Smudge Eats: Koi Dessert Bar
[Originally published on Smudge Eats, April 2016]
Profile: Koi Dessert Bar, Sydney
Sample delectable desserts from 2015 Masterchef contestant, Reynold Poernomo at Koi Dessert Bar
Reynold was memorable in Masterchef for his consistently impressive desserts. Since being eliminated from the show he moved at impressive speeds to host a number of dessert pop-ups, before teaming up with his two brothers, Arnold and Renald, to open Koi, at just 22 years of age.
The venue sits over two floors, filled with dark wood and black tiling. There are bronze accents, plush leather couches and touches of green throughout. It is clean and simple, but maintains a relaxed feel. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows open the space and fill it with light, while metal touches give it a raw, industrial feel. There’s also a lush, outside area to seat yourself in on sunnier days.
Patrons can walk-in on the ground floor from 10am to select glossy, patisserie-style cakes and desserts from glass counters. These can be consumed on-site in the aforementioned green space outside, or taken away to indulge at home. Alternatively, upstairs offers a sit-down dining experience with both a set menu and a la carte option on offer.
Desserts upstairs are meticulously presented, creating something that resembles of a piece of art. Ingredients are carefully selected and melded together, with Indonesian influences and some experimental creations creating fresh flavour combinations you may not have tried elsewhere.
There’s a five-course (two savoury, three sweet) set menu, or you can pick and choose from the a la carte. Be aware that not all desserts are offered on both. One of the most popular dishes is the Something Similar – a chocolate mouse sphere with raspberry gel, chocolate almond ‘soil’ and strawberries.
Reynold loves to experiment with textures, perhaps most apparent in his pairing of hot coconut broth alongside coconut that’s been put through liquid nitrogen – demonstrating his extensive culinary knowledge as well as the versatility of one ingredient. Just some of the other impressive items on the menu might include the Experimental – coconut tapioca with palm sugar, pandan ice cream and caramelised milk solids, or coconut pannacotta with black sesame sponge, yuzu curd, and mango creme.
The word Koi means ‘come’ in Japanese, and in some written forms, romantic love. This reflects the encouragement the brothers bestow on patrons to come and try their delicious creations, with the latter representing how you’ll most likely feel about the incredible desserts.
Words by Camilla Sampson
Photo by Amanda Davenport