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.

KOI DESSERT BAR
46 Kensington Street, Chippendale, Sydney, 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

Snacks @ Emperor’s Puff 皇帝饼 (Sydney, Australia)

July 1, 2017 in Asian, Chinese

My colleague and I were having dinner near Darling Harbour when she mentioned we could get custard cream puff in the area for desserts. And that sounded very good. Thus, we made our way to Emperor’s Puff which was located in Chinatown Sydney.

I wouldn’t say Emperor’s Puff is a shop. Rather, it’s a hole-in-the-wall window-in-the-wall. Ha. Sandwiched between Emperor’s Garden Restaurant and Emperor’s Garden Cakes & Bakery, one could also easily identify the shop by the snaking long queue.

And it’s probably because my colleague and I reached at 8.30pm that there were only 4 groups in front of us. With the queue moving pretty quickly, it was our turn to order in less than 10 minutes.

As per the shop’s name, there’s only 1 item on the menu. Costing only AUD0.35 for 1, my colleague and I decided to order 9 pieces at AUD3 for sharing. Anything less (than 9 pieces) seemed too few while 18 pieces was too many after our heavy dinner. Keke.

Our 9 pieces were packed into a paper bag. And because the pair of customers in front of us ordered 18 pieces, I got to know orders of 18 pieces were packed in boxes.

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Eating these warm balls with piping hot custard cream in the cold nights of May was such a delight. I couldn’t help but start humming. Friends know I tend to bop or hum when I am happy with the food. Haha. And I liked that the custard cream within was not too sweet.

I definitely recommend coming by for these affordable custard cream puff if one is in the area. Though I wouldn’t say these are exceptionally good to make a special trip for.

EMPEROR’S PUFFS 皇帝饼
96-100 Hay Street, Haymarket, Sydney, Australia
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 21:00
Ambience: NA
Value: 7
Service: 6

Sweets @ Asakusa Naniwaya 浅草浪花屋 (Tokyo, Japan)

March 4, 2017 in Japanese

Shaved ice (kakigori) hunting has since become a must in my trips to Japan. And this time, I was off to Asakusa Naniwaya. Better known as 浅草浪花屋.

浅草浪花屋 is a 10 to 12 minutes walk from Asakusa metro station. I took the metro a lot during my trip in Tokyo. Got to stretch my dollar worth since I purchased the metro pass lah. Keke! One may also visit Sensoji (Asakusa Kannon Temple) before heading over to 浅草浪花屋 since it’s a mere 5 minutes walk from each other.

The shop space was divided into two. The front half served as a waiting space for customers who were buying the fish-shaped cake with red bean filling (taiyaki). Whereas the second half was for dine-in customers who were there for the shaved ice.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t any English menu. Yes, only Japanese menu. On my first visit, I ordered by showing an instagram picture. And on my second visit (a few days later), I ordered by repeating what I overheard (others had ordered) during my first visit. Keke:-


1) Kakigori #1, ¥780 (above) – The top layer of white bean paste wasn’t too sweet. In fact, I was surprised at how well the ensemble of white bean paste, uji matcha and azuki bean purée came together. I haven’t quite tried a lot of white bean paste dishes. And it certainly helped that its visual was great.


2) Kakigori #2, ¥750 (above) – And this was ordered simply by saying “Kiwi.” Keke. During my first visit, I overheard a couple ordering this. And I was interested to try it after hearing them gushing over it while eating. And this didn’t disappoint. Hidden within was what tasted like frozen yogurt. A very refreshing dish. I easily finished this on my own. A must try.

I noticed 浅草浪花屋’s shaved ice melted faster than expected although it was winter. And the top layer of ice (above the hidden filling) collapsed while I was working my way halfway through the mountain of ice. Am not sure if it’s a good or bad since it could mean they skillfully layered the ice without it being too heavy or they didn’t pack the ice tightly and properly so that it could hold on its own.

But I enjoyed my shaved ice, nonetheless. Certainly worth the detour (since one is walking away from Asakusa metro station) after visiting Sensoji.

ASAKUSA NANIWAYA 浅草浪花屋
2−12−4 Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan (東京都 台東区 浅草 2-12-4)
+81 3 3842 0988, Website, Tablelog
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon, Wed – Sun : 10:00 – 19:00
Ambience: 5
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Tues