MasterChef Dessert King finds new kingdom in Chippendale with Koi Dessert Bar

MasterChef fan favourite Reynold Poernomo has achieved what many of his fellow contestants have yet to do, and opened up his own restaurant within a year of appearing on the popular reality TV show. His venue, Koi Dessert Bar, in the Kensington Street, Chippendale quarter of Sydney, is a two-level dessert-focused restaurant, with a ground floor café and an upstairs lounge and bar area, also offering savoury Indonesian dishes.

Reynold’s brother Arnold (a judge on MasterChef’s Indonesian version) also works as a chef at Koi Dessert Bar, focusing on the venue’s savoury Indonesian dishes, like White Curry with poached chicken breast, toasted nuts, and grains in spiced coconut veloute. The diverse range of cuisines on the menu ensures that the restaurant offers both higher and lower priced dishes for their broad range of customers.

Those heading along may recognise some menu items, particularly the Something Similar, which was popular on MasterChef, combining chocolate mousse, raspberry gel, soil, and strawberry. There’s also The Summer Pearl, which is a hot and cold coconut dessert with passionfruit, a white chocolate sphere, caramelised saffron-pineapple, and passionfruit curd.

The higher priced end of the menu is served in the venue’s upstairs area. Choices include a six-course degustation menu, and there are plans to include matching wines with this offering. Downstairs, a more casual dining feel offers patrons coffees and desserts, some of which were first trialled during Reynold’s time on TV. Like its upstairs counterpart, there are plans for Koi’s downstairs area to offer a high tea of sorts, with cakes matched with various teas.

Poernomo hopes to introduce people to the more fine-dining side of Indonesian food with the savoury options, moving away from the street-style dishes (which you find at nearby Spice Alley). There are also plans to open a cocktail bar in the venue, to match drinks with the menu.

Following his elimination from 2015’s MasterChef Australia, Reynold worked at Sydney’s Gastro Park. Previous to his role as Dessert King on the hit reality TV show, he learnt the art of beautiful desserts from his mother and brothers, who run a family patisserie. Reynold is famous on MasterChef for not only being one of the better competitors, but also for his intriguing back story – his mother did not want him to be a chef, and actively discouraged him from doing so!

Koi Dessert Bar, 42-44 Kensington Street, Chippendale | [email protected] |

Open Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am – 11pm |


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.