In presenting the La Villa French Black Truffle Menu, Thierry Mounon has created something really special, based around “the diamond of the kitchen”

The French Black Truffle has been called “the diamond of the kitchen”. A truffle is the fruiting body of an Ascomycete fungus, a species of the tuber genus. They are highly prized by chefs and gastronomes worldwide. In creating this menu, Chef Thierry used the Tuber Melanosporum more commonly referred to as the Black Truffle, Périgord Truffle or French Black Truffle. It is exquisitely flavoured, highly valued and incredibly expensive.

There are two main types, Black and White, they grow underground and are not found in ‘colonies’ like mushrooms, but as single entities. So strong is the magnificent aroma of them, for centuries people have used pigs to sniff them out and dig for them. Nowadays, the pigs have generally been replaced by dogs. It is time consuming work and they are rare; hence the extremely high prices. Good quality truffles can cost upwards of $12,000 per kilo. A single White Truffle once sold for £165,000 ($252,000).

La Villa’s French Black Truffle Menu begins with an Amuse-bouche of Cod Brandade from the South of France. This dish originated as a dish for the poor people until the addition of truffles. The fish is mashed with olive oil and garlic and is perfectly balanced with the truffle.

The starter course is Foie Gras Terrine. This is the restaurant’s usual delicious terrine, made with the addition of truffle, running through the middle.

There follows a soup course of Beef Consommé with Madeira. The beef stock is clarified with beef and egg proteins. Scallops and oysters from Japan are then pan seared and cooked in the beef stock, again to achieve a balance between flavours. Finally sliced truffle is added for decoration.

Customers now have an interlude to rest and cleanse the palate with an Apple Sorbet Trou Normande. Calvados is added to the fresh sorbet to achieve an authentic French delight.

The main course is now served. Black Angus Australian Beef Wellington with Foie Gras and French Black Truffle in a light puff pastry served with mashed potato.

La Villa’s classic French cheese trolley then follows. This is a superb collection of soft and hard French cheeses, offering many styles: cow, sheep and goat cheeses, soft gentle creamy cheeses and strong pungent ones. Something for every palate.

The dessert is La Villa’s signature Chocolate Sphere. This superbly crafted dish demonstrates the mastery of Chef Thierry’s work. The harder outside surface of the sphere gives way to chocolate of different densities and temperatures inside. .

Chef Thierry then offers his Mignardises, a presentation of dessert canapés to round off the carefully chosen menu.

This is a superb menu having just about every aspect that makes a good meal great. It is well thought out, meticulously prepared and pleasing on both the eye and the palate. The menu has to be ordered for a minimum of two people and at a price of VND2,750,000 per person. For an additional cost of VND4,980,000 per bottle, this delightful meal may be accompanied by the perfect choice of Champagne. Palmes d’Or Les Diva des Champagnes 2002. The “Diva of Champagnes”, is a perfect blending of the finest of Crus in Champagne, carefully aged for 6 years. It is described as the finest tribute to the art of Champagne manufacture.