For anyone who covets the intoxicating, opulent taste of truffles, you will be pleased to know that the time has come, once again, to celebrate gastronomy’s black gold in all its glory. Whether showcased in a dedicated dining experience or shaved over a bowl of handmade pasta, the truffle takes centre stage across a number of exceptional dining venues in Auckland, offering a raft of irresistible creations that celebrate the best of the season.
At Ben Bayley’s beloved Commercial Bay restaurant (where seasonal, locally-sourced fare is given an innovative, culinary twist), fresh truffles can be added to any dish on the menu for an additional $10. Promising to enhance this restaurant’s already-impressively interesting and balanced flavours, Ahi’s optional truffle topping is the perfect way to elevate your next meal here.
Esther’s Truffle Extravaganza
One place that is leaning into truffle season in a big way is Esther, the delicious restaurant set at the base of the QT Hotel in Viaduct Harbour. There, for the month ahead, truffle-lovers will be able to indulge in the freshest delicacies sourced from the likes of Tewnion Truffière in Canterbury and George’s Truffles from Riwaka, via new dishes across all of the restaurant’s menus as well as special dining events.
Those seeking a midweek treat will find it in Esther’s Truffle Love Lunch, running on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 12pm until 2pm throughout June and July. Here, diners can enjoy dishes like truffle fonduta with toasted ciabatta and black Périgord truffle and pasture-raised eye fillet with roasted garlic and black périgord truffle butter.
There are also a raft of truffle-centric bites (and cocktails, if you can believe it) of offer for a limited time at Rooftop at QT — the hotel’s bar situated on the top floor. Ever considered a truffle negroni? We hadn’t, but with truffle-washed gin, Antica formula, Tempus Fugit Gran Classico and black truffle drops, we might have to make it our next tipple.
That said, true truffle hunters should secure their spot at Esther’s Black Diamond Truffle Lunch, promising an extraordinary menu where nature’s most exquisite morsels are transformed into culinary masterpieces. Offering dishes like rag pasta with truffle butter, confit egg yolk, parmesan and Périgord truffle, duck breast with brandy, mushrooms and a truffle cigar, and Esther’s famous apple tart with truffle ice cream, this lunch is set to take place on Saturday the 8th of July, and is $150 per person. Tickets can be booked here.
Onslow’s Twice-Baked Truffle Soufflé
Celebrating the return of truffle season in suitably sophisticated style, Onslow has added a mouthwatering new dish to its menu for a limited time. Here, a rich but utterly delicate, twice-baked cheese soufflé is served with gruyere, hazelnut and a generous dose of truffle cream, harnessing the freshest truffles sourced locally from George’s Truffles in Riwaka. Only available for a short time, find this delicious dish as a ‘Starter’ on Onslow’s lunch menu. This is one you certainly don’t want to miss out on.
Paris Butter’s Truffle Dinner
Paris Butter’s highly-anticipated annual (and first-of-the-season) truffle dinner is back and better than ever. Set to be an unforgettable culinary experience, the dinner will showcase the immense creative talent at play in the Paris Butter kitchen, who will produce five exceptional courses, each one meticulously designed to highlight the exquisite aromas ad flavours of the truffle in different ways. Taking place for one night only on Tuesday the 20th of June, this unmissable dinner is $200 per person and bookings are essential.
Apéro’s Iconic Truffle Toastie
Hunkering down at K’Road’s ever-popular Apéro is exactly what we feel like doing at this time of year. Add fresh truffles to the mix and you have the makings of a memorable dining experience indeed. Recently, Apéro announced the return of a seasonal favourite, the Truffle Toastie, and we can’t wait to get our hands on one. This toastie is stuffed with comté cheese and freshly shaved truffle, and is even better with paired with a glass of something good (ask Mo for an impeccable recommendation). There will also be a range of truffle-centric dishes popping up on Apéro’s weekly specials board — last week’s was a delicious-looking homemade fettuccini, served with fresh truffle and Ossau-Iraty velouté.
Spiga’s Truffle Toppings
At Remuera’s Spiga, the truffle season offering is keeping beautiful Italian food at the forefront, where diners can up the ante on this restaurant’s delectable menu by opting to add fresh truffle shavings to any of their dishes, for an additional $27. Set to take the always-excellent experience of dining here up a notch, this indulgent offering will allow you to partake in this tasty season without having to forgo your favourite dish.
Elmo’s Truffle Celebration is Back
One of the best places to go for a taste of delicate truffles is always Elmo’s. This pulls out all the stops in honour of truffle season and this year is shaping up as the best yet. From the Chitarra Alla Carbonara, comprising handmade Chitarra pasta tangled with Guanciale, pancetta, egg yolk, pecorino and Black Périgord truffle to a carpaccio of buttery-soft, thinly-sliced rare eye fillet topped with capers, lemon, parmesan, caesar mousse and fresh Black Périgord truffle (and with more deliciously decadent, seasonal dishes yet to be unveiled) we recommend booking a table at this Ponsonby Road hotspot immediately.
Bivacco’s Limited-Time Truffle Dishes
Where better to celebrate the indulgence of truffle season than at one of our favourite Auckland dining destinations? Viaduct Harbour’s Bivacco is adding two special truffle-centric dishes to its menu in honour of this delectable season. One, is a housemate tagliatelle served with guanciale, parmesan reggiano chives and, of course, fresh New Zealand truffles. The other is a beautiful Massimo burrata dish that simply oozes decadence, served with braised tamarillo, hazelnut and rosemary crumble and truffle. Here for a good time, not a long one, these dishes are giving us every excuse to book a spot at this waterfront eatery over the coming weeks. You should too.
Andiamo’s Fresh Truffle Shavings
There’s no reason to stray from your dining routine over truffle season. In fact, if Andiamo is your go-to neighbourhood haunt, you can still pull up a chair and order your favourite dishes, only now, those dishes can be enhanced with fresh shavings of locally-sourced truffle. For $10 per gram, you can add truffle to any dish on Andiamo’s menu, although the chef has recommended the following as the best vehicles for this seasonal delicacy: The Bianca (with shaved Italian mortadella, pistachio pesto and fior di latte) and Pomodoro (with roast mushroom, taleggio and cavolo nero) pizzas, the bruschetta of whipped ricotta, grilled butternut, pomegranate and amaranth, the cacio e pepe fusilli, and the spaghetti carbonara with guanciale, mushroom, pecorino and a cured egg yolk.
Amano’s Truffle Cappelletti
Leave it to the pasta experts at Amano to celebrate truffle season in masterful style. Here, the popular Britomart eatery is adding a special dish to its menu in honour of the occasion, comprising fresh, handmade pillows of cappelletti pasta, filled with a delicate mixture of potato, truffle and parmesan, and topped with fresh truffle shavings. Utterly delicious.