Mushrooms are complex ingredients. It can take over an entire dish by itself and also complement another ingredient when paired perfectly. Can you imagine an entire restaurant menus designed around mushrooms. That the beauty of the ‘shrooms we looked forward tonight.
Mushrooms is one of those ingredients that you can either hate it or love it. During my teens, I hated the mushrooms cooked in tomato based curry at home. But with time, the earthiness and complexities of mushroom soon started to wow me. I remember falling in love with it when I was first served a mushroom risotto in one of the restaurants back then. It was then that I started experimenting with different varieties of mushrooms. I think Tuscany at Trident decided to create a gastronomical experience and create ‘Fiesta Fungi’ festival around different types of mushrooms brought in freshly from Thailand.
We’ve loved the creative gastronomical delights that Chef Manik Magotra brings in with these food festivals. Its an intricate palate journey that he takes us through each time. With the Fungi Fiesta at Tuscany at Trident Hyderabad, he showcases different mushrooms like Porcini, Oysters, White Fungus, Morels and of course the Truffles. Each course is about a pairing and give the mushrooms a dish to shine through.
Our introduction to the world of mushrooms started with a foamy Wild Mushroom Cappuccino with delicate espresso foam. Creamy and subtle wild mushroom flavor provided a perfect start to our meal. The body of the Mushroom Capuccino is brought out strongly by the button mushrooms but you can still distinguish the morels and shitakes in each sip. The espresso isn’t quite strong to, with the chef quite understanding the balance between the two.
Next on the menu was the appetizers of assorted Crumb Fried Button and Chocolate Mushrooms served with saffron cream, pepper coulis and balsamic reduction. Balancing the flavors of the mushrooms and taking it to the next level is the chocolate coated mushrooms served at the center of this exclusive plating. I’ve got to admit the level of detail that went into the Chocolate Mushrooms. With both Chocolate and Mushrooms being ‘umami’ flavors, they were married perfectly with a pinch of sea salt.
The Oriental Crust Pizza was served with fresh galangal, white fungi and fresh selection of seafood ranging from squids, prawns and salmon. This was quite an interesting take on a pizza that I honestly couldn’t imagine the different flavors together. The freshness of the seafood and the galangal actually let the mushrooms shine through and the pairing working brilliantly.
Capturing the European flavors on the menu was the Salmon Ravioli with shitake mushrooms and served with fresh dill cream and capers. The capers jus was a standout with complex flavors that just did it for me. The jus so beautifully brought the whole dish together with fresh dill cream and weight of the shitake mushrooms holding it all together. Finishing off our main course was the Portobello Mushroom Risotto beautifully done with sundried tomatoes and mascarpone cheese. The sundried tomatoes balanced the rich creamy mushroom flavor and can be devoured without any guilt.
The dessert was where things got a little interesting with the Truffle Oil Ice-Cream. The goal was to have mushrooms play a significant role in each course and it had been achieved in the desserts section as well. Getting a white truffle oil ice cream perfect is quite tricky because the measurements have to be perfect. I remember Chef Heston Blumenthal had put it rightly that there are two rules to remember. The more fat in the ice cream, the longer it takes for the flavor to emerge. Likewise, the more fat there is, the longer the flavor lingers. This was decadent end with the Truffle Oil Ice-Cream and the chocolate Mud Pie.
The Fungi Fiesta is on at Tuscany, Trident Hyderabad from the 18th-28th of August 2016 for dinner.