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

Websitehttp://www.thetrufflefarm.com.au/

Opening datesJune – August 

9:00am – 5:00pm Saturday – Sunday

 

 

 

 

Petit Feast – Buvette

I tagged along to the launch of Buvette‘s Petit Feast as a guest of fellow blogger The Food Avenue (go check out her awesome site here). I had been to Buvette before and didn’t love their dinner but after reading FoodPornJournal’s blog (see her dinner experience here), I saw that within a few months there were stark differences between our visits and I was excited to give Buvette another chance.

We were quickly seated and asked what we wanted for drinks. There was complimentary rosé on arrival but the waitress said I could substitute it for a soft drink or a juice so I chose an apple juice. They also offer mimosas which are bottomless sparkling and orange juice topped up all afternoon for only $15.00 per person.

Petit Feast includes one glass of rosé on arrival ($65.00 pp). The Petit Feast is anything but petite. For me, it was essentially a unisex high tea served on slates that encourages all day grazing. The feast is served in two ‘courses’, starting off with savoury and then followed by sweets.

Chef’s selection of charcuterie, duck liver parfait, oysters, quiches, mini sandwiches, olives and cheese. I was impressed with the serving size. We each got a plate with two finger sandwiches, a vegetarian quiche, a delicious slice of marinated eggplant, a natural oyster, a medley of marinated olives, two wedges of cheese and a hot beef pie. And that was just the beginning. We then were given the most delicious bread and butter to share (even though I was full at the end, I was still tempted to order more bread and butter) as well as a charcuterie board consisting of salami, lavosh bread, prosciutto, rillettes and a duck liver parfait. Although I pretty much loved everything and finished all my cheese, my favourite shout outs would have to be: the eggplant (it looks simple but the flavours were oh so good), the cheese, the humble bread and butter, the salami, the proscuitto and I surprisingly didn’t mind the duck liver parfait. Mini tartlets, profiteroles, tiramisu, friands and macarons. Half way through our savoury, the slate of sweets arrive at our table and we are blown away. Not only was it visually stunning, it was BIG! There was one of everything for the both of us, which meant that Miss Avenue didn’t have to miss out. 😉 There was tiramisu, a profiterole, chocolate brownie, pistachio and raspberry friands, lemon meringue tartlet, a chocolate macaron and a very decadent chocolate tart topped with salted caramel popcorn (I couldn’t finish it all because it was so rich). My absolute favourites would include the tiramisu, lemon meringue tartlet and the moist friands.I loved that the sweets came out half way through the savoury course because it meant that I could flick back and forth between the two and I usually like ending on savoury. Seriously, even though it is technically not a ‘high tea’, it has got to be one of the best high tea like objects in Canberra (and I’ve eaten a wide range). This all day grazing style food in addition to fabulous company really makes for a great day. I would happily encourage everyone to go and try it out for yourselves. I know I’ll be going back.

Venue: Buvette

Event: Petit Feast every Saturdays between 11:30am – 2:30am

$65.00 per person

Address: 18 National Circuit, Barton ACT

Phone: (02) 6163 1818
Buvette Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Fancy Nance – Melbourne series

After back to back eating sessions, I probably wasn’t feeling the hungriest when we stepped into Fancy Nance for high tea but FOMO got the best of me and I could not pass up the ‘I’m so Fancy’ option while my more sensible eating companions opted for the smaller ‘Pink Flamingo’ high tea.

Follow the signs for Fancy Nance.
A very mad hatter’s tea party feeling as you walk in.
I love the tea pot and tea cups lights.I’m so Fancy ($65.00)~

 

Despite the order written on the menu, things came a bit out of order but you did receive sweet things first and then ended on savoury which is usually how I eat things anyway. They must be going off the premise that life is short, eat dessert first.

 

