Sweets @ KOI Dessert Bar (Sydney, Australia)

July 3, 2017 in Australian

It was by luck that I chanced upon photographs of MasterChef Australia’s Reynold Poernomo’s desserts on instagram. Located in Sydney? Oh my. There’s no way I was going to allow myself to not visit his shop. And with that, I immediately pinned it on my Google map. Keke.

It was on a weekday that my colleague and I arrived at KOI Dessert Bar at 12.15pm. And we were their first dine-in customers for cakes and coffee. Or maybe there were customers before us, just that they packed the cakes on the go. And from the display shelf, my colleague and I ordered:-

1) Berry cheesecake, AUD9.50 (above) – Vanilla cream cheese mousse, berry coulis and baked lemon cheesecake.

2) Chocolate delight, AUD12 (above) – Almond sable, 55% dark chocolate excellence mousse, passion fruit curd, brownies with dark chocolate ganache and raspbrry.

3) Watermelon, AUD12 (above) – Lychee creme, watermelon, chia seed, strawberry. Honestly, I didn’t like this. I mean… It’s after all just lychee creme layered over chia seed.

And KOI Dessert Bar is divided into 2 sections; Cafe at level 1 and restaurant at level 2. I looked up their website prior to my Sydney trip and learnt that level 2 opens for dining service in the evening. But for that, one would need to make advanced reservation. Wanting to try the plated desserts which was only available during dinner service and at their restaurant on level 2, I did just that. Hee.

I was required to select between set dinner menu and set dessert menu when I was making my reservation on their online booking system. I chose the latter since it’s all about the desserts that I was after. I mean… Chef Reynold is also nicked as the ‘dessert whiz’.

And for my 6pm appointment, I waited by the stairs for the staff to check my reservation and to lead me to my table at level 2. After reconfirming my order for the set dessert from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4), I commenced my meal with:-

1) Set dessert menu, AUD65 comprised of:-


(A) Lemongrab (above) – Lemon curd, lemon jam with lemon sorbet, herbal lemon meringue and lemon balm.

(B) Autumn forest (above) – Soft roasted milk chocolate filled log with chocolate soil, yogurt, caramel gel, porcini potato chips, fried shiitake mushrooms and applewood ice cream.

(C) Tea (above) – Soft roasted milk chocolate filled log with chocolate soil, yogurt, caramel gel, porcini potato chips, fried shiitake mushrooms and applewood ice cream.

(D) Coconut (above) – Coconut and yogurt with chocolate, almond sand, passionfruit curd, mango and kaffir lime dust.

2) Moss, AUD20 (above) – Pistachio mousse with caramel gel, dulce cremeux, pistachio sponge, matcha moss, apple blossom jelly, nitro lime yogurt and green apples. Knowing that this was a signature dish of chef Reynold, I (went crazy and) ordered it from the a-la carte menu too.

Unfortunately, the cakes and plated desserts failed to impress. Was it a case of me heading down with too high expectations? Probably. Would I recommend KOI Dessert Bar? Well… The sweets were good, but not to the extent that it blew me away. And these were pretty pricey too. So for their price tags, I would recommend checking out other patisserie instead. In my short trip to Sydney, I ironically had better desserts elsewhere.

But of course, I had my fan-girl moment when my colleague and I visited in the afternoon and we got to see chef Reynold in person.

46 Kensington Street, Chippendale, Sydney, NSW, Australia
+61 2 9212 1230, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Tues – Sun : 10:00 – 22:00 (Cakes)
Ambience: 7
Tue – Sun : 18:00 – 21:30 (Dinner)
Value: 6
Service: 7
* Closed on Mon

Desserts @ Mad About Sucre

April 16, 2016 in French

My friends and I were in the area. Or rather, when we decided to meet for brunch, we knew Mad About Sucre was just round the corner from the café we were headed to. So it was intentional to head to Mad About Sucre after our brunch for their desserts. =)

And taken from their website, Mad About Sucre’s cakes and confections are handcrafted individually with finely-curated ingredients using French classical confection techniques.

