Koi Dessert Bar, Chippendale

I have an older sister who I learnt a tonne off, but if I’m being super honest, I always wanted a brother.

My parents thought one guy was more than enough so they ignored my repeated requests as a youngster to give me a little brother that I could mentor.

As a result of that, I just created my own brothers; that’s the highest level of friendship in my eyes. You go from being dude I watch basketball with to being a sports bro; you go from being a friend who I seek cooking advice from to my kitchen consultant bro.

I’m all about brotherhood.

You know what animal is representative of brotherhood? Koi fish.

You know what my post is going to be about? Koi dessert bar in Chippendale.

koi dessert bar chippendale

Opened by Reynold Poernomo (of Masterchef Australia and iFat fame) and his older brother Arnold Poernomo (of Masterchef Indonesia); Koi dessert bar is a combination of their family’s amazing penchant in the art of hospitality. Reynold presides over the desserts whilst Arnold is in charge of all the savoury dishes on offer:

reynold poernomo
The dessert king in action

I don’t normally comment about the interior but let me just say that Koi is absolutely gorgeous. The upstairs dining area is reminiscent of a living room you’d see in an episode of MTV cribs minus cheesy art of the inhabitants. It just reeks of class and the mood lightning is a nice touch:

koi dessert bar chippendale
So er…there’s a whole ‘nother area to the right that I failed to take a photo of. You’re going to have to take my word for it, kids.

Ok, so it looks nice. But it’d be wasted if the food wasn’t worthy.

Oh boy, the food is worthy. Like James Worthy (Google him).

koi dessert bar tomato
Sambal: Tomato with chilli relish

The first course got the dinner off to a fiery start. The crunch of the cracker on top added a nice mix-up to the fruity nature of the tomato and the heat it carried. My dining companion (the lovely eilxrrr) found it to be very spicy but it was relatively mild for me.

Keep in mind that my parents routinely put a combination of chilli, sriracha and wasabi into my baby formula when I was a baby so my ability to handle heat is a little different from normal people.

koi dessert bar barramundi
Steamed barramundi with poached prawn,, dashi broth and quiona parsnip porridge

This dish was just super clean and light.

The barramundi was perfectly cooked and I loved the bitterness that the parsnip added. It was balanced by the dashi broth that had a perfect harmony with the natural juices from the barramundi. It  was an absolute pleasure to scoop up with every bite of the fish and prawns. Would’ve loved more prawns but they say there’s plenty more shrimp in the sea.

Wait, I butchered that didn’t I? What do you mean you don’t get seafood at the butcher? Let’s move on.

koi dessert bar chicken
Poached chicken breast with toasted nuts, brown rice and grains in spiced coconut veloute

I love chicken and I was keen to dig into some poultry in motion prepared by the older of Poernomo brothers.

It was a super comforting dish very reminiscent of green curry (the coconut influence does that to me). A member of staff rolled on by and confirmed that Indonesian curry was a huge inspiration behind the dish; so I think it’s fair to say it was Curry with the shot, and they’ve been cooking with the sauce so chef curry with the pot, boy.

Sorry, Drake was on the iPod.

Be warned, this poached chicken dish is something your partner will try and poach from you when you’re in the bathroom.

koi dessert bar ljo
Lime cucumber sorbet with fermented mango and cucumber with shisho and pink pepper corn

I feel bad for this dessert because it’s first up and (spoiler alert) it’s going to be overshadowed by what follows it. I was a huge fan of how much there was going on.

Have a look at those ingredients again. Go on, I’ll wait, I’ll clip my nails real quick.


Ok, so you have a look at the list and you’re like:

Oh snap, lime and cucumber? How refreshing, and in sorbet form too? Sick, mango? Cool. Cucumber again? Sweet. Shisho leaf and peppercorn…wait what?”

As weird as it looked on paper, it worked! The chilled nature was just a super enjoyable way to enjoy the lime and cucumber flavours and they balanced out the potentially overpowering nature of the peppercorns.

I don’t want to be too (pepper)corny, but I loved this and I’ll be back for it.

koi dessert bar chocolate
Something Similar with chocolate mousse, raspberry gel, consomme jelly, chocolate almond soil, ganache and strawberries

Do you need a break from me?

Sorry bro, I’m not going away anytime soon but I will break up that sphere for you:

koi dessert bar chocolate

God damn, this is a photogenic dish. It’s the polar opposite of me, seriously, try taking a good photo of me on a plate.

The dark chocolate utilised in this dessert is awesome, just the perfect amount of bitterness for me. The ganache within the shell was super creamy and the sourness of the raspberry gel put it over the top for me

It’s called Something Similar, but let’s be real nothing comes close.

koi dessert bar peached as
Peached as wth poached peach, brown butter almond and rosemary yogurt with rose

I am so sorry about the subpar quality of my photos in this post. It was steadily getting darker within the restaurant and I too was distracted by Reynold’s boyish good looks.

Sh*t, did I just say that on a public forum.

Let’s move on:

There’s a combination of textures in play when it came to the last of the desserts. The crunch of the almonds and the soft nature of the peach, the presence of the rose just binded everything together with a nice floral flavour.

Let’s just say Reynold and co have rose to the occasion and hit this dinner out the park.

koi dessert bar chippendale

Here’s the TL;DR for all the girls who used to re-koi-l every time I moved in for a hug:

– Yes, yes Koi Dessert Bar also has savoury food and the menu is awesome.

– It’s a super romantic establishment perfect for a date or to take a bro you haven’t shown some love in a while.

– This place is worth dessert-ing whatever plans you had before, book it.


Koi Dessert Bar, Chippendale

42-44 Kensington Street

Opening Hours:

Closed Mondays

Coffee & Cake: 10am – 10pm

Dinner: 6pm – 10pm

Koi Dessert Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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