‘Not so late’ carrot cake. I could not stop smiling while eating this. In short this was a deconstructed carrot cake but it was so tasty. The soft torn cake pieces delicately sat on top of the whipped cream cheese was genius but my favourite part was the candied nuts and different coloured carrots. This made me very excited for what was still to come.
Complete with a carrot top!
I felt a bit rushed when this board was placed in front of me with four different things on it. I didn’t eat fast enough and some of the ice creams started to melt and drip everywhere.
Bubbles, marzipan, rum fruits and roast cinnamon ice cream. This was more complex than what meets the eye, just below the bubble surface was many complex layers of different textures and flavours.
Cocoa nib creme brulee, pineapple and pina colada ice cream. This might have tasted sweeter if I had started off with this before the other desserts but by the time I got to this, the ice cream had melted into a puddle of mess and flavours weren’t as prominent because of the sweeter flavours from the other desserts.
Chai panna cotta, pear cremeux, ginger and honey. You had to dig down to get all the layers but the chai panna cotta flavour was the most prominent aftertaste. The texture of the panna cotta was incredibly smooth.
Macaron I couldn’t tell what flavour it was, after eating the entire board the sweet flavours started to meld into one.
Scones with 2 jams – roast capsicum jam and some other jam that I didn’t really try. As full as I was, I could not stop eating these scones with roast capsicum jam and cream cheese, it was sweet yet felt savoury at the same time. This might not be for everyone but I certainly enjoyed it.
Pastries de jour. I started to slow right down after the scones because by this point, things arrived one after another and I could barely keep up. I slow nibbled at this but I didn’t find either one particularly extraordinary. 
Tapioca cracker, tomato and ricotta. There was a nice break before the savouries started to arrive and like most people who have a separate dessert stomach, I have a separate one for savouries. This was a nice transitioning course from sweet to savoury as it was definitely salty but it wasn’t heavy or overwhelming.
Taco de Nance tuna, strawberries, avocado, tomato sorbet. This might sound like a strange combination but it really works well together, although I did find the corn taco shell getting a bit soggy and hard to eat as the sorbet melted. With the fish and fruit combined, it was refreshing on the palette.
Chinese chicken balls. These came out extremely hot and not as I expected, I assumed it would be more like a meat ball rather than a doughy interior with a meat centre but it did soak up the delicious sauce very well.
Beef cheeks with vanilla and purple carrots. This was really tender and the sweetness of the vanilla and carrots balanced out the heaviness of the meat. It wasn’t as good as the beef from MoVida, but it was definitely memorable.
Tea, coffee or hot chocolate. We ordered our beverages first and since we had so much sweet on the way, I opted for green tea. 
Someone TimmyC managed to squeeze in an iced coffee with everything else ($5.50).

Pink Flamingo ($45.00)~
 
Bubbles, marzipan, rum fruits and roast cinnamon ice cream.
Chocolate and cherry long john. This was the pick of the Pink Flamingo high tea, so it was a shame that it was one of the first things to come out. It was like a cronut with many flaky layers with the perfect amount of cream and sweet toppings.Creamsticle. I thought these were adorable. Not much particular flavour to them but they are so teeny tiny.
Scone with 2 jams
Tapioca cracker, tomato and ricotta
Taco de Nance tuna, strawberries, avocado, tomato sorbet
Chinese chicken balls
Tea, coffee or hot chocolate
 
For a high tea with so many courses of sweet and savoury and also the obligatory high tea scones, it was definitely value for money compared to the high teas we get here in Canberra. What I thought was disappointing was for someone who specialises in sweets, I was hoping that Zumbo would push the envelope with his desserts and give me something new and exciting. I really enjoyed the carrot cake but from there, the dishes didn’t really compare; there were just lots of soft textured layered desserts. I thought the savouries had more variety and were more daring in flavour combinations and textures than the sweets. Still worth checking out though, it beats stake cake and tarts and crustless sandwiches any day.

 

Venue: Fancy Nance
Address: 21 Daly St, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: (03) 9826 0312

Fancy Nance Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wedgwood Tea Room

After having our lovely wedding reception in the beautiful Gandel Hall at the National Gallery of Australia, our event manager Kate, was super nice and invited us back for High Tea in their Wedgwood Tea Room because she knew how much we love our food. We arrived at the gallery and then clearly had no idea where the high tea was held until we asked someone and was directed to the Level 2 Mezzanine, apparently this space has only recently been open to the public. When we arrived we were greeted by a friendly face and seated by the window which looked over the gallery’s sculpture garden.

We dined as guests of the gallery but all day Wedgwood High Tea is $43.00 per person, there are also lunch options: the Farmhouse Board ($25.00 per person) and the Bushman’s Plate ($20.00 per person).

