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
2007 Hugel Pinot Blanc, Alsace
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
Chocolat du truffle
Complimentary Honey Truffled friands
$100 for seven courses
$160 with matching wines
$160 with matching wines