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By Stephen Heard
July 07, 2020
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Six Truffle Dishes to Try in Auckland This Winter

From truffle-infused ice cream to truffle-topped dim sum and burrata.
By Stephen Heard
July 07, 2020
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You've probably had it in oil or salt form, and dusted over everything from potatoes to pasta, but now is your chance to sample the real thing as truffle season lands for 2020. Truffle is one of the most expensive delicacies in the world to eat, other than pure gold leaf. Prices for the fungi, which is playfully called the 'diamond of the kitchen', range in New Zealand from $3000–9000 per kilogram. Special dogs are even employed to sniff out the delicious mystery — which are found underground surrounding the roots of a host tree. This season in Auckland you can sample the delight whipped into ice cream, shaved over dim sum or alongside beef wellington.

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ELMOS, PONSONBY

Ponsonby pizza and burrata bar Elmos is going all out this truffle season with an entire menu dedicated to the black beauties. Fragrant Périgord black truffle is the fungi of choice, and for a limited time you'll find it stuffed inside the restaurant's signature burrata, paired with potato chips and on top of wood-fired pizza alongside mozzarella, shiitake and button mushrooms, pancetta and chives.

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THE GRILL, AUCKLAND CBD

This Federal Street staple provides one of the best meat experiences in Auckland — from its library of steak featuring grain-finished cuts to smoked pork belly, wild venison and king crab. The beef wellington is another top pick, and this winter it is being kicked up a notch with the addition of fresh truffle. The wagyu eye fillet is rolled in a mushroom duxelles, wrapped in prosciutto, encased in crispy puff pastry and doused in a Périgord truffle sauce. You'll just need to pre-order it 24 hours before your booking.

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THE SUGAR CLUB, AUCKLAND CBD

Across the street from The Grill and up 53 floors is The Sugar Club. To complement the outstanding view, this month the restaurant is adding first-class black Périgord truffle to a couple of its most popular dishes. You'll have the choice of venison loin served with a celeriac spinach roll, celeriac purée, caramelised onion foam and venison black pudding, or the vegan kumara coated in maple, daishi, koji and sunflower seeds. Both come topped with shaved truffle.

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HUAMI, AUCKLAND CBD

Yet another truffle offering in the SkyCity precinct — only this time around you'll find something entirely different: truffle dumplings. Behind the red doors of contemporary Chinese eatery Huami, you can devour traditional Cantonese 'ha kao' dim sum filled with fresh prawns and topped with shavings of black Périgord truffle. The steamed dim sum platter includes four pieces for $20.

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DUCK ISLAND ICE CREAM, PONSONBY AND NEWMARKET

To celebrate this year's truffle season ice cream makers Duck Island are slinging scoops of honey and truffle. The bright and fresh ice cream has been infused with local bush honey and fresh truffles by way of the Tarawera forest. Duck Island says the creation is delicious by itself, but also pairs well with flavours like milk chocolate, blackberry sage and honey, or good old vanilla bean. Find it at the Ponsonby and Newmarket stores in Auckland while stocks last.

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PHIL'S KITCHEN, KINGSLAND

Modern European bistro Phil's Kitchen has been incorporating truffle into several dishes on its daily tasting menu. A visit to the sleek and seasonal Kingsland restaurant could include the combination of potato and winter truffle veloute alongside ruby grapefruit chutney and snails, or ribeye with braised beef cheek, black pudding, winter truffle, caramelised cauliflower purée and frenched asparagus.

Published on July 07, 2020 by Stephen Heard

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