Our tea orders were taken and we were left to admire the view and brush up on our tea etiquette (written in a booklet), not long after our little table with plain white linen was transformed into a high tea feast.Top tier: Dame Nellie Melba’s sublime opera cake; lemon and yoghurt curd tart with toasted meringue; petite peach Melba cake with white peach buttercream; jam drop shortbread tarts with lavender sugar.Bottom tier: soft mini brioche with cured salmon, dill creme and mustard leaves; ribbon sandwiches with citrus poached chicken and herb mayonnaise; ribbon sandwiches with cucumber, lime sour cream and fresh mint; mini asparagus, leek, and melted gruyere tartSeparate plate: freshly baked buttermilk scones with local berry preserve and double creamMy favourite picks were the chicken sandwiches and the opera cake but above all else, I fell in love with the Wedgwood china. For me, a lot of the high tea vibe comes from the atmosphere and the crockery (I’m a massive homewares fan) and I found the Wedgwood pieces were stunning. Each piece caught my eye because I liked the detail in the patterns and also liked how nothing matched. My tea cup pattern was perfectly named the ‘queen of hearts’.

We couldn’t leave without buying gift vouchers for some special people and the vouchers themselves had the beautiful blue flower pattern.

Venue: Wedgwood Tea Room

Address:  Level 2 Mezzanine, National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place, Parkes, Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: If you would like to book for high tea or lunch at the Wedgwood Tea Room without purchasing an exhibition package please call (02) 6240 6711.

Opening hours: (until 28th March 2016)

High tea at the Wedgwood Tea Room
  • High tea is served 10.00am – 4.30pm daily
Lunch at the Wedgwood Tea Room
  • Lunch is served 12noon – 2.00pm daily

Adore tea re-run

I was shocked to find out that one of my friends who loves tea had never been to Adore tea at Gold Creek Village so we made a date with more friends to go there immediately if not sooner. I booked a table inside because of the cold wet weather forecasted, which allowed us a two hour window for our reservation (I didn’t know there was a time limit, we just saw the next scheduled booking for the table). It is advisable to book ahead especially on the weekends as they are very busy and also have lots of varying high teas and parties (we happened to go on Mad Hatter’s tea party day).

We all chose a different tea which made for a very pretty photo, I went with classic chai blended with milk.I thought the colour of my friend’s berry tea was beautiful. Not a drop was wasted.My usual ‘go to’ food regardless of the time of day are their scones or the poffertjes but friend was telling me how nice the apple pie was. I was torn between choices but as soon as she said that she would go halves between the pie and scones, I was sorted.

Apple pie classic style apple pie served with vanilla ice-cream ($10.50). The pastry was very soft and semi sweet and apple pie obviously pairs perfectly with vanilla ice-cream, I just wish for the price that the pie was a little bigger or more filling. A close up of the apple pie.Scones served with cream and tea infused jams (about $9.50). Tea goes so well with scones so it almost seems like a ‘must’ when you come here. I really also enjoy their house-made jams.Chicken focaccia with gluten free bread (around $15.00). I looked over at my friend’s gluten free plate with envy. I usually am the savoury girl type and her plate looked goooood…I ‘adore’ this place, it’s a lovely venue to catch up over sweets and tea with friends and family. They are often very accommodating and the staff are super friendly and knowledgeable. Check in store or online for their various high tea days and live music sessions.

Venue: Adore tea

Address: Shop 6, Federation Square One, O’Hanlon Place, Nicholls, ACT 2913

Phone: (02) 6230 9962

Website: http://adoretea.com.au/

Opening hoursOpen Everyday: 10:00am to 5:30pm

Fridays: 10am to 7pm

Public Holidays: 10am to 4pm

Click to add a blog post for Adore Tea on Zomato

Burbury Hotel high tea

My wonderful foodie friend, fellow 101localhuman and blogger (see her fabulous blogs here and here, I barely have time to write one blog, how does she write two!?) had arranged for a few of us to meet and exchange foodie news over high tea that the Burbury Hotel now hosts. I’ve always been on the hunt to try all the high teas in and around Canberra and am close to finishing the list. I was surprised to hear that the Burbury hotel now does high tea considering they have only used the Terrace area for functions and hotel breakfast but it is a good use of the space as it has gorgeous views of the city.

Taken from the website, their description is: “Perched on the rooftop of the award winning Burbury Hotel, the rooftop terrace overlooking the city, lake and leafy Barton will host Canberra’s most exclusive high tea. With a selection of finely made French cakes & tarts, delicate savouries and traditional scones, accompanied with TWG fine teas and freshly brewed coffee.”

Arriving at the 7th (top) floor, I was told my friends were already waiting. As I sat down to take in the beautiful views, the incredible amount of natural light this space has and quickly admiring other people’s sweets, I was promptly asked if I would like champagne to start to which I declined.

My friend’s bubbles.IMG_4403.JPGA very spacious area and I wasn’t surprised that it was filled with lots of girlfriends and young families catching up over some cake.IMG_4406.JPGThe tea menu was varied which meant something to suit everyone. I went with the ‘Napoleon‘ which had fragrant vanilla notes and I had it black with no added sugar (I figured I would get a huge sugar hit from the food anyway).IMG_4409.JPGMatching tea pots and tea cups. IMG_4423.JPGFinally, the main event arrives! A high tea platter for three people. I did notice that we were short a pistachio cake and I wasn’t afraid to ask for another one to which they came back with two more of the little cakes.IMG_4420.JPGA break down of each tier:

Bottom tier~ I am a huge fan of catching up over cakes, TWG teas but I mainly went to catch up with my foodie friends. I miss how we all whip out all cameras and start clicking as soon as food arrives.

A close up of our brioche buns with salmon and crustless cucumber sandwiches. I was a little disheartened to find that there were no hot savouries on the platter and there was nothing interesting about the savouries choices either but they were a necessity to balance out the inevitable sugar high I would be on later that day. I carefully rationed out my savoury bites between all the sugary sweets.IMG_4412.JPGMiddle tier~

Plain and cranberry scones with what looked like a fruit compote and cream. There was no way that those cute little pots contained enough ‘jam’ and cream for 6 sconesso I asked for more as soon as we ran out. I was hoping that the plain scone was really a cheese scone because it had a weird dark glaze to it, but alas it wasn’t. Not the most ‘fluffiest’ scones and they weren’t warmed either but the condiments did the trick of hiding all the flaws.IMG_4426.JPGTop tier~

As cute as these selection of cakes were, I was lead to believe based on their photos and promos that there would be mini eclairs, macarons and profiteroles on this tier. 😦

The top of the lemon tart (which was crazy tart btw) was like a weird marshmallow, the opera cake packed a big coffee punch, the chocolate tart was really sweet but I did love the popcorn and the mini friands were moist and okay.IMG_4419.JPGGluten free option~

It looked like a last minute creation when the two halves of a macaron was split into two and decorated with chocolate filling and berries on top.IMG_4424.JPGAn odd shaped gluten free roll served with ‘jam’ and cream.IMG_4425.JPGI don’t know if you’ve ever had untoasted gluten free thick sliced bread, but it’s not good.IMG_4427.JPGIt was a cloudy wet day, but I could imagine on a gorgeous clear sunny day, this place would have beautiful views.IMG_4435.JPGOne of the last tables to leave as well as leaving all our mess.IMG_4436.JPGA mediore high tea at best but the views and the natural lighting is amazing. I would come again more for the atmosphere rather than the food, I do hope it improves though.

Venue: Hotel Burbury  (7th floor)

Address: 1 Burbury Close, Barton ACT 2600

Phone:  (02) 6173 2700

High tea: Friday – Sunday 1pm to 4pm

Traditional $39.00 per person $20.00 per person (kids under 12)

Champagne $49.00 per person

Versace high tea re-run

A new year begins and I find myself sitting at the glamorous Versace Hotel at Main Beach QLD a year later. I don’t plan to make this an annual event, it was just a happy coincidence.

Couture High Tea (basic high tea with no alcohol) $48.00 pp. It was ok, better than your average high tea.It is mostly just novelty to sit on Versace chairs near the beautiful lobby, eat with Versace cutlery on Versace plates. The selection of sweets are definitely better than last year. $30 for valet parking if you just want to roll up and not worry about parking. See my previous experience here.

20140101-163712.jpgTop tier~

A selection of sweets including macarons, meringues, mysterious waffle cones, cake pops, mango (?) tart and a chocolate and passionfruit cake.20140101-163728.jpg

Middle tier~

Plain scones and fruit scones, double cream, savoury quiche, a jelly cream dessert, a variety of olives and a very indulgent salted caramel tart.

20140101-163735.jpg

Bottom tier~

A selection of sandwiches and crisp bread with a sun-dried tomato dip.20140101-163744.jpg

Each High Tea set comes with a tea or a coffee. I chose ‘Prince of Wales’ tea to be a bit different from the norm, Russian Caravan was also supposed to be good.

20140101-171717.jpg

I always end on savoury when I can help it, it doesn’t matter if I’m at an all you can eat restaurant, fine dining or high tea. It does get a little sweet towards the end and you might pass out due to a food coma with all the tea so I do suggest leaving a little sandwich or something for the end. Don’t be afraid to ask for more cream/jam/dip, the staff are friendly and are too willing to help.

Notes~

You don’t need to book if there are less than 6 people. 11am – 5pm daily.

 

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