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jamala truffle degustation

Wild for truffles: Jamala’s Truffle Degustation

Amanda Whitley

“On selected nights during winter, guests can enjoy Jamala Wildlife Lodge’s Truffle Degustation dinner — a five-course degustation featuring truffle-inspired delicacies and world class wines.”

In 2014, I was one of 101 lucky Canberrans selected to take part in Visit Canberra’s Local Humans campaign.

My signature ‘experience’ was dinner in the then yet-to-be-launched Jamala Wildlife Lodge and it was one of the most memorable meals of my life.

The National Zoo and Aquarium’s luxury accommodation gives guests a a five-star educational experience focused on the conservation of endangered and rescued wildlife both here in our own backyard and further afield across the globe.

jamala truffle degustation

We dined in the incredible uShaka Lodge — the former home of Zoo owners Richard and Maureen Tindale — and were transported to Africa. High ceilinged and airy, the room is painstakingly decorated with authentic African items; but the pièce de résistance is a massive aquarium built into the wall where sharks, large and small, swim by. It’s a constantly changing art installation in the open plan space.

It’s this incredible space that is the setting for a delicious celebrations of all things truffle. On selected nights during winter, guests can enjoy Jamala Wildlife Lodge’s Truffle Degustation dinner — a five-course degustation featuring truffle-inspired delicacies and world class wines.

“We’re hoping to have three to six couples each night — it’ll be a small, intimate group,” explains Visitor Services Manager Sally Bradley.

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And it’s a unique opportunity — dining at Jamala is usually reserved for inhouse guests.

“We don’t usually provide a ‘dining-only’ option at Jamala,” explains Sally. “However we’ve had so much interest…that we’ve decided to create one.”

Partnering with local producers including the The Truffle Farm and the award-winning Pialligo Estate Canberra, Jamala’s talented chef Natalie Baker has created a menu that explores the versatility of truffles, with many ingredients all sourced from within a 100 kilometre radius of the lodge.

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“Everything is fresh and everything has a truffle inspiration,” explains Sally.

“What sets us apart from other Truffle Degustation dinners is that our dinner includes champagne, French wine and premium Australian wine – world class wines.”

This extensive wine list ranges from French headliners Moët & Chandon and wines from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, to Australian wines Clonakilla Wines and Leeuwin Estate Art Series.

The five-course degustation dinner stars dishes such as Truffled egg custard and truffle foam with brioche toast soldiers; Vanilla butter-poached yabby, seared truffle scallop, sea urchin, Pialligo smoked salmon with beetroot puree, truffle vinaigrette; and Duck three ways – African spiced duck breast, confit duck cigar, pomegranate glazed duck pate, apple tart with smoked potato, truffle sauce. Plus, the palate cleanser of Champagne Tangelo granita is not to be missed — it may not feature truffles, but we’d be happy with this little number every night.

jamala truffle degusation

This really is a one-of-a-kind dining experience — a night that you will talk about for years; whether it’s the food, the wine, or the chance to be one of a select few to experience Jamala Wildlife Lodge.

And if you really want to go wild, the full Jamala package of dinner, a zoo tour, a tour of the Canberra Truffle Farm, breakfast and luxury accommodation in uShaka Lodge is $550 per person for a limited time*.

the essentials

What: Jamala Winter Truffle Degustation Dinner
Where: Jamala Wildlife Lodge, 999 Lady Denman Drive, Yarralumla
When: Selected Tuesday nights during winter
How much: $250 per person for the degustation; $550 per person for full Jamala experience.
Book: www.jamalawildlifelodge.com.au

*The fine print: This offer is for adult guests only and is valid for selected Tuesday nights throughout winter.

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Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author