I like that they reduced the amount of sugar used in their cakes. Up to 60% sugar! I mean… I am one who experiment with recipes by swapping sugar out with honey since I am into eating clean. So yeah to like-minded bakers! =)

Reduced sweetness. Organic flour. No artificial flavor. No preservative. No artificial color. Baked with love. Baked for love.

Stepping through the entrance door, I was immediately in awe of the interior. The front half of the long unit was furnished resembling a living room that’s taken out of a storybook. The fairy-tale kind of story book with tiered cakes hanging from the ceiling. Pretty!

And from the display shelf, we ordered:-

1) A compter du printemps, $11.80 (above) – Beginning of spring. Strawberry cream, lemon mousse, French champagne, raspberry, almond sponge cake, croustillant. Available in cake sizes at $60 for small, $90 for medium and $120 for large. We were told to slice all the way though to get the 3 flavours; Strawberry, lemon and coagulated champagne. (This was paired with peony white tea with lemon grass if one opts for the tea pairing). And one can enjoy the cake in 3 ways; On its own, with the sauce or with walnut. I enjoy it most on its own. =)

2) Saveurs de printemps, $11.60 (above) – Flavors of Spring. French earl grey-apricot mousse, savoire sponge, blood orange and grapefruit insert. Available in cake sizes at $60 for small, $90 for medium and $120 for large. We learnt through the staff that chef visioned roses blooming when he came up with this masterpiece. And that earl grey was introduced because it’s the only tea that can be blended with rose. Ahhh… But the real surprise which had my friends and I intrigued was the surprise within the cake. While eating, we were debating on the citrus amount. Which the staff overheard and told us that even the jelly of blood orange and grapefruit were spaced. So sometimes the citrus hit you, sometimes it doesn’t. Wow. And because the cake is of an uneven shape, every mouthful is different since every bite of the cake would be of varying earl grey amount. (This was paired with French rose tea with lavender)

3) San domingue, $12.80 (above) – 70% single origin chocolate, rum jewel box, caramelised plantain, brittany crunch. Available in cake sizes. $75 for small, $150 for medium and $120 for large. To savour this dessert properly, we were told to pop the ‘box’ into our mouth, and to allow the (liquid) rum within to coat our palate. The staff went to explain the chemical reaction between the dessert and rum enhanced the flavour. And since there was 3 of us, we purchased 2 more ‘boxes’ of rum at $3.50 each. Similar to the previous cakes, we were told to ensure every mouthful had the 4 elements; vanilla cream, banana, chocolate and Brittany crunch. And although this was a chocolate-y cake, it wasn’t very heavy. And the best news for a person who’s trying to eat clean was that this dessert is made with 70% dark chocolate, with limited sugar that’s in the caramel only. So feast away? Haha. (This was paired with green tea with mint and lemon grass)

I absolutely love Mad About Sucre. The cakes were delightfully good. And the fact that these treats were achieved with lesser sugar than normal? That made it even sweeter. o_O Haha.

Service was great too. The staff were approachable and friendly. I could feel their great enthusiasm as they talked about their bakes when we asked for recommendation.

And with every cake served, the staff would introduce the pieces. Of how the chef was inspired to come up with the respective master pieces, to how we should properly savour the cakes. Very interesting and nice.

My friends and I shared our cakes. And for that, the staff served the cakes which taste was from light to heavy. Mad About Sucre also does (organic) tea pairing for cake degustation, which we decided to go with. However, the tea was sold by ‘cup per head’. Which meant that if one is only having one dessert but there are 2 people, one would need to get 2 cups of tea. Unless one doesn’t mind sharing. But if one is getting 3 or more dessert, the staff told us for the same price point, we could go for the tea buffet. So we had tea-buffet pairing at $7.80 per person.

My friends and I have made a pact to return when the menu is updated with the next season. can’t wait. We were having the spring menu. Can’t wait cause I really like the ambience. Mad About Sucre makes a very nice place to just wind down and chill. In fact, if I need a quiet place to have some ‘me time’, Mad About Sucre would definitely come into mind.

They have a food menu too if one wishes to have a meal there before tucking into their desserts.

27 Teo Hong Road, Singapore
6221 3969, Website, Facebook
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Sat : 12:30 – 22:00
Ambience: 8
Sun : 12:30 – 17:00
Value: 7
* Closed on Mon
Service: 9

Sweets @ L’ÉCLAIR

July 17, 2015 in European (cafe)

My girlfriend and I were in town settling some stuff (for our upcoming vacation) and had an empty slot for (early) dinner. That’s when I remember I wanted to check out L’ÉCLAIR after having read about them from The Sunday Times. And with that, my girlfriend and I were off.

L’ÉCLAIR is of walking distance from Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. And they are located within Singapore Shopping Centre, the building beside Park Mall. And the main entrance to the eclair boutique is facing the main road. One won’t be able to access from within Singapore Shopping Centre. We did not know and entered Singapore Shopping Centre. And when we asked the security guard, he pointed us in the right direction and said “The one with the black glass.” And my silly girlfriend tried to enter through the shop’s back door which would have brought us straight to their kitchen. Haha.

And heeding my girlfriend’s advise to provide value added-ness to my review. Haha. A little background update… L’ÉCLAIR is opened by Le Cordon Bleu graduates Sarah Tan and Michelle Looi. And citing an interview with Shiok!, the name ‘L’ÉCLAIR by Sarah Michelle’ came about because the ladies wanted a simple and elegant name, yet one that would pay tribute to their time in Paris since France was the place that gave them the inspiration to start this. In fact, it was Michelle who suddenly said “Why don’t we just call it ‘L’ÉCLAIR’?” as it was simple and meaningful. ‘Sarah Michelle’ came about because the ladies saw many pastry shops in Paris were simply named after their founding chefs.

So yes, their eclair boutique was a move that came about after their online business and doing pop-up cafes. They have a rotation of 10 different flavours, of which 4 are permanent.

And from the display shelf, we ordered:-

1) Banana & walnut, $8 (above) – Light banana cream, banana caramel glaze, walnut streusel.

2) Tahitian vanilla & pecans, $8 (above) – Vanilla cream, white chocolate vanilla glaze, caramelised pecans.

3) Mango passionfruit, $8 (above) – Mango and passionfruit cream, dried mango bits.

4) 66% dark chocolate, $8 (above) – Mexique 66% dark chocolate cream, cocoa glaze, cocoa streusel.

5) Ispahan, $8.50 (above) – Light rose cream, lychees, fresh raspberries.

6) Chicken & bacon pie, $12 (above) – Served with house salad. The only savoury item on the menu, this was good!

Despite not being familiar with eclairs (since we don’t really eat these), we could tell taste that the eclairs were pretty good. My girlfriend and I were discussing about how straight forward eclairs are; One would need to nail the choux pastry before piping and glazing it with the various flavours. To which, we later concluded while it sounds straight forward, it really isn’t as a great eclair should be fresh, evenly tubular, hollow (before filling), crisp on the outside, heavy with filling and uniformly glazed. Yup, I got that from google-ing!

So while it sounds expensive to be paying at least $7.50 for each, it’s because L’ÉCLAIR uses high quality ingredients such as imported French butter, quality chocolate, etc. Will I recommend L’ÉCLAIR? I will if one is looking for quality eclair. But cause I am starting to watch my diet (oh yes, gotta be strict with my ‘eat clean’ diet), I probably wouldn’t. Unless I am craving for quality eclairs, of course. =)

190 Clemenceau Avenue, Singapore Shopping Centre, #01-28, Singapore
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Fri : 11:00 – 20:00
Ambience: 7
Sat : 11:00 – 21:00
Value: 6
Sun : 11:00 – 18:00
Service: 6
* Closed on Mon