Truffle Hunt & Cook

The truffle season is almost over and if you haven’t been on a truffle hunt yet, I have one to recommend to you. Sure, it comes with a price tag but one of the main reasons why I signed up was because Damian Brabender was the chef who was going to be cooking us a 6 course truffle lunch.

Truffle Hunt & Cook Lunch ($180.00 pp) includes truffle hunt with farm owner Jayson and his team of highly trained truffle dogs as well as a six course truffle lunch menu created by Chef Damian Brabender with matching local winesEven though I was mainly interested in the food component, it didn’t stop me from immensely enjoying myself watching Simba the truffle dog do his thing so skillfully and listening to Jayson’s amusing story about how he came to training dogs and eventually owning the truffle farm.Simba sniffed out the truffle, now it was our job to carefully dig it out.We (well Simba) found a hefty truffle nugget worth approximately $500 within minutes of starting our hunt. After a few successful harvests, we headed back to the kitchen where Damian had started cooking up a storm.We were swiftly given beverages and a hot cauliflower and truffle soup to warm us up. This was so smooth and creamy, the perfect winter warmer.
Bread and truffle butter.Truffle risotto with an egg. I love how creamy and rich this dish was, I really wanted five more.I love truffle butter and it goes so well with scallops.Damian (along with volunteers) showed us how easy it was to ‘whip up’ truffle mayonnaise.We all swooned over the steak topped with truffle infused jus.One of the greatest ways of having truffles is having truffle brie!TimmyC asked if I would like some crackers with my cheese… Cheeky.We ended our lovely experience with a chocolate ‘truffle’ a truffle ice cream encased in chocolate and cocoa.The food in short was fantastic, I’ve always been a fan of Damian’s work. Not only did we get a 6 course lunch, we got something better than that- an appreciation of truffles, dismissing the price tag associated with truffles because you don’t need much to make a big impact and knowledge of how to get the most out of your truffle.

I really enjoyed the whole experience; I found Damian and Jayson really charming and funny, they really get you to join in on the conversation and the experience.

See their other events like breakfast and truffle hunts on their website.

Venue: The Truffle Farm Canberra

Address: 23 Mount Majura Road, Canberra, ACT 2609

Phone:  0400 483 082


Opening datesJune – August 

9:00am – 5:00pm Saturday – Sunday






Meatball Monday – IKEA Canberra

Recently road signs have warned of major delays in the Majura area for at least a week starting this Monday 16th November. Why? If you somehow have not heard, the IKEA Canberra store is opening and everyone wants to be there. According to the Facebook event, over 13,000 people want to be there during their opening celebrations starting from around 6:30am and the store will open at 9:30am.One of my friends who has never been to an IKEA store before asked me ‘what is the big deal about IKEA?’; this made me ponder and I didn’t know where to start. I wanted to tell her that when it opens in Canberra on Monday it will be the most sustainable store in Australia using LED lighting, they have just under 2000 solar panels, they source sustainable salmon as well as becoming the first major retailer to source 100% of its cotton from more sustainable sources, just to name a few things. I also wanted to mention their charity initiatives supporting educational project run by Save the Children and UNICEF. Instead, I explained that most people want to improve their home and their personal spaces and IKEA helps people to do that regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds. Despite people saying that everyone’s houses will look the same, there is so much choice and room for personalising, I don’t think that would be the case.

I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek of  Canberra’s IKEA store on Friday and I wanted to tell you all what you’re in store for starting Monday.

Unlike other IKEA stores, Canberra’s store is single level and will be the first in Australia to have a ‘IKEA Cafe’ with coffees, cakes and some savoury options available. The IKEA restaurant itself has a 380 seat capacity and I would consider the whole menu to be a bargain and that’s not just comparing it to Canberra prices!The Market Hall is one of my favourite places to browse, even if my kitchen is full. IKEA plans to run workshops so customers see first hand how to use the products and produce. On top of all this, the IKEA Canberra store will have a free child minding for the children aged 3 – 10 that are toilet trained. Småland (pronounced small land for those who don’t speak Swedish) is available to parents to are on site (in store or in the car park) for maximum 1 hour a day, they have a capacity for up to 45 kids at a time with activities including colouring in, stadium seating for the ‘cloud’ tv and a ball pit which is 80cm deep. Be aware that this is a really popular facility and long wait times might apply. See the additional information below taken from their website:

We like to make visiting IKEA both fun for kids and easier for grown-ups. Småland is our free supervised play area, located next to our store greeter. So kids, come on in… We look forward to seeing you soon!

