For a dessert queen, Koi is one of the must-visit places in Sydney, located in Chippendale next to the tempting Spice Alley. We opted to go for the 4 course dessert degustation, taking us to the upper floor, seated on a lovely candlelit table.
Which brings us to the menu for the evening:
We started our degustation course with Coney Island, which is actually two separate desserts in one. Inside the cone (actually made from caramel!), was a mango and calamansi sorbet, which was a delicious combination of sweet (from the mango) and citrus (calamansi).
The second part of this dessert were the little strawberry balls that you can see, which comprised of a thin, white chocolate shell, with a syrupy sweet strawberry jam inside, containing chunks of dehydrated strawberry inside.
A great starter to a memorable evening, just don’t eat the entire strawberry pod in one go!
This dish features the misleadingly coloured blackberry and blackcurrant, and it was actually a rather interesting dessert. You can see that it first features blackberry “biscuit” (I honestly can’t think of a better word for this!), light in flavour but provides a lovely crunch texture to the dish.
Below that was the mixed berry gel, which actually provided a tartness to accompany the sweet blackberry (flavoured with long pepper) sorbet on the bottom of the dish. By itself, the tartness of the berry gel can be overpowering, but with the sorbet, as well as with the white chocolate “crumble” on the side, it provides an amazing balance to the dish.
When I saw the menu, I thought this would be the weakest dessert, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw! On the top was a mandarin sorbet, sitting on top of a roasted chocolate ganache with espresso “roots” sprouting from the side. Hiding beneath the ganache was a orange madeleine cake, with frozen yogurt rocks surrounding the dish.
The dish really works in two parts, with the roasted chocolate ganache and madeleine cake combining well together to form its own dessert in a dessert (dessertception?), with the frozen yogurt providing a nice, albeit neutral-tasting, texture to the dish. The key element here was definitely the chocolate ganache, providing a nice sweetness to each bite.
The second part is the mandarin sorbet sitting on top, which initially confused me as it didn’t feel like it belonged to the dish, but as later pointed out, it served to balance out the chocolate-based sweetness below.
In hindsight, it is a wonderfully balanced dessert, which leads us to the signature dish of Koi.
The highlight dish of Koi, it features a matcha chocolate shell, hiding away a pistachio mousse with the salted caramel centre, sitting on top of a pistachio sponge. Sitting on top of the sponge also was the signature moss, with an apple jelly ball and dulce cremeux.
Just in case that didn’t make it special enough, upon serving, the frozen yogurt was sprinkled around creating a frosty atmosphere, conjuring the appearance of a sunrise on a cool forest floor.
To start, the matcha chocolate shell was wonderfully balanced. The crispy matcha chocolate shell, with a slight tinge of matcha bitterness, matched well with slightly firm pistachio mousse inside, and although the pistachio flavour was quite mild, this then matched well to gooey salted caramel centre.
All up, it was a fantastic mixture of crunch from the chocolate, smoothness from mousse inside, and stickiness from the caramel centre.
Accompanying this was the pistachio sponge, which was about as light and fluffy as you could possibly make a sponge, with the dulce cremeux sitting on top. With the fennel overtones, it provide a lovely contrast to the chocolate shell, it was the light and silky accompaniment to the matcha chocolate shell.
And finally we have the apple blossom jelly ball, which was an interesting addition as it provided a light fruity flavour and another contrasting element, as it provided a slight chewyness to the dessert.
All in all, Moss summed up a fantastic evening, a fantastic dessert degustation with fantastic company. Definitely something to try at least once for those with a sweet tooth!