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Review: Redsalt Truffle Dinner

Michelle Brotohusodo

Winter is a great time of year for those who love to eat. Apart from being perfect weather for enjoying delicious, hearty food like soups and roasts, curling up on the sofa with a hot chocolate, or toasting marshmallows, it also means it’s truffle time in Canberra.

Since my first truffle experience in 2009 (at a talk and taste event with Sherry McArdle-English, who owns French Black Truffles of Canberra), I look forward to it every year, and as truffles are so easily accessible in Canberra—there are six trufferies in the area—we are spoilt for choice when it comes to eateries offering special truffle menus and dishes. One such restaurant is Redsalt in the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

I was lucky enough to be invited to try Redsalt’s truffle dinner menu last Saturday night, along with some interstate bloggers (I fangirled a bit when I realised two of them were 2 Hungry Guys from Sydney), a representative from the Canberra Weekly (Laura White, who’s also a filmmaker and runs the Canberra Short Film Festival), and our plus ones (including my brother and Laura’s dad).

We enjoyed a drink at the hotel’s bar, Binara One, before heading down to Redsalt (wine and mulled wine for most, Coke Zero for me. Apparently the mulled wine was very nice). Before Saturday, I’d only ever eaten breakfast at Redsalt, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The restaurant looked different to how I remembered, with funky hanging lights and a warm atmosphere.

A copy of the truffle menu was at each place setting, and I was excited to see that there were choices—two for the entrée and four for the main, but just one dessert. These included one vegetarian entrée and main option.

As a prelude to the meal, we were presented with fresh bread accompanied by truffle dukkah, olive oil, and truffled salt. I’m a sucker for bread at restaurants, and really liked the dukkah and olive oil with it here.

Bread with dukkah, olive oil, and truffled salt

Bread with dukkah, olive oil, and truffled salt

For the entrée, it turned out that most of our group chose the same thing I did: pan seared scallops with potato and sage gnocchi and French black truffle cream sauce. I love scallops, so this was an easy pick for me. When this dish came out, you could smell the truffle before you even saw it, it was wonderful. As for the taste, the scallops were cooked well and were plump and juicy, and the gnocchi had a nice flavour and firmness to it. And everything is better with truffle cream sauce! As for the other option, roasted pumpkin soup with French black truffles, the two that chose it seemed to enjoy it, and both agreed that it had a honey flavour to it.

Scallops and gnocchi in truffle cream sauce

Scallops and gnocchi in truffle cream sauce

Next was the main, and again there proved to be a popular choice: the Muscovy duck breast with French black truffle infused mash, roasted baby beetroot and black truffle jus. All of us bar one opted for this.

Like the entrée, you could smell the truffle as the dishes were brought to the table. I really liked the mash and beetroot, but while the duck was moist enough, I prefer mine a bit rarer. That said, it tasted nice and my brother really liked it, and if you’re not a fan of pink meat, then you would probably like it too.

Muscovy duck with truffled mash, beetroot, and truffle jus

Muscovy duck with truffled mash, beetroot, and truffle jus

Last was dessert, a slice of French black truffle chocolate cake with caramel ice cream and seasonal berries. By this point I was already quite full, but I soldiered on, because, dessert! I couldn’t really taste the truffle in the cake, but it was decadently rich and chocolately, so that was enough for me.

Dessert: truffle chocolate cake

Dessert: truffle chocolate cake

All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening, and a good way to get a taste of truffles in Canberra.

The author and her brother dined courtesy of Redsalt.

The essentials
The Place: Redsalt
Where: 1 Binara St, Canberra (inside the Crowne Plaza hotel)
When: Breakfast: weekdays 6.30am – 10am, weekends 6.30am to 11am; Lunch: 11:30am – 4:30pm; Dinner: 6pm to 10pm
Food: Modern Australian, truffle menu available until the end of August: 2 courses for $59, 3 for $69
Drinks: Australian and international wines and beers
Contact: Call 02 6274 5506 or visit the website

 

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Michelle Brotohusodo

Michelle moved to Canberra vowing to stay for two years, tops. 10 years later, she’s a bona fide Canberra convert. When she’s not working in her day job as a public servant, she’s enjoying Canberra’s culinary delights or finding fun things to do/see in and around town.

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