Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mundaring Truffle Festival


Last weekend was the annual event of Mundaring Truffle Festival held at Sculpture Park up at Perth Hills - Mundaring. Apart from celebrating the sweet harvest of truffle, there were also a range of quality local produce on offer at the gourmet produce market. 

If you went to Good Food & Wine Show Perth last month, this event is something similar but more exciting, you can get more personal with the producer and it was less commercialized too. Imagine warm sun, fresh produce, talk show, cooking demonstration, fine food and live music at a more affordable price. I personally think this event is better than GFWS, less rowdy crowd and more family and matured crowd. 

We decided to go to the festival last minute, thus we missed out on The World's Longest Truffle Lunch and other ticketed event hosted by local celebrity chef. We arrived 15mins after the festival kick-off, but we were stucked at the queue for buying tickets to get in. *Note to self: next time must buy tickets online! With $20, we got ourselves the entry ticket to the festival and also the ticket for Perth Hills Wine Show.

Once we got in, we were greeted by all these good quality artisan fare produced here in WA. European Foods has a tasting tent for demonstrations, imported food tasting, and lots of imported cheese tasting. 

We tried an array of different cheeses, but the stand out was a cheddar cheese with truffle slices. It has a very smooth taste with strong and aromatic truffle aroma through it, unfortunately it was sold out. Later I found out they also have another truffle cheese available, it wasn't as good as the first one, but was good enough and I ended up buying a piece for $5. They were also selling other cheeses from as low as $1, the crowd went almost crazy over good quality imported cheese at very low price. 

We were also lucky enough to be last 4 person to sit in the Tasting & Appreciating Good Coffee class organised by Braziliano/Silvana Coffee. As much as I love drinking coffee, I was never trained how to differentiate the characteristic of a cup of coffee. The host of the class was the 3rd generation coffee roaster for Braziliano, she was also one of the contestant who represented Australia in previous year World Barista Championship.

We were asked to taste 5 different cup of water and work out each of their characteristic - sweet, salty, sour, bitter, neutral. We were then asked to taste 4 different cup of coffee which were placed in front of us and try to work out the brand - Braziliano (for plunger coffee), Silvana (for espresso), single origin, and Australia's top coffee brand (Nescafe). The short class was well rewarded, I think I've learnt some interesting technique of coffee cupping. 

It was around lunch hour, and we found ourselves walking towards Licensed Food Piazza, where WA's finest chefs and top restaurant selling truffle themed dishes at under $10. Each stall has long queue and everyone of them offering tantalizing truffle themed dishes. Restaurant Amuse were selling truffle custard tart, truffle pop corn, truffle fairy floss, and truffled pork crackling (my eyes almost fall off when I saw it, but it was sold out :(. ) 

Red Cabbage's Truffle & Pork Hotdog - $5 (delicious)

Red Cabbage's Truffle & Duck Soup - $5 (Strong duck flavour, very aromatic)

Slow Food Perth's Truffle Risotto - $10

Linley Valley Pork stall, various restaurant stall

Clarks' Pork pie with Mash & Truffle - $5

Truffle & Parsley Soup - $5

Mondo butcher's Moon Burger (huge piece of pork patties, well flavoured)

Chicken Liver Parfait with Truffle & Baguette - $12 (generous portion)

Choux Cafe's Truffle Macaron - $15 (orgasmically good, hands down highlight of the day) 

Choux Cafe's macaron tower

There were alot more food stalls from The Loose Box, Incontro, Must Wine Bar and others, but we can only eat that much, perhaps we'll go back next year for more. The festival was trying to be eco friendly, instead of using plastic boxes, plates and bowls, they were using this eco friendly, recycled cups, bowls and plates made out of material from skin of a tree. There were plenty of bins, recycle bins and portable toilet at the event ground, there were a huge licensed and non licensed dining area with plenty of tables and chair for you to sit down.

After our lunch, we headed to the Perth Hills Wine Show marque for wine tasting. It wasn't a big marque, but there were about 15 wineries from our hills showcasing their wine. Personally, I don't think I have ever tried wine from our backyard, I always opted for Margaret River wine, and this wine show had certainly open my mind to Perth Hills' wine. They were surprisingly good and the price for a good bottle of wine is cheaper than the more commercialized MR region's wine. I walked out the show with a bottle of Western Range's Old Well 2006 Classic White - $10 and a bottle of Western Range's Lot 88 2006 Shiraz Grenache - $15.

We walked out of the marque for more food especially after tasting all the wine, and headed to the amphitheatre for truffle dog demonstration. We were 5 minutes late to see the demonstration, so we might missed out on the hunting demonstration, we got to meet the truffle dog nevertheless. 

They were friendly and tame but they looked a little tired though! 

Chef Alain Fabregues book signing session

It was a fun day out and it was well organised, I wished we have more time to sit in one or two session of Food For Thought and Cooking Demonstration. We went home with our belly full of truffle and hands full of shopping goodies. Best value of the day - 1kg of Silvana's coffee bean, almost 1kg of Baci chocolate, a few bottle of Aqua Panna, an apron and a cap for only $25. 

Don't worry if you have over active kids, just throw them in the zorb balls for only $20 whole day, anyone?

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