Summer brings the arrival of Australian black winter truffles at three Michelin star Chinese restaurant Lung King Heen and The Lounge at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. At Lung King Heen, Executive Chinese Chef Chan Yan Tak will tantalise taste buds with the only fresh black truffles available during the months of May to September, while Chef Andrea Accordi, Executive Chef of Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, brings the black truffles from Australia to The Lounge, blending comfort food with ultimate indulgence.

A Black Diamond Takes Root

Perhaps the most famous black truffle, périgord, originates in the Southwest of France. Also known as the diamonds of Périgord, these truffles were successfully transplanted to Australia by intrepid gourmands in the early 90s. Truffles are notoriously fussy; just the right condition of soil, water irrigation and maritime climate must be present to establish a truffèrie.  After two decades of experimentation, it now takes just five years for a truffle to mature so that we might get a taste of these dark treasures.

Menus at Lung King Heen and The Lounge

Although truffles are not native to Tasmania, the Australian winter truffle consists of aromas and flavours identical to the périgord truffle. Chef Chan Yan Tak of Lung King Heen always looks forward to this season: “Black truffles pair extremely well with rich flavoured Cantonese food and every year they give me inexhaustible culinary inspiration.” Black winter truffles are available at Lung King Heen in items including crispy taro dumplings with scallop, lobster and black truffle; baked chicken casserole with black truffle and more. At The Lounge Chef Andrea Accordi uses this earthy, musky fungus to add just the right dose of umami to dishes including uovo affogato – creamy Japanese egg Yolk and homemade potato gnocchi. Each dish consists of 5 grams of black truffle.

Australian black winter truffles allow us to enjoy this favourite delicacy six months ahead of the traditional truffle season. Thanks to a few pioneering Australians we are finally able to pair fresh black winter truffles with summer ingredients to create delicious combinations that would never have been possible just a few years ago.