Truffle Degustation at The Boathouse by the Lake

16 Jul

It’s no secret that The Boathouse by the Lake is a favourite restaurant of mine – as it is now for many of my friends. So, if I trust a restaurant to do truffles right, it’s going to be The Boathouse. Thanks to fellow blogger Rachi’s organisation skills, a number of us secure seating together on one of the two long tables for the night.

It’s a little reminiscent of the Starlight dinner back at the end of February, but the dining room has a little more finesse, and is more intimate. There are just two tables, the fire is crackling away at one end of the room, and the sound of diners chatting while the canapes and 2010 Mt Majura Silurian Chardonnay Pinot Noir are served is absorbed well.

Long tables without losing the intimacy

The canape is a good indication of what’s to come: truffle and bacon ice cream served in a specially carved log. Rest assured, I have many (just to confirm each mouthful is as good as the last, of course).

Truffle and bacon icecream

The ice cream is smooth and the balance of umami from the truffle and smokey bacon with the creamy sweetness is spot on.

We sit down for the dinner, and are introduced to Sherry from French Black Truffles, who throughout the dinner explains how she came to setting up her truffle farm on Majura Road, why the region is so perfect for truffles, and the process for hunting and harvesting truffles each year. (You can join in on a truffle hunt until mid-August.)

The first dish is truffle bresaola (dried, salted beef) “ravioli” with a Pedro Ximinez sauce and duxelle (minced) mushrooms on the bottom of the dish, forming a filling.

Truffle bresaola “ravioli” – you can see the truffle on the top of the dish

From above

Check out the gorgeous truffle-y, creamy textures under the beef

It’s described as “ravioli” for a reason: there’s no real pastry, but instead the truffle bresaola forms the top of the ravioli, and the creamy duxelle paste underneath form the filling. It’s served with the Mac Forbes RS16 riesling. I’m a big fan of the Mac Forbes range – they’re doing great stuff with their riesling and, I think, making it accessible to a generation of non-riesling drinkers so I’m biased about how good it is (it’s good!).

Muddling it all together (yum!)

If the Boathouse’s first dish changes perceptions about what a ravioli looks like, their next dish – a mushroom tart – did the same. Deconstructed, the mushrooms are served with a crumble of shortcrust pastry, artichokes, a lightly cooked quail egg and truffle custard – with a 2011 Chateau Saint Maurice Grenache Roussanne accompanying it.

Deconstructed mushroom tart with big shavings of truffle – and a cheeky quail egg poking through

Gorgeous shaved truffle with strong combo of textures and flavours

This is a delicate combination which brings strong flavours – and the shaved truffles are a welcome aesthetic and flavoursome contribution. This is a yummy dish.

Next is cauliflower three ways with shavings of pine ash on top, and truffle mousse on the bottom to match a perfectly cooked organic chicken.

Organic chicken with cauliflower three ways

Truffle is hidden throughout the chicken

There are a range of flavours and especially textures here – creamy and crunchy, as well as slippery, tasty sauce. The chicken is cooked well and I love the surprise truffle reveal. A number of us declare it our favourite dish.

The final main is a selection of wagyu (grade seven – nine is the highest I believe) – which is a little cold – with potato layers pommes anna, witlof and a little more shaved truffle. It’s served with a Grant Burge Shiraz from 2002. The Perigueux (truffle) sauce brings the caramelised meat and starchy but creamy potato layers together with a punch.

Wagyu with pommes anna

The dessert at The Boathouse is always the piece de resistance – in addition to the brilliant dishes which precede it, the dessert is always remarkable. In this case, it’s just what you’d expect. The nitro truffle cheesecake is moreish: creamy but lighty, tangy without being overwhelmingly so. It envelopes the truffle but celebrates it. The banana grounds the light flavours, while the honey parsnip matches the celeriac ice cream with the balance of sweet and savoury. Again, it’s matched beautifully with a glass of the iced riesling from Frogmore Creek – honeyed without being sickly.

Truffle cheesecake with banana, celeriac ice cream and honey parsnip

The Boathouse knows how to quenelle its ice cream!

While all the dishes are excellent, the meal further confirms to me that it’s the creamy or sweeter dishes which really display the beauty of truffles: the bacon and truffle ice cream canape lingers in my memory, as does the cheesecake. (Similar to the truffled brie we enjoyed at Mt Majura vineyard last year.)

Date: Friday, 27 June 2014

Where: Boathouse by the Lake, Barton

Cost: $160 including all courses and servings of wine

Value for money: High

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile

Want more? Check out Rachi’s post of the same event, including her gorgeous photos.
Boathouse By the Lake on Urbanspoon





4 Responses to “Truffle Degustation at The Boathouse by the Lake”

  1. whisperinggums July 17, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    Woo hoo! The Boathouse held its own for you again. Let’s ignore those who don’t like it, shall we! That meal looks absolutely delicious. I tend to avoid these set special meals because of dietary issues, though I know that if I told them in advance they would cater for those.

    • inthetaratory July 17, 2014 at 12:12 am #

      You’re right – there was someone next to me who had certain preferences & these were easily and eagerly catered for (and at the same time as the other meals arrive – a credit to the kitchen).


  1. Coming up in Canberra #5 + a giveaway! | In The Taratory - September 15, 2014

    […] Truffle Festival put on a number of excellent dinners. The Boathouse by the Lake hosted a delicate menu, and Mt Majura Wines again put on their very successful truffled brie event throughout the […]

  2. Truffle Festival: Majura Valley Experience | In The Taratory - June 21, 2015

    […] My previous experience of the truffle brie can be found here, and truffle degustations can be found here and […]

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