Butter Chicken and Black Truffle…. hmmm..

moneypenny 30 July 2012 6


We dined last night at the Flavours of India Spices and Truffle dinner. When I was told we had tickets to a Truffle dinner I was excited – when my partner said it was at an Indian restaurant, Flavours of India at Phillip, I was cautious and baffled. Surely Indian food and Truffle was too odd of a pairing to work? Butter chicken with truffle, I don’t think so…. How wrong my expectations were.

Our evening started with a glass of champagne on arrival (that made its way to us quite some time after we arrived and only after having to ask – the only downside to our meal) and by being greeted by owner and chef Vikas Randev and shown to our luxurious looking table.

There was then five courses of Heston Blumenthal inspired culinary beauty placed before us that referenced the rich flavours and history of Indian cuisine whilst being perfectly melded with such an odd ingredient to this cuisine style, the truffle. The first course was a beautifully light truffled nan bread followed by a spiced lentil and truffle cappuccino which actually looked like a cappuccino and was served in a coffee cup.

You know that a meal is good when the guests at the table start taking out their iphones to facebook it and so it began with the next course. The magic and uniqueness of this course was not lost on me. It was a delight to see such “Wow” from a chef in Canberra. The first thing that caught my eye, as the waiter approached out table, was an upside down glass filled with smoke. With Vikas himself lifting the glass, which was filled with the smoke of Indian spices, a tandoori lobster with lime foam and pretty accompaniments was revealed – cucumber jelly, smoked eggplant custard and colourful baby herbs.

The remainder of the menu can be found here and it was just as innovate and beautiful as the lobster. The presentation was artistic, the wait staffs were attentive and well mannered with water glasses being discreetly filled throughout the evening and the wine pairing of local Canberra wines was spot on. Combined with Vikas roaming the floor ensuring his guests were all satisfied it all made for a truly lovely dining experience.

To the friend of Vikas who raised the idea of doing this with him, I thank you for planting that seed. To the chefs who worked on creating such amazing meals, I thank you. To the wait staff, thank you for your lovely service throughout the evening and to Vikas, I applaud your brave choice to present this evening and await my seat at the 2013 Flavours of India Spice and Truffle Dinner with baited breath.

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6 Responses to Butter Chicken and Black Truffle…. hmmm..
Muttsybignuts Muttsybignuts 6:54 pm 27 Feb 13

They seem to have 3 locations according to their website. I assume the Woden one is the restaurant in the review.

zllauh zllauh 5:22 pm 27 Feb 13

Is this the same flavours of India which is in Garema Place ?


poetix poetix 9:58 pm 03 Aug 12

Very nice review. I thought that people who wrote reviews in 2011 (JB or others) might like to know about the ACT Writers Centre Awards. There is one, sponsored by Z4 Wines, where the best restaurant review wins $200 of wine. Here is the link:

I think it costs $2 to enter, but check the conditions. You do not need to be a member of the Writers Centre to enter. I previously won the same wine for the book reviewing prize, and it made for very nice breakfasts for a couple of weeks.

A few points: the longish word limit might mean that longer reviews are favoured. (Not necessarily, but perhaps.). Please note that the competition this year is for reviews published in 2011, not this year. Next year for moneypenny?

(And one criticism, because I can’t help myself. It’s bated breath, not baited. A very old word. Look it up.)

candelabra candelabra 6:31 pm 03 Aug 12

It sounds absolutely amazing (and expensive?)! Will it happen again?

rosscoact rosscoact 12:40 pm 30 Jul 12

was this held in Gunners?

mossrocket mossrocket 10:44 am 30 Jul 12

I was the delighted winner of the free tickets to this wonderful experience – I was in the middle of writing my own review, but instead I will add my two cents worth here…

As we arrived on time, we were very quickly provided with our glasses of Sparkling Pinot Noir, Chardonnay Duet – which was accompanied by what looked like an innocent bowl of popcorn, but amazingly contained black truffle and Indian spices – the best popcorn i’ve ever tasted (sorry Dendy…).

The Naan bread tasted like perfumed silk – as the night progressed, my appreciation of the subtleties of the Black Truffle grew, as a new aspect was revealed with each mouthful of food.

My partner, who has lived in India, was very complimentary of the spiced Lentil and Truffle cappuccino saying it was the most authentically Indian spiced food she has tasted outside of India.

The Tandoori lobster tail with truffle smoked eggplant custard, cucumber jelly, baby aromatic herbs and lime foam tasted wonderful, with the aroma of cooking by campfire captured in the smoke filled glass.

I was looking forward to a side serving of mashed potatoes more than any other element of the degustation menu. I was born in England, so the humble mashed spud has a place in my heart. Vikas did not disappoint – the curried mash potato, combined with truffle oil and a tomato sauce that reminded me of the best buttered chicken sauce, was certainly a highlight for me.

Vikas and his staff (not certainly not forgetting the wonderful wine selections from Z4 and Gallagher vineyards) created an amazing night that I will never forget.

And now i’ll have to invest in a pig and an oak forest – as I never want to eat food without Truffle again.

Special thanks to the RiotACT for running the competition!!

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