Aah truffles, one of my favourite foods. Their out of this world earthiness is a dining experience I seek out at every opportunity. So it’s no surprise that The Little Truffle was on my restaurant visit wish list, and it didn’t disappoint.
We visited on a week night to enjoy the $55 for 3 courses and a glass of wine special and found it very good value (available Mon-Wed). I don’t know about you, but sometimes when restaurants have a 3 course special, they use it as an opportunity to serve you lower quality produce or stuff they want to get out of the fridge (restaurant cynic alert!). I’m pleased to say this experience was very much the opposite of what I just described.
The restaurant was quite full, which I was pleasantly surprised at for a Monday night (pleasantly because it means good business for the owners). The ambience I would describe as modern but warm with some French style touches. Comfortable seating with a banquette (bench seat) along one wall. We were seated at the front of the restaurant which was good as I think it would be quite noisy in the middle of the restaurant, although there were a couple of groups that night.
We started with a couple of drinks while we perused the 3 course set menu. Sime had Campari on ice (he has this very particular way of ordering this – a shot of Campari, a wedge of lime, and a couple of cubes of ice, it was served as ordered), and I had a glass of bubbles. We could see it was going to be a busy night for the restaurant so we decided to order pretty quickly. Side note – we always find that people are surprised when they have to wait a bit longer (20 mins) for their meals at our cafe, despite the fact the cafe is full and everyone isn’t eating yet (i.e. the Chefs are working their butts off to try and cook all the orders that came through at the same time)… point being, if you’re hungry, try and order before everyone else!
For an entree, I had the Fried Zucchini Flowers filled with feta and capers, tomato relish. The crispy, sweet, fresh zucchini flowers were a great textural contrast to the salty, creamy goats cheese. Also the relish was delicious, adding a nice sweet and sour element to the dish. Sime had the Pan friend King Prawns, prawn veloute, lotus root chip and mustard cress. He said the prawns were grilled which added to the flavour which tasted like strong scampi (as someone who doesn’t love seafood I hope that makes sense to you!). The mash accompanying the dish was deliciously smooth and the lotus chip was good for a crunchy texture.
We were enjoying a chat and our glasses of wine (also very good quality, although I can’t recall which red we had…) and didn’t realise how long we were waiting until about 5 minutes before our mains arrived. We think it might have been about 45 minutes? Clearly we had ordered after the bulk of patrons – bummer. Still, the waitress kept us updated and let us know our meals were coming up next. For the main I had the 220g beef eye fillet, potato gratin, carrot puree, truffle butter, jus. The steak was absolutely perfect – about 1 inch high, perfectly medium rare and so tender. The accompaniments were also great, sweet carrot puree with decadent cheesy buttery potato gratin. My only negative – I couldn’t taste any truffles, and I can usually smell them a mile away. I gave Sime a taste just to be sure and he agreed that he couldn’t taste any either… strange. Sime chose* the Moreton bay bug and prawn tortellini, mustard fruit buerre blanc and chervil. He said the pasta was velvety smooth with a good buerre blanch and the filling met his expectations. I think he had food envy actually (*we both wanted steak but as I was blogging he offered to try something else so we could review more than one dish – thank you again Sime!).
Now for dessert, Sime had the Triple cream brie, muscatels, green apple, water crackers and quince. He said the brie was delectable and served at the perfect temperature. The dish was also served with candied walnuts which added another dimension with flavour and texture. I had the Petit strawberry souffle with white chocolate sauce. The souffle was perfectly cooked: light and airy. I also enjoyed the white chocolate sauce, but I didn’t really enjoy the sauce and the souffle together. The sauce was really sweet and quite heavy in texture. Having said this I couldn’t think of any other sauce I’d like to have with the souffle either…
The guys who own this restaurant (Daniel Ridgeway and Christian Mak) have clearly put a lot of time and effort into it and it shows. The flatware was amazing with each dish showcased on great plates, making everything a feast for the eyes. The service was attentive and friendly. Also a good wine list is on offer. Despite my disappointment at the lack of truffle flavour on my steak, I really enjoyed the meal and especially can’t fault it for $55 for 3 courses and a glass of wine. Overall we had a delicious dinner and will definitely be back.
Loo review: it’s a unisex toilet, but clean, modern looking and minimal. I give it a 7.