Unlike almost everything else, 2020 looks to be an exceptional year for white truffles, with all indications that this autumn will yield a particularly good harvest. If you are already a white truffle fan then we are preaching to the choir about these earthy, seasonal highlights. But if you have yet to be converted, now is the time to see what all the fuss is about.
At Carbone, the aromatic white Alba truffles from Piedmont Italy, are showcased as tuxedo-clad captains present them tableside, where you can select your preferred piece either whole or by the gram and add more swagger to favourites such as the Carpaccio Piemontese or any of the steaks by elevating them with lavish shavings of white gold. Highlights include the Truffle Fettuccine, showered with delicate truffle shavings, the truffle-topped fluffy Japanese Eggs on Brioche or the Truffle Tortellini, served with white truffle butter, sheep’s milk ricotta and parmesan. There is an adage that, what grows together, goes together; so for wine the team recommends Piemonte varietals cultivated from the same soil and rich in earthy notes, such as the Cordero Di Montezemolo ‘Elioro’ Chardonnay 1997, or the Roberto Voerzio ‘Rocche dell’Annunziata Torriglione’ 2008 from Barolo.
Over in Wan Chai, Chef Stumbaugh is lighting up the dining room of the Tuscan trattoria Associazione Chianti by offering you the option to elevate dishes like the Carne Cruda, his classic Tuscan steak tartare, or any of the Super Prime steaks with optional shavings of white truffle by the gram. If you choose to add truffle to your steak, Chef will eschew the traditional house-rub, instead using truffle butter with white truffle shavings added tableside.
The seasonal Tagliatelle returns with ribbons of pasta, white truffle and butter, a masterpiece in simplicity at its finest, and a new Truffle Polenta, where creamy polenta is mixed with mushrooms and white truffle makes its debut. At Associazione Chianti, the truffle-topped Carne Cruda is best paired with the Il Borro Lamelle Chardonnay 2018, the only white wine produced by the Il Borro Winery in the Chianti area, and the Tagliatelle is suited more to the Antinori Tignanello 1988, from the Greve Valley, with its deep chocolate, tobacco and earthy notes.
Experience this iconic seasonal ingredient from now until the end of the season (usually early December). Book your spot at carbone.com.hk or associazionechianti.com. And if you still have doubts about whether white truffles are worth the hype, see what the chefs have to say about these seasonal gems.