Koi, established by Masterchef alumni Reynold Poernomo, is well known for its beautiful desserts and I've had the opportunity to try many of the cakes and pastries. This time, I was here to visit the upstairs restaurant where they do a mix of savoury and sweet.
We opted for the 5 course set menu at $80pp which consisted of one entree, one main and three desserts. The meal kicked off with a savoury snack, a Confit duck donut with berry jam. The donut was fluffy and I enjoyed the pairing of the duck and berry flavours.
For entree, we had the BBQ Moreton Bay bug with pickled kohlrabi and crispy sweet potato. The Moreton Bay bug was beautifully cooked and soaked up the delicious curry sauce. The crispy sweet potato added a great textural element to the dish.
The Sous-vide quail had a crispy skin and the eschallot and quail jus packed a whole lot of flavour. So far the savoury dishes have exceeded my expectations.
The Crispy duck breast was very tender, however, the purple carrot could have been cooked for a tad longer. The beetroot puree added earthiness to the dish.
The Murray cod was beautifully steamed but the highlight for me was the poached mussels. They were plump and juicy, and took on the umami flavour from the shallot dressing.
Onto desserts and we started with the Deconstructed carrot cake. I'm not usually a fan of carrot cake but in this instance, I enjoyed the interpretation. It was very light, not overly sweet and had so many different textural elements.
Next was the Vanilla mousse with Calamansi. Firstly, the dessert looked stunning as it hit the table, with the burnt honey mango resembling honeycomb. The mango sorbet was silky smooth and I enjoyed the pops of flavour from the compressed cumquat and pepperberries.
All in all, I was impressed by the quality of the dishes but would have preferred