Småland is licensed under the Department of Education, so all children must be enrolled before coming in to play. This paperwork is only needed once a year. There is a limit on the number of children allowed in Småland to ensure their safety at all times. As a result, you may experience longer waiting times during busier periods.

IKEA launched ‘LATTJO’ their play collection that inspires everyone to play more together – everyday. I am tempted to everyone a snail hat this Christmas.With kids and their parents set as a first priority, IKEA have awesome parent rooms, the restaurant area has microwaves for warming milk, kids cutlery and even a small children’s play area so the parents get some peace while they’re eating Swedish meatballs.

There is so much cutesy things to buy for kids and the young at heartI love IKEA’s store concept where they create fully furnished areas, making it much easier to visualise the end product or lend creative inspiration especially storage in small spaces. If you’re like me and get your cardio work out from shopping, you’ll get over 1km walk if you don’t take short cuts.

Do you need some room inspiration? It took the IKEA staff 5 weeks to set up the whole store! Come and see their amazing space.

They have over 700 car parks available on opening day, with staff parking off site and taking a shuttle bus to the store; being a sustainably minded store they encourage everyone to carpool or take public transportation (extra buses will run from platform #9 Civic interchange).

Are you excited for IKEA Canberra?

Venue: IKEA Canberra

Address: 1030 Majura Road, Majura, ACT 2609

Phone: (02) 8020 6641

Extended trading hours
from 16 – 22 November

Monday: 9:30am – 9:00pm
Tues-Friday: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Regular trading hours
from 23 November onwards

Mon-Thur: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Regular Restaurant trading hours
Mon-Thur: 9:30am – 6:30pm
Friday: 9:30am – 8:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am – 6:30pm
Sunday: 9:30am – 5:30pm

Mount Majura vineyards #humanbrochure

I must admit I was a little nervous to make my way to Mount Majura Vineyards with all the construction work around the area and I sighed when I saw a long stream of headlights facing in my direction as I was trying to turn right, but someone was nice enough to slow down so I could make my turn (thank you kind local!).  

I didn’t even know that Mount Majura Vineyard existed (this human brochure experience has really opened up my eyes to our local produce and wine) but one of my foodie 101 local humans who is a wine enthusiast said to enjoy the night as it is an amazing winery. Apparently she isn’t the only one to think so as the James Halliday’s Wine Companion have given the winery a 5-star rating.20140702-221637-80197430.jpgFergus McGhie the promotions and marketing manager for Mount Majura Vineyard, is explaining how Canberra and the surrounds has ideal conditions in to grow Shiraz and Riesling as they love the big temperature fluctuations that we experience. He also tells us that the winery consists of four full-time wine fanatics who love experimenting with combinations of grapes to produce amazing wines which regularly win awards.20140702-221638-80198969.jpgWow, I know a few people who would raid this place if given the chance.20140702-221640-80200627.jpgWe were greeted with some Silurian 2010 to start and a table of delicious local produce. We all helped ourselves to some bread and truffled butter as the wine was flowing.20140702-221711-80231677.jpgI love the super cute jars that the butter came in. If there weren’t so many witnesses/people to share with, I would have tried to sneak one in my bag!20140702-221713-80233226.jpgBeautiful thick truffled butter from next door (I need better neighbours!) and fresh bread from A.baker who stock Mount Majura wines. I couldn’t help but put a thick lather of butter on my slice of bread. It was soooo good.20140702-221716-80236381.jpgIt looked like everyone was enjoying their glass of bubbles.20140702-221714-80234819.jpgThe speckled butter reminded me of my black glitter nail polish.20140702-221741-80261707.jpgWhile we were all enjoying the truffled butter, we were introduced to local woman and grower of the French Black truffles in Canberra: Sherry McArdle-English. She tells us about her and her husband’s story going from city dwellers with careers to buying a farm with little to no idea and turning it into a very successful livelihood.

