10 July 2010

Tabou: Truffle Degustation Menu, Surry Hills (27 June 2010)

527 Crown Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010


So can you have too much of a good thing — most definitely!

Tabou is one of my favourite French restaurants and I was enticed to try their Truffle Degustation event because I've never had real truffle before and only truffle oil. Seven courses with matching wines ($160) was towards my truffle education. Starting with the Truffle grissini, artichoke veloute was a nice way to start the meal. The grissini had subtle hints of truffle flavour and the artichoke veloute was creamy smooth — I always seem to love veloute as an amuse-bouche. Next came the rather rich Morning truffle with NV Gosset ‘Brut Excellence’ Champagne. I loved the champagne but was in two minds about the morning truffle. The crispy pancetta, buttery brioche and soft egg were good but the hollandaise sauce was way too citrus in taste for me which made it quite unpleasant to finish. If it had been less citrus and more light and creamy I would have enjoyed it a lot more. Slices of truffle were evident with a distinctive truffle taste in the dish. The refreshing Jamon and pea risotto was a light dish with subtle truffle taste. I think I would have preferred the jamon to be pan-fried more to a crisp to help add a smokey bacon flavour — or perhaps I just love fried bacon.

Fillet of dory, saute of vegetables, truffle veloute was presented well and one of my favourite dishes of the night. The 2007 Vincent Girardin ‘Cuvée Saint-Vincent’, Chardonnay was smooth and buttery and went well with the dish. I enjoyed the hearty Roast loin of veal, saute of forestiere, morel pomme puree although the shaved baked truffle on top had no discernible truffle taste at all and was mostly for texture and presentation. I probably would have preferred not seeing them as I felt disappointed they provided no taste to the dish. Though there was a nice truffle taste coming from the pomme puree I believe. A substantial and delicious slice of Truffle brie was next although needed more bread to finish. I prefer the classic white baguette as a side bread for cheese so you can fully appreciate the cheese itself — just the way they do in France.

Quite full and finally reaching dessert of Chocolat du truffle tipped our stomachs over the edge for truffle. The presentation and texture of the dessert was nice which had a sort of honeycomb pop rock thing happening to add excitement in the mouth although the chocolate truffle sitting on top was laden with truffle. Oh dear, this was way too overpowering for our whole dining table. I forced myself to eat it but regretted the strong taste. I think this dish would have been fine on it's own without truffle in it. To end some complimentary Honey Truffled friands were provided although by this time we were sadly truffled out — but this didn't stop me eating one. As an extra treat I wanted to try their Créme Brulée ($13) again which is one of my favourite in Sydney. It wasn't part of the menu tonight but they made one up especially for us. Nice caramelised topping and creamy custardy centre although sadly not as much vanilla bean present in this one as I've had before. Helen the restaurant manager generously provided this dish complimentary.

Other French restaurants visited:
Tabou - Surry Hills, 27 June 2010
Sel e Poirve - Darlinghurst, 1 Dec 2009
Tabou - Surry Hills, 9 Oct 2009
Onde - Darlinghurst, 25 Sept 2009
Chez Pascale Cuisine Francaise - Sans Souci, 8 July 2009

PROS: Quality French wines, dishes and cheeses, Nice decor downstairs, professional and efficient staff
CONS: Expensive, Truffle in Chocolate Truffle doesn't work for me
MUST TRY: Créme Brulée, French cheeses

‘The French Truffle is considered the finest of the edible fungi and has a place in gastronomy alongside saffron, caviar, foir gras and the finest of wines. Widely considered as the jewel of French cooking prized for its unique flavour and intoxicating aroma’

Truffle grissini, artichoke veloute

Morning truffle

NV Gosset ‘Brut Excellence’, Champagne

Jamon and pea risotto
2007 Hugel Pinot Blanc, Alsace

2005 Château Saint Christoly, Cru Bourgeois, Cabernet Merlot, Médoc, Bordeaux $13

Fillet of dory, saute of vegetables, truffle veloute
2007 Vincent Girardin ‘Cuvée Saint-Vincent’, Chardonnay, Burgundy

Roast loin of veal, saute of forestiere, morel pomme puree
2009 Domaine Collotte ‘Cuvée De Noble Souche’, Pinot Noir, Burgundy

Truffle brie

Chocolat du truffle

2007 Les Clos De Paulilles, Banyuls Rimage, Roussillion

Complimentary Honey Truffled friands

Créme Brulée $13

Truffle Degustation Menu
$100 for seven courses
$160 with matching wines



Downstairs dining


joey@FoodiePop said...

Looks damned delicious! Happy Bastille Day next Wednesday at Flinders Inn. :-)

Forager @ The Gourmet Forager said...

What a truffle feast! And the creme brulee does look delicious!

Charlyt Lamington said...

Wow the chocolate and desserts look awesome. Simply awesome.

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi joey, i'm hoping it's a good meal at flinders inn. i'm trying to get to all the French restaurants in Sydney :-)

hi forager, whenever i have a creme brulee i always think it should be served in one of these shallow bowls now otherwise it's not quite authentic :-)

hi charlyt, i think if the chocolate dessert didn't have the truffle in it it would have been a winner for me :-)

thanh7580 said...

Simon, I guess with every ingredient, you can overuse it unncessarily. The truffle should enhance a dish and not just put in for the sake of it. It seems like they tried to justify the cost by putting it into everything.

Do you know what type of truffle they used? Because there are sometimes lower quality truffles, especially some of the new Australia ones that don't have as good a flavour as more traditional one from Paris I've read.

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi thanh7580, you're so right. actually i'm not sure what truffle it was. i'd love to know what freshly shaved French truffle is like though but i assume it's very expensive. i noticed MasterChef episode in Paris were saying it was about 100 euros for 1 gram?

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