HK$1 million white truffle arrives in Hong Kong
One of Italian province Alba's largest white truffles, weighing in at a whopping 900 grams, was auctioned for €105,000 during the 12th edition of the World White Truffle of Alba Auction, and it just arrived in Hong Kong.
Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee bought the fist-sized truffle after making a bid of over HK$1 million.
Cho Lee was one of the guests at Hong Kong's 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA, which was linked via satellite to the Hall of Masks at Grinzane Castle in Italy where the auction took place. Last year's winning bidder was also from Hong Kong.
The wine mistress and her friends were willing to pay higher than market prices as the auction was for a good cause -- proceeds from the auction, which brought in €307,000 (HK$3.3 million), will go to Italian scholarships and charities including Hong Kong's Mother's Choice.
But enough of all this talk. We want to get in on the action and eat truffles at these fine establishments.
Where to eat
The King of white truffle at 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA
Chef Umberto Bombana was awarded the Worldwide Ambassador of the White Truffle title in 2006 by the Piedmontese. His truffle dishes go back to soul-comforting basics, evocative of good old Italian home cooking, such as fettuccine, butter, Parmesan and white truffle sliced on top personally by Bombana, tableside. Dishes are HK$540 each.
8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA, Shop 202, 2/F, Alexandra House, 5-17 Des Voeux Rd., Central, tel. +852 2537 8859
Aqua's HK$12,000 menu
The "Taste of Italian Luxury" special white truffle menu costs an incredible HK$12,000 +10 percent per person and requires one week advanced reservation. Think of it as saving yourself the price of a return trip to Italy. The fondue of Fontina DOP from Valle d'Aosta eaten with shaved white Alba truffle is a decadently simple way to enjoy the rare ingredient.
Aqua, 29 and 30/f, 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel +852 3427 2288, www.aqua.com.hk
Spoon by Alain Ducasse, one night only
A black and white truffle dinner menu personally created by Alain Ducasse is available for one night only on November 29. The six-course menu costs HK$1,488 +10 percent per person. Wine pairings for each course are also suggested for an additional HK$888 per person. Dishes include the truffle Bresse chicken with Albufera sauce, paired with 2004 Chapelle-Chambertin grand cru from Louis Jadot.
Spoon by Alain Ducasse, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, tel +852 2313 2256, hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com
Cepage piles on the haute produce
The "Diamonds in the Kitchen" white truffle menu is a seven-course dinner available until the end of November. The celebrity eatery ups the ante with high octane produce, such as spaghetti with organic egg on top, surrounded by a fence of sea urchin and finally heaped with shaved white truffle. Menu is HK$3,200 per person.
Cepage, 23 Wing Fung Street, Wanchai, tel +852 2861 3130
Grissini is seasonally correct
Grissini has it's own 600-gram white truffle and shaves it on hearty winter-friendly dishes such as roasted veal tenderloin with Marsala wine sauce, rosemary potatoes and leeks.
Grissini, 1 Harbour Rd., Wanchai, tel +852 2584 7722, hongkong.grand.hyatt.com
Wynn Macau does truffle on Chinese
White truffle dishes are specially prepared at four of the Wynn's signature restaurants including Golden Flower, Wing Lei, il Teatro, and Kada. We are intrigued by the Asian pairings, such as bird's nest with white Alba truffle in chicken broth at Golden Flower.
Wynn Macau, Rua Cidade de Sintra, NAPE, Macau, tel +853 2888 9966, www.wynnmacau.com