifis - Lasagne with truffles ($10)
I'm not sure pork really goes with truffles after this one. The pulled pork on top was fantastic, but the pasta was over done, ending up quite mushy under the tomato sauce. 

Oak Valley Truffles - Crab Cake with truffle mayonnaise ($7)
Crumbed crab cakes. These had some good crab flavour but were a touch too oily for us.

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