Make the most of truffle season in Hong Kong with these decadent, limited-time-only dishes.
Of all of autumn’s most beloved delicacies: the hairy crab, the roasted turkey, it is the white truffle that brings the season’s feasts to the height of decadence. For a limited time, the elusive ‘white diamond’, which is foraged in the wild for only two months between October and December, makes its way onto dinner tables, adding the rich, earthy aroma to our favourite meals.
The Alba white truffle is known to be the most prized and fragrant of them all with its distinct perfume, for which many are willing to pay an arm and a leg. (This year, an extremely hefty 900g Alba truffle was auctioned off at Otto e Mezzo Bombana at the annual Italian Alba White Truffle International Auction for a whopping HK$1 million — raising a total of HK$4.4 million for Mother’s Choice that night.)
In a city that delights at the mention of ‘extra truffle,’ it also takes the right chef to make sure these decadent dishes can properly make the most out of the prized fungi. Whether it’s a classic combination of creamy pasta with the aromatic truffle or shaved on luscious proteins like well-marbled Wagyu and Taiyouran egg; here are the dishes not to be missed this truffle season.
Simple, straightforward Italian classics fill the menu at Gradini, including truffle on scrambled eggs (HK$498), on Carnaroli risotto (HK$538); roasted veal with truffle potatoes and porcini gravy (HK$888) and homemade tagliarini swirled in a smooth truffle butter sauce (HK$538). There’s also a truffle dessert to finish, with the paper-thin shavings sprinkled atop good ole’ vanilla ice cream. For all dishes, additional shavings can be added at HK$128 per gram. The menu is available from now through 12 December.
Gradini, Lobby, 74 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 2308 3088
Loved for its picture-perfect vantage of the skyline, and even more so for its serve on comforting Italian classics, Paper Moon’s white truffle menu spotlights the Savigno truffle from Northern Italy, a tuber just as prized and enjoyed for its delicate flavours and earthy aroma. Headed by new executive chef Sergio Landi, dishes include a 65-degree Paolo Parisi egg, a variant renowned for its rich and creamy yolk, served with truffle fondue, green almond and asparagus (HK$288). There’s also a fluffy autumnal chestnut gnocchi paired with Chanterelle mushrooms, spinach, and a handful of truffling shavings (HK$338); and the ever-familiar truffle pizza (HK$338) made from Barbara flour and topped with chanterelles, mozzarella, and white truffles. Gianduia chocolate cake (HK$228) and semifreddo (HK$228) both with a sprinkling of fresh shavings round off a decadent meal. Paper Moon is also offering white truffles to be added to any dish at a reasonable HK$68 per gram.
Paper Moon, Shop OTE 301, Level 3, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2156 2256
Atop sky-high California Tower, contemporary Italian restaurant Aria’s laser focus on quality ingredients bring the spotlight onto the seasonal white truffle. Always one for stellar presentation, the menu includes creations like the ‘Tribute to Life’ (HK$668), a rich and flavourful trio of eggs: scrambled Livornese eggs from Tuscany swirled with potato mousseline, ikura pearls, and dollops of Royal Caviar Club’s briney Baeri caviar — topped with a wafer-thin tuile dentelle and generous helping of Alba white truffle. Also on the menu is chef Andrea Zamboni’s aged risotto (HK$688), an all-time favourite elevated with hairy crab seasoned with aged Xeres vinegar, seasonal Jerusalem artichoke, and topped off with Alba white truffle.
Aria, 24/F, California Tower, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2804 1116
8 ½ Otto e Mezzo
8 ½ Otto e Mezzo’s head honcho, chef Umberto Bombana, isn’t named the ‘King of White Truffle’ for nothing. Home of three-Michelin-star excellence, Otto e Mezzo raised HK$4.4 million for charity this year at its 21st edition of its annual Alba truffle auction. Needless to say, the seasonal menu is also dotted with such grand decadence, all especially geared to bring out the exquisite earthy aromas of the Alba white truffle. Tuck into a tasty selection including roasted blue lobster served with mushroom and sea urchin, drizzled with citrus dressing before topped with white truffle. Also worth looking forward to is a mushroom jus risotto with truffle; and a luxurious confit ‘Taiyouran’ organic egg paired with green cabbage sprout, topped with the fragrant fungi.
8 ½ Otto e Mezzo, Shop 202, Alexandra House, 18 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2537 8859
Cosy neighbourhood joint LucAle also boasts a seasonal white truffle menu, available until the end of the season, features four à la carte dishes, each stacked with at least five grams of truffle, and served with a suggested list of pairing wines that honour the prized Piedmont truffle. Try the Scottona beef tartare (HK$580), mixed with a simple trio of egg, horseradish mayonnaise and puffed rice; pumpkin cream (HK$480) served with a 63-degree, slow-cooked egg and covered in Avezzano potato foam; beef tenderloin (HK$788) paired with a rich foie gras; and a humble, homemade egg tagliolini.
LucAle, Shop A, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 3611 1842
Buzzy Sai Ying Pun izakaya Okra adds an innovative Japanese twist influence to the elusive Italian ingredient. Adding on two small plates to the menu (both priced at HK$400), each are designed to highlight the white truffle’s natural fragrance and can be savoured until the end of the season. A light and smokey dish, the dry-aged toro is charcoal roasted and sprinkled with charcoal salt and shredded white truffle for a full-rounded earthiness and umami; while the crisp, caramelised Atsuyaki tamago, a traditional thick-rolled Japanese omelette, dives into ultimate decadence with a blanket of roasted Bafun uni and truffle shavings on top.
Okra, G/F & 1/F, 110 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun +852 2806 1083
An expert on all the tastiest bovine cuts, one-Michelin-starred steakhouse Beefbar introduces beef and white truffle as two protagonists of the seasonal show. The seven-course tasting menu (HK$1,340), available till the end of the year, celebrates all the beloved flavours of autumn: gamey proteins, citrus notes and, of course, the decadent white truffle. include the all-time favourite Black Angus mini beef burger topped with truffle, but those game for more of the aromatic ingredient can tack on HK$580 for an extra plate of slow cooked egg yolk, Jerusalem artichokes, Eryngii mushroom and white truffle. Alternatively, book in for the restaurant’s festive menu starting 1 December, where you can tuck into a hearty homemade taleggio cheese ravioli (pictured), served with toasted walnuts and a generous heap of Alba white truffle.
Beefbar, 2/F Club Lusitano, 16 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2110 8853
Over at Wan Chai’s Associazione Chianti, new specials graze the Italian menu in honour of white truffle season. You can opt to add a few shavings to chef Josh Stumbaugh’s well-loved dishes, including the Carne Cruda, a Tuscan steak tartare, or atop any of the house steaks. For the latter, should truffle shavings be chosen, the steak will be cooked in truffle butter instead of its traditional rub, with shavings added table-side for added richness. Also on the menu, a simple yet always delicious butter sauce tagliatelle speckled with white truffle (HK$218) and an all-new creamy truffle polenta (HK$108) served with mixed mushrooms and, of course, a blanket of aromatic shavings.
Associazione Chianti, 15 Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 3619 3360
LPM Restaurant & Bar
Amongst LPM Restaurant & Bar’s authentic French Mediterranean fare, the seasonal delicacy has been incorporated into a special white truffle menu featuring five à la carte plates and a specially crafted cocktail available till the end of November. Each of the dishes (and drink) have been carefully curated by head chef Maurizio Pace to compliment the musky aromas of the hand-selected truffles. On the menu (HK$868 per dish): a soft burrata topped with white truffle; white truffle eggs; and a selection of the restaurant’s signature fresh, house-made pasta tossed in a luscious cream sauce laced with fragrant truffle oil — and topped with a healthy shaving of white truffle, of course. For light sipping along the decadent meal, try the Delicatesse (HK$110), an Autumn-inspired twist on the classic Old Fashioned, shaken with Diplomatico rum and East India sherry, truffle honey, nut bitters and a light swirl of date balsamic vinegar.
LPM Restaurant and Bar, Shop 1, 1/F, H Queen’s, 23-29 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2887 1113
Kowloon Shangri-la’s Angelini is best known for its authentic Italian fare, warm interiors and convivial hospitality, making the space feel like a tucked-away trattoria that also happens to enjoy a sweeping landscape of the scenic Victoria Harbour skyline. In their take on the fragrant truffle, a seasonal menu offers a la carte creations (HK$708 each) such as Hokkaido scallop with paprika potatoes; tagliolini in a creamy butter sauce; and Wagyu beef drizzled in cassis jus — all served with a generous helping of truffle shavings.
Angelini, M/F, Kowloon Shangri-La, 64 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Hong Kong, +852 2733 8750