She recalls the time when she went to Fyshwick markets to enquire about this delicacy that she knew little about, she was met with the response that only Europeans know how to grow truffles. Well, spite is a very powerful motivator and she spent 2pm til 3am that day researching all she could about truffles. After a day trip to Tasmania, 80 tonnes per hectare of mined lime and a lot of determination later, she along with her husband started to collect truffles 2.5 years after planting their first trees, which meant that they had the youngest tree producing truffles in the Southern Hemisphere. Fast forward to the present and now the French Black Truffles of Canberra has generated an interest at an international level as well as becoming the largest producer in NSW, one of the biggest producers in Australia, supplying top restaurants in Canberra including Podfood and the Boat house and also becoming the sole producer to supply truffles at the Fyshwick markets.

Who knew all this was happening right in Canberra?!20140702-221743-80263331.jpgAll the local humans sit down to feast on truffled brie and a variety of wine while getting a chance to talk with the local producers.20140702-221745-80265952.jpgI love the place mat that they had given us which very informative. A very simple yet handy thing to have!  They had an older Chardonnay (2006) to compliment the truffled brie as well as a 2012 Pinot Noir.20140702-222101-80461603.jpgA close of up the beautiful colours of Mount Majura Wines.20140702-222105-80465782.jpgTheir very popular T.S.G was also passed around to be sampled.20140702-222008-80408045.jpgAs well as their Touriga (2013).20140702-222009-80409506.jpgI love personalised glassware.20140702-222006-80406581.jpgCheesy porn. I had to balance between not getting too excited in the presence of such a delicacy, taking lots of photos and not drooling on the place mat while taking said photosIt is a truffle infused Small Cow Farm brie.20140702-222102-80462866.jpgYou can see how creamy and soft the brie is which forms a squishy cushion around the delicately shaved truffle.20140702-222104-80464305.jpgI might not appreciate wine but I know lots of wine connoisseurs who would love a bottle and I would love for them to try Canberra’s best. How cute is their wine box (which has a convenient handle that you can’t see in this picture)?! 2011 Shiraz ($32.00), 2013 T.S.G ($32.00) and 2013 Molli ($27.00).20140702-222005-80405097.jpgEveryone that tried Molli couldn’t help but buy a bottle (or 6) and with a limited run I had to grab a bottle for someone who I knew would appreciate it very much. I think it is a super cute name for a wine!20140702-221642-80202039.jpgMount Majura Vineyards don’t sell individually sell the truffled brie as it doesn’t have a long shelf life and you can’t gauge how many you would sell during a weekend but Fergus explained that you can get a taste of this delicious cheese with a matching wine on Sundays. See details below.

Truffle infused weekends at Mount Majura Vineyard 21st June to mid August, Saturday and Sunday only, 10am – 5pm

Truffle season has begun and we’re excited to include truffles at the cellar door as part of our winter tasting experience. We infuse Small Cow Farm Petit Vache, a deliciously rich and creamy brie style cheese, with truffles from our neighbour Sherry at French Black Truffles of Canberra. To accompany this we’re pouring a flight of three 80ml glasses of wine matched to the truffled brie. This winter Frank has specially taken out vintage stock from the museum cellar to match with the brie! The tasting will be served individually and will cost $30 per person.
Bookings on (02) 6262 3070 or


Venue: Mount Majura Vineyards

Address: RMB 314 Majura Road, Majura, ACT 2609

Phone:  (02) 6262 3070


Opening hoursThursday to Monday from 10am to 5pm

Prices: this experience was paid for buy VisitCanberra as part of the 101 local humans campaign for the human brochure, with the bottles of wines bought by myself.


Venue: The French Black truffles of Canberra

Address: Ruffles Estate, 23 Mt Majura Road, Maujra ACT 2609

Phone: 0419 950 207