Crowned the dessert king of MasterChef 2015, Reynold Poernomo will be delivering Sydney its sugar fix from January 10 when he opens Koi Dessert Bar in Chippendale. If your tastebuds were watering just watching Poernomo on TV, Koi is your chance to watch his creations come to life before your very eyes.
Koi's delicate desserts pull out all the stops, and are artfully sprinkled with all sorts of surprises. The chic building spans two levels, with a patisserie-style cafe on the ground floor, and lounges and a bar upstairs (where a $77 six-course degustation is on offer). Koi fuses a fine-dining dessert experience with a sleek, but casual environment.
"It has an elegant feel to it," says Poernomo. "But it still feels like a home kitchen. It feels very comforting."
MasterChef buffs will recognise the aptly named Something Similar - chocolate mousse, raspberry gel, soil and strawberry - based on Poernomo's showstopping "apple" creation. But his favourite is The Summer Pearl. Poernomo describes it as, "a hot and cold coconut with a passionfruit, white chocolate sphere, caramelised saffron-pineapple, and passionfruit curd".
What is hot and cold coconut? One coconut is siphoned into a bath of liquid nitrogen, then to serve, a hot coconut broth is poured next to it. "So you have one side that is really hot and one side that is really cold. It's a play of both textures and temperatures. It also doesn't really melt that quickly, either. It's quite surprising," says Poernomo.
A savoury Indonesian menu is also available for the not-so-sweet-toothed diners. Koi is aiming to move the cuisine away from its cheap student meal stereotype.
"We have fine-dining Chinese, we have fine-dining Japanese, all over Australia, but we have nothing Indonesian, because people just see it as comfort food, home food, or street food."
His brother Arnold Poernomo (a judge on the Indonesian MasterChef), will be in the kitchen, reinventing traditional Indonesian dishes, such as white curry with poached chicken breast, toasted nuts and grains in spiced coconut veloute.
Come February or March, a cocktail bar will provide matched drinks to the desserts.
Open Tue-Sun 10am-11pm.
42-44 Kensington Street, Chippendale, koidessertbar.com.au