KOI Dessert Bar (46 Kensington St, Chippendale)
As a massive MasterChef fan, my chances of going here on my most recent trip to Sydney were high. I absolutely adored Reynold when he made a name for himself as a dessert connoisseur on Australian MasterChef 2015. I made a reservation a week prior (I would definitely recommend booking; there wasn’t much going) for me and my two girlfriends (who I kept in suspense right up until we arrived at KOI).
When we arrived we were taken aback to see a queue of people out the door, all lining up to sample the extensive selection of patisseries available. They were so beautiful; not just food, but definite works of art created by somebody with serious flair. We made our way past the masses where we were shown to our seats upstairs in the formal dining part by Reynold’s brother and given our set menus for the night. We had had the option of doing a six course dinner meal, or a four course dessert dining experience – I had opted for the dessert as both of my friends were vegetarian.
The first dessert that came out was called “Something Sweet & Savoury”. It was comprised of artichoke gelato, shiitake mushroom, crispy parsnip (it was sweet) with caramel and brown butter almond. It was delicious, especially for those who have less of a sweet tooth. I could have eaten the artichoke gelato straight from a tub, but I’m sure it tasted even better the way it had been delicately paired with a variety of other flavours.
Second came “Moss”. For those who watched MasterChef 2016, you might remember the dish from a pressure challenge where three of the contestants had to successfully recreate Reynold’s dessert in order to stay on the competition. Watching it happen on TV, and then seeing the actual masterpiece in real life made for a very cool experience. I was able to appreciate each individual component and had a better idea of how it was made. “Moss” is made up of pistachio mousse, caramel gel, white chocolate matcha dulce cremeux (which was essential a ball of pistachio mousse, encased in white chocolate – coloured and flavoured green by the matcha, with a caramel centre), pistachio sponge, matcha moss, apple blossom jelly, nitro lime and yoghurt and green apple. The green apple was a real delight on the plate; its freshness cut through the flavours and just tasted so delicious.
Third came “PB&J” which was a caramelised brioche with peanut crème, cassis pastille, strawberry and almond gelato. This was probably one of the best presented dishes, in that it was just so intricately placed. I didn’t want it to end!
Fourth and finally was a dish called “Bring Back Summer”. It should be nicknamed “Bring on the Theatricals” because despite being described (merely) as coconut yogurt with mango, white chocolate and warm passion fruit, it was actually far more exciting than that! The coconut yoghurt had been dehydrated so that when the warm passion fruit was poured over it, it let off steam – which was very cool to watch.
I was so excited to learn that Reynold actually works at KOI full time, and takes a hands-on approach with his involvement. He was there the night that we were – but I wasn’t one of the girls queuing up for a photo with him (although I may have been, had it been less busy!). On the way out we stopped to admire the cabinet again – I would have loved to have taken them all home with me!
Definitely an experience, one of the coolest things I have done in Sydney.