Too much of a good thing?









That maybe true, but clearly that statement doesn't apply to truffles. Chef Mauro goes to Italy for a holiday, but he doesn't come back alone. He bring truffles and truffle pastes along. And when he does, he serves his guests generously. Like seriously generously. Like a food festival almost dedicated to truffles. Yes, in Chennai. Not in Milan, his hometown, which BTW, I will reveal much more later. A chef's table with Mauro when he comes back with his goodies is something that I could kill for.

The Drama Chef is back at Focaccia, Hyatt Regency with a new menu and yes, he sings and dances, but so do the truffles. Almost every dish on the menu has truffles on it. Starting off with truffles, the chicken salad wouldn't do any justice the name in India. Beautifully cooked chicken that was so soft and juicy, along with the shaved parmesan and truffle edible soil that had a hint of sweetness, kicked off dinner like it belonged. Ironically the dish with the least amount of truffles to kick start a truffle overload dinner. The vegetarian version of this though, had loads of truffle on it.

A potato mash with runny yolk flowing as you cut it, almost like an Italian Egg Benedict was the next to arrive. On a base of bread and topped with generous amounts of shaved truffle, this dish had me licking my plates to wipe off the sauce. The pizza, even as it was arriving was a treat to the nose. It smelt of truffle all the way. As it was laid on the table, it was a feast for the eyes. White. Like white with shaved truffles. And finally after tantalising two senses, the taste buds got their chance. And they took it with no remorse. I could shove down one full 12" pizza, every day. For the rest of my life.

Pasta with truffle and risotto with, duh, truffle were next. Perfectly al-dente, both played a balancing role in bringing out taste buds back to square one.

In classic Italian style, Mauro arrived and asked. "Main Course?"

As we looked at each other, wondering if anyone had stomach space that the other could borrow, we declined. "Just one," he said and walked off. Two came though. I need to understand that kind of mathematics. Stuffed chicken breast and truffle leaf halibut. My tastebuds tasted only truffle. Dessert stomach gave me a strict warning not to borrow any space from dessert space.

Dolce.

And what a dolce it was! A super soft chestnut cake with sauce. No, it didn't have truffles. It didn't need to. With the flavours of the chestnut coming in with the creme anglaise, this is a dessert to watch out for.  A nice chocolate mille feuille stood no chance against the chestnut cake.

The festival is on till the 22nd, but I do hope they extend it. Like till I come back from Italy! Yep.