Sunday, December 6, 2020

White Truffles Encore

I wanted a white truffle encore just before its prime season ends (some time between early to mid-December), so we paid a visit to Nicholini’s at Conrad on the last Friday of November for their tasting menu. With the restaurant (and other F&B outlets inside the hotel) pretty much booked up for the staycation goers, we went for one of their early seating and got ourselves a table of two right by the window - not bad for something arranged only at last minute. 

We went for their 4-course tasting menu this time, in which 3 of their courses (except dessert) were served with white truffles shaven on top by the staff at our table. But first, we began with a small plate of amuse bouche with tuna and caviar - that surely made a good impression. 

Of course, one couldn’t go wrong with the combination of scrambled eggs and white truffles, with the creamy, soft egg released the unmistakable aroma from the white truffles as they were shaved on top. Their white truffle supply for the evening was not of the biggest in terms of size, but the aroma was remarkable – we could smell it from afar as they were presented to us with much fanfare, kept in a glass dome and all. 

Tajarin, like white truffles, is iconic in Piedmontese cuisine, and they worked well together. Chef Ricardo did it the in the most traditional way, simply tossed and served with a light butter sauce and minimal seasoning made from Beppino Occelli butter, also from Piedmont. They were not known to have made the butter with the richest taste but certainly one of the creamiest, and there's plenty of sauce to with the pasta. If there's one slight complaint, I wish there's more white truffles on this one. 

With the choice for main courses, I went for veal tenderloin again. It’s less fatty as the one I had previous week at another restaurant (at another white truffles meal), but the dish was richer with porcini and morel mushroom, Jerusalem artichoke cream and chunks of Brussels sprouts. The white truffles were somewhat overwhelmed by the meat and sauce flavor but overall the dish was decent with the piece of veal tenderloin perfectly cooked. 

Dessert was a simple one, with truffles-chestnut semifreddo (in dome shape) served with a piece of almond cookie on top and rum vanilla sauce underneath. Not a lot of truffles aroma or flavor, but I love the taste of the chestnut as I always do. 

Sure satisfied my truffle cravings for this year. 

When? November 27 2020
Where? Nicholini's, Level 8, Conrad Hong Kong, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Tajarin with Occelli butter
Champagne Perrier Jouet Grand Brut NV
2015 Domenico Clerico Barolo DOCG

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