While I’d always say that the Southern Forests are Australian truffle country, my pick of where to eat truffle during the season is Margaret River, just 90 minutes east of Manjimup.
Extending a truffle country road trip I’d advise a loop through the region from the Southern Forests. Stopping in Nannup on your way from Manjimup or Pemberton, a stop at the Tiny Tea Shop, or the Hot Bread Shop; a country bakery that never disappoints for road trip staples: a good pie or hot sausage roll.
At Cambray Cheese, just outside Nannup, you’ll find true farmhouse cheese. There’s no mistaking the passion here; the milking stalls backing onto the cheese making room, their award winning cheese the go-to for WA’s best chefs. The farm’s orchard is a perfect place to lay down a rug and enjoy a picnic.
Up and down the Margaret River region chefs are eager for truffle season to roll around. There are few menus where you won’t find it in some form but from south to north there’s so much choice from the grand surrounds of Voyager Estate and Leeuwin Estate, south of Margaret River; to Vasse Felix, Cape Lodge and Arimia in the revered Wilyabrup sub region; and the likes of Wills Domain, Bunkers Beach House and Yarri in Yallingup and Dunsborough at the north end of the twin capes.
The chefs of the Margaret River region excel in bringing truffle to the fore; using the best of south west ingredients from celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes, to venison and wagyu beef. I’m reminded each year that seasonal eating in Australia’s South West is such a strong influence. Cape Lodge chef Tony Howell puts it perfectly when he tells me “in wintertime, the truffle is the pinnacle for me. It's like the jewel in the crown, held in very, very high regard. Truffles get brought into the kitchen and the box is opened and it’s just the aroma that smacks you in the face. I can do so many things with it them. It's exciting, you know.”
This piece was produced in partnership with WA Good Food Guide.
Max Brearley is a food and drink journalist based in the Margaret River region. He writes regularly for delicious. Australia, The Australian and is currently Contributing Editor of the WA Good Food Guide.