This November, Graze at the KL Hilton, offers its hugely popular white truffle promotion at its newly renovated eatery. With an emphasis on fresh, seasonal produce, this modern European brassiere is much more approachable now, compared with the previous stylish Senses, and I love the new contemporary look this restaurant is currently sporting.
Executive Chef Michael Elfwing serves up an a la carte menu of decadent Italian classics to complement this culinary gem starting this month, as November marks the peak of the Italian white truffle season.
Guests may choose any of the courses from the white truffle menu, or if they have a particular preference they may also enjoy this star ingredient shaved onto any dish on the a la carte menu. If you fancy white truffles, best be quick about visiting Graze, as this promotion only spans 2 weeks or so, or till they run out of truffles.
Eleven thousand ringgit per KG seems like a lot to pay for a mushroom. It really does. Yet October marks the start of white-truffle season, the time of year when this rare mushroom is showered on dishes, like snow flakes, signifying luxurious excitement, to even the most jaded palates.
Truffles are rare. The white ones are only available a couple of months of the year, almost exclusively from the Piedmont region in Alba, the North of Italy, where they are still foraged by dogs, who sniff them out in the ground. Then the humans move in and dig to retrieve the ugly, gnarled looking white nuggets that fetch a handsome price. Needless to say, there are fewer of them, and of lesser quality, every year. They are, in short a luxury commodity, highly sought after, rare, and getting more so all the time.
And there’s no question that white truffles are sublime. Someone once described it so well to me. The truffles, they have a unique aroma, a combination of musky, damp soil, and the pungent memory of young lovers caught in embrace, or in the heat of the moment. We shave them over risotto or pasta, or eggs and beef tartar, which are the perfect creamy, buttery rich vehicle, for folding them into. The heighten flavor is intoxicating. This mushroom might be harvested on earth, but the pleasure derived from dining on it, seems to come from a different dimension.
Grazing.. at Graze!
Restaurant Manager Simone Cordedda decants the wines..
Prunotto Barbaresco 2008
Prunotto is Piedmontese producer of wine that has become incredibly well known and respected, even though it was only born from the remains of a ruined co-operative winery 90 years ago. Run by Piedmontese legend Beppe Colla for many of its most formative years, Prunotto was one of the first producers in Piedmont to start bottling “cru” (specially selected, single vineyard) wines and is today owned by the Antinori family (from Tuscany) who have continued to enhance the Prunotto reputation by increasing the company’s vineyard holdings in excellent locations.
This wine is slightly tannic, has aromas of mixed cherries, citrus peels and sweet tobacco, and they are all present in a nice degree of balance to the bouquet of this wine.
2011 Fontanafredda Gavi di Gavi
For the white, Simone selects a delicious bottle of Gavi. Bottled at the Fonatanafredda winery, that is located close to the town of Alba (of course.. says Simone.. if you’re having truffles from Alba, you have it with a wine from the same place!).
This 2011 Fontanafredda Gavi di Gavi is one of a substantial range of traditional Piedmontese wines produced from Fontanafredda’s 85 hectares of estate vineyards. Fontanafredda Gavi di Gavi exhibits nice aromas of lemon citrus, ripe white peach and a hint of chalky minerality which ends up being the perfect complement to the musky white truffles. Despite the fermentation of a portion of the Gavi in oak, no overt oak derived aromas overpower the wine, which is a good thing. Though both the wines were excellent, very drinkable in their own right, overall, I preferred the way the Gavi paired with the truffles that day.
Egg En Cocotte with Spinach, mushroom and White Truffle (RM78++) or, Steak Tartare and White Truffle (RM 98++)
Simone does the honors .. baptism in white truffle.
steak tartare.. best dish for me, that went perfect with the white truffles
carefully folding the truffles and egg, into the steak tartare
eaten with toasted baguette and some pickles… perfecto!
And for the Mains, we had the Parpadelle Pasta with Jumbo Asparagus and Shaved White Truffle (RM88++) or, Saffron Risotto with Shaved White Truffle (RM98++).
Homemade Parpadelle Pasta .. cooked al dente. Loved the creamy sauce – again a great match for the white truffles
The risotto was OK for me – could have been a little more al dente. I could not really make out the saffron flavour either.. but who cares, the truffles took care of it!
Graze’s Head chef, Audrey Chin busy in the kitchen
The oh so talented Chef Michael Elfwing
the much coveted white truffle…
Lunch draws to a close… but not before desserts..
The Chocolate tart
Tiramisu served in a massive bowl
The ever so accommodating Simone, adding Galliano to the tiramisu. It really does add some kick to the dessert!
My favourite dessert.. Canole
No meal is complete without limoncello
“Imagine how a 1.6-lb (0.75kg) white truffle sold for $150,000 in 2009”!Follow me on Instagram : @agentcikay
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Woooo white truffle! I want eat all these lah! 😛
me too me too! LOL
the prices are actually not 3 figures, thats pretty good!
Yup totally agree! Value for money:)
Never had truffles before… sobz *wipes off my tears*. Love all your photos anyway 🙂
Thank u Ken! You will one day soon.. I can feel it in my bones! 🙂
OMG you lucky gal! This is utter decadence. Shaved truffles on pasta would have sufficed for me, YUMZ!
Yumz indeed! 🙂
white truffles! be still my beating heart! i think i can smell them already, based on your beautifully evocative photos 😀
So.. are you back to eat drink KL… or are u still off in some foreign land! hehe 😛
OMG I love truffles! 😀
I’ve only had them in Australia (expensive) and in Europe (less so coz I arrived at the right time) and I can imagine that steak tartare dish with shaved white truffle! I personally prefer the taste of black truffles myself but white truffles does taste better straight up (e.g. eaten as is).
I too prefer black! Was just telling Cumi – they just pack more of a punch. The white is gorgeous too.. but too mellow for me! That’s why u need tons of it la:P