It's been three years since Koi Dessert Bar opened its doors and in that time it has become a go-to for incredibly lavish, almost too decadent looking desserts that we can't stop eating. Reynold Poernomo has gone far since being eliminated from MasterChef in 2015, and his wildly popular treats have earned him the rightful title of dessert king in these parts.
As we've come to find out from Koi, Poernomo is part of a talented family. Brothers Arnold (former judge on Indonesian MasterChef) and Ronald (restaurant manager) have helped make the venue the dining destination it now is. In addition to the desserts' fame, the restaurant's lesser-known savoury dishes deserve their time in the spotlight, too. Sure, you've frequented the downstairs dessert bar, but if you haven't yet ventured upstairs for the set menu, we can decidedly say it's worth a gander.
This is especially the case since this month's menu overhaul, which has seen fifteen new menu items — both savoury and sweet — added to the Koi offering. The degustation has been completely reimagined with a greater focus on native Indonesian flavours. Think starters of buttery bone marrow topped with spicy sambal and served with mini brioche buns, or king prawns with caramelised coconut and finger lime. For mains, they're serving up crisp-skinned barramundi with onion dashi and white fungus, as well as barbecue ribs with pumpkin puree and sweet tamari.
The set menu desserts lean on Asian flavours as well, with oh-so-pretty options like a black sesame, chocolate and mandarin dessert bowl or the pineapple and coconut logs with mango puree. To complement the new menu, there are locally produced wines, iced green tea and black sesame lattes, plus Asian-inspired cocktails like a Geisha with umeshu, yuzu and strawberry, and the Green Sake — with pandan infused sake, apricot brandy, basil and egg whites.
The set menu now comes with flexibility, too. Diners can choose between a three- or five-course menu ($60 and $90, respectively), along with which dishes they want to try, from entrees through to dessert. If you just can't get past the desserts, they get you, and they're also offering up a set dessert menu for $65 per person, which includes all four new desserts.
"It's amazing to see the faces of people who dine upstairs, to see how shocked they are at the quality and creativity we plate up," says Reynold. "Our new menu is a testament to that and we want everyone to continue to be impressed."
This menu revamp follows a successful three-month stint down in Melbourne's new HWKR Food Centre, where the trio ran a pop-up kitchen with sister venue Monkey's Corner. There is scattered talk of an interstate expansion, but for now, the brothers are focusing on perfecting their Kensington Street offering.
The new Koi set menus are now available in the upstairs dining room for dinner from Tuesday through Sunday from 6pm to 9.30pm.