Truffle Dinner at St Crispin
This will be a quick one…
Yes, I’ve published a blog post about St Crispin quite recently… but I just thought it’s better to push this revisit post out sooner while it’s still Winter (ie. truffle season) instead of publishing things “out-of-season”. And by the way… *koff*… gush alert! ;)
I asked Lauren along to this truffle event, organised by Fringe Food Festival, and loved how excited she got over it. Her big enthusiasm was quite infectious actually, and as the day drew closer, I found that I too was getting pretty titillated thinking about what Scott Pickett and Joe Grbac would do with truffles.
The price point was pretty good too – $99 for four courses with matched wines. To make sure that I could drink, I hightailed it home right after work, packed myself into a crowded peak hour tram, dropped off along Victoria St and braved the 15 minute walk in the wet cold getting to St Crispin. Haha… spoken like a true princess!
It was full house at the restaurant and I believe a lot of Fringe Food supporters, foodies and food twitterati were there, ourselves included. We started off with these fascinatingly soft, halloweeny peaks of truffled marshmallows, they reminded us of eating a sweet version of soy and cheese.
Salt baked celeriac, walnut, jerusalem artichoke, shaved celery salad, pain d’ epice
Then came course one, a vegetarian number and probably my favourite for the night. Celeriac was baked (with skin on) on a bed of salt and it was served with smoked Jerusalem artichoke, walnut custard, shaved celery, parsnip chips and generous shavings of Manjimup truffles from WA. The dish smelt gorgeous and it tasted even better. Beautiful.
Crispy chicken wing, poached breast, parmesan and risoni
The second course involved chicken done in two ways. We were so thrilled that the wing had been deboned and filled with (herbed?) truffled mousse, but we preferred the succulent poached breast. And even more so, we absolutely loved the risoni which was cooked with a beautifully gelatinous double chicken master stock.
Roasted venison, beetroot, nettles, juniper and chocolate muesli bar
Our final savoury course came as blushingly pink roast venison with discs of beetroot, braised shank, and a mix of lentils and nettles underneath. There was a small sprinkle of Victorian truffle from Otway harvest, then came the bold aspect: chocolate muesli bar…!
Probably the first time I’ve seen meat paired with chocolate… it was interesting and not as strange as my experiences with eating duck leg with strawberries, but probably still a touch odd taste-wise for Lauren and myself. I almost thought I could taste Sichuan peppers in the chocolate bar, but it was probably the juniper berries.
Butternut pumpkin & pecan pie, truffle vanilla ice cream
But we ended the meal nicely with a winning sweet. Butternut pumpkin pie with a caramelised pecan crumble top… such a lovely winter vegetable dessert! The gentleness of the pumpkin meant that this was the one dish where the aroma and flavour of the truffles in it could be appreciated fully. By comparison, we found the truffle aromas weren’t as prevalent in the meat dishes. Lauren commented that the shaved truffles in this dessert smelt like bonito…!
It’s just so great dining with foodies who get as excited as myself when it comes to eating. Lauren and I enjoyed this meal lots and we’d like to thank St Crispin and Fringe Food Festival for making this event possible. This probably marks the end of another truffle season this year, but I’ll be eagerly waiting for next year’s truffle season, its heady aromas and delightful truffle dinners to come.