Truffle heaven at IL Pampero
Autumn: knitwear, changing leaves and perhaps most deliciously of all, truffle season. With the Hari hotel in Belgravia launching its truffle menu this month (available until the end of November), Dose went along to try it out
The Hari is always worth a visit. A stone’s throw away from the bustle of the King’s Road, it is chic and elegant. There are 85 rooms, a terrace that was made for cocktails and of course Il Pampero, the hotel’s excellent Italian restaurant.
It’s softly lit with nods to Art Deco, with a tiled black and white floor, cosy semi-circle banquettes and large bar. Do try the Bulldog – it’s the house Negroni. Staff are friendly as they talk us through the four-course truffle menu.
We start with walnut bread with fontina cheese, a poached egg and shavings of truffle, which is delicious. The highlight, though, is the pasta course. Unable to pick, we opt for two. First, ravioli filled with egg, potato and truffle. Next up was the Il Pampero house special, cacio y pepe with bucatino pasta, served from a giant wheel of pecorino, with shaved white truffle on top. It’s quite the spectacle and tastes wonderful too. The truffles add a rich, savoury umami flavour. They’re decadent and have quite an overpowering taste – I say that in a good way.
Carnivores would enjoy the venison with white truffle or pork filet with black truffle, but do leave room for dessert. We feared truffles would have no place among sweeter fare but when presented with the eggnog Marsala , amaretti biscuits and white truffle, we find it all works together subtly and wonderfully.
We roll home, full of autumn joy – and truffles, of course.