A few months ago, Thomas Heinrich's little eight-seater in Wanniassa moved to a larger premise in Mount Majura. Table by Canberra Gourmet is now Table at The Truffle Farm. It seats 20 at a shared table in a barn, right next to where black truffles are grown.
In its original iteration, the restaurant started off with a modest six courses, gradually ballooning out to 19 as head chef and owner, Thomas "got bored" (his own words) and had time on his hands during the COVID era. All very impressive considering that he was the only person prepping, cooking and serving.
If this is the first you've heard of Table, great timing. Canberra's autumn fog signals the start of truffle season and I can't think of a better chef to showcase black truffles, or a better venue than right where they've been dug up.
As food goes, the depth and breadth here is unrivalled. There are so many courses; each dish only lingering for a few moments in time - a few bites and it's gone. I've eaten here four times and never had the same dish twice. To make things even more interesting, desserts are artfully woven through the menu to ensure that your palate doesn't get bored.
Whether you prefer traditional or experimental, there's something for everyone. I love the pie tee; a Malaysian-inspired, small crisp shell filled with cajun prawn and topped with wasabi tobiko. It's crunchy, spicy and sweet in one perfect mouthful. Truffle-cured tuna is brilliant too, combined with salty feta, savoury black garlic and the bright freshness of green peas.
And then there's the experimental, in this case, a liquid-nitrogen beef dish inspired by Noma. A beef khao soi is a twist on a Thai curry; a vibrant khao soi topped with a pink powdered beef, makrut lime, peanuts and a spicy sambal aioli. It's quite bizarre - my eyes don't see beef, but my palate tastes a carpaccio-like flavour, all the while, my mind is trying to reconcile it. I'm not sure I like it, but I like the concept and the way it forces me to consider the components of a Thai curry, and the role each ingredient plays. In a sea of 12 courses, it's nice to have a playful one every now and then.
Five courses into a 12-course menu, it's time for the first dessert - a deconstructed chocolate and orange tart with toasted marshmallow. It's a winner; crunchy and creamy, sweet contrasting against acidity with a whiff of freshly toasted marshmallow to add that air of campfire nostalgia.
A later dessert features brown butter financiers with almond, a refreshing green apple powder (liquid nitrogen again) and a delightfully savoury ice cream, which turns out to be truffled apple.
There's just so much to like here. The oranges, for instance, inspired by sport, are served at half time. They always look the same - wedges of orange filled with jelly - though flavours used differ every time. Guests are invited to play along and guess the flavours, a rather fun interaction that is almost always met with cries of "of course, that's what it is!"
Other highlights include a Queensland scallop served in the shell with pickled walnuts, pomegranate dressing and romesco sauce. It's cleverly conceived and well-balanced; the freshness of the scallop highlighted by the sweetness of pomegranate, earthiness of romesco and tangy pickled walnuts.
Hiramasa kingfish, charred swordfish, smoked chicken, duck breast and wattleseed lamb round out what feels like a greatest hits of menus. I'm not here to narrate you through every dish, rather to tell you that Table is quite unlike any other. Such is the calibre of the food here that at the end of the night, everyone at the table has a different favourite dish - no easy feat.
Bookings for Table are online only and the website is upfront about not catering for dietary requirements. Don't expect to see a menu here either. What's served changes constantly - week to week in most cases. Oh, and one last thing - seating is at one large shared table, so be prepared to sit next to strangers. It's a significant night out by any means: 12 courses ($150 +$10 booking fee) or 18 courses ($180 + $11 booking fee). It seems pricey, but if you factor in that alcohol is BYO and the restaurant doesn't charge corkage, it makes it a little easier to digest.
The newly relocated Table is charming; the food may be fine dining but the attitude is refreshingly down to earth - the team joke about using tweezers to eat some courses, and guide you through which of your six spoons to use at each course. The only downside is the awkwardness of sitting next to strangers, I don't know why, but I've never warmed to this idea. This is easily fixed, of course, by inviting friends along - that way you're sure to have a good time.
Address: At The Truffle Farm, 23 Mount Majura Rd, Majura
Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, at 6.30pm, ticketed only
Owners: Thomas and Larah Heinrich
Chef: Thomas Heinrich, with Noah Cairnduff and Maggie Johnson
Noise: Not an issue
Dietary: No changes can be made
Outside dining: Not available
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.