Hidden away from the tourist strip of the Gold Coast, is one rather cool eatery, called Little Truffle Restaurant & Bar, or just Little Truffle as it is popularly known as.
Quail Ballotine and deep fried Quail Drumsticks
Located on Mermaid Beach, just a short 15 minute drive from Surfers Paradise, this unassuming restaurant serves some amazing Modern European cuisine, with terrific service to boot.
This beachside suburb is definitely a more casual, laid-back version of its bustling neighbour, Broadbeach. There’s an eclectic blend of dining options here from modern Australian to plenty of Asian culinary hotspots too. This is also where ‘millionaire’s row’ is located – an area I had the pleasure of running past, during my participation in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2014.
Anyway, the Chef and owner of Little Truffle, Daniel Ridgeway, was first introduced to the kitchen at age seven, cooking alongside his Thai Aunt and also helping in his family’s traditional pizza restaurant after school. At 14, he started in his first professional kitchen and at 15 began his apprenticeship at a five star international resort.
After having worked under various world leading chefs in London, Vancouver and Melbourne, Daniel then settled on the Gold Coast to open his own restaurant Little Truffle Dining Room & Bar in Mermaid Beach which is approximately 4 years old. He recently opened a new Tapas joint right in the middle of Burleigh’s town hub, not too far from where we about to have dinner.
Although small birds, quails are perfect for the ballotine. And in this case, the flattened quail filled with chicken breast truffle mousse was the perfect match for the subtle game flavors of the quail. And the contrast in texture in the form of the deep fried tasty little morsels of quail drumsticks was enough to make a marathon runner weep.. that and the delicious mashed potatoes and glazed onions that were the perfect comfort food.
scallops and sticky pork sausage
When face to face with some of the world’s most fresh scallops, I always feel that some form of pork is necessary, to hone its flavors. Paired with a sticky sausage you could say that this dish only uses a few ingredients and seasoning to home in on the natural taste of the scallops and smokey pork. The Chef also kept the portions small, so this dish was perfect for a light, tasty, and slightly messy meal! Loved it.
Moreton bay bug prawn tortellini with sweet mustard fruits beurre blanc
You’d be a fool to let this slippery lobster slip through your fingers, if you don’t stop to try this item on the menu. The meat of the bugs, found only in the tail, has a medium-to-strong flavour and in this dish, is perfectly tempered by the sweet mustard fruits beurre blanc.
The sauce made from butter and a reduction of vinegar or white wine and grey shallots was rich yet tart and lifted the flavours of the tortellini which reminded my of a luxe version of a massive prawn wantan (Chinese dumpling). Pretty decadent stuff.
Beef cheek gnocchi in truffle cream sauce served with Alsace bacon
Fork tender, melt in your mouth beef cheek and textbook texture gnocchi.. what’s there not to love? Another great one for carbo loading! Bacon just added another sinful dimension to this already wonderful dish.
Yum yum.. just fell apart with a poke of the fork.. heavenly cheek!
vanilla bean pannacotta raspberry jelly granita, berry souffle with white chocolate sauce, chocolate pudding, chantelle cream honey comb and caramel sauce
Desserts were monumental in their own right. I mean, it totally looked, and felt like a meal in itself! Pure lustful decadence and my favourites were the vanilla bean pannacotta raspberry jelly granita and the berry souffle with white chocolate sauce, though quiet honestly, the lava cake with the runny center was astronomically good as well!
Dessert was paired with an amazing Pinot, and we called it an evening.
A great reason to visit Little Truffle would be for their incredible repetoire of Modern European cuisine, at affordable prices with top notch service. Also, if you like hidden gems, off the beaten track from the more touristy spots on Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, this would be it.