Winter is finally here – if you are a fan of A Game of Throne series, or if you live in Australia. Unlike the despair and desperation in the popular drama series, in real life, winter is a great time for truffle lovers.
According to Osia’s Chef de Cuisine Douglas Tay, winter produces the most aromatic and flavourful truffles in the entire year. The Australian Black Winter Truffles is known for having a more earthy flavour compared to their European counterparts.
That is why, from 10 to 24 July 2017, Osia brings you three exquisite dishes intricately prepared with this seasonal treasure, freshly harvested from renowned truffle farms in Manjimup, south of Perth. But tarry not; this will be available for a limited period only.
1. Mushroom & Black Truffle Emulsion
Made of mushroom (button and porcini mushrooms) and black truffle emulsion sprinkled with ‘humid soil’ and chives, this soup is cooked to a silky smooth texture that is rich but not overwhelmingly creamy. The secret? While most restaurants load on the cream to make the soup thicker, Chef Douglas insists on using more stock than cream to bring out a flavour so intense that some might even describe it as a ‘mushroom essence’.
And no, it doesn’t come with actual soil. ‘Humid soil’ is a solid sauce created by Chef Douglas, inspired by his army days of digging trenches where damp soil exuded a strong organic, earthy aroma similar to that of the truffle. Button, black trumpet and cepes mushrooms are cooked into a demi-glace and reduced into a powdery form before it is sprinkled onto the soup, thus adding a tinge of forest scent and umami.
2. Steamed Green Asparagus
This is a classic French dish of steamed green asparagus with egg, bacon beurre blanc (which literally translates to ‘white butter’) and black truffle. The egg is cooked for a whole hour at a precise 62°C to ensure that the yolk is still runny when cut into. Think the perfect eggs benedict, but French. While this dish is traditionally topped off with Hollandaise sauce, bacon beurre blanc is used at Osia to give it a more savoury-butter top note.
3. Cold Capellini
Coated with smoked egg cream and topped with Iberian pork floss, keta roe and black truffle, Chef Douglas notes that the cold Capellini pasta brings out the full flavour of the truffle more than hot pasta would.
The addictive smoked egg cream is light in texture but certainly does not lack a robust savoury flavour thanks to the additional flavours extracted from smoked salmon in a liquid form. You can taste the individual ingredients of egg, bacon and cream, yet they all come together seamlessly. The Iberian pork floss made in-house differs from the Chinese pork floss many Singaporeans are used to; it is savoury instead of sweet, grainy instead of stringy, and adds a different – but much welcomed – dimension of savouriness to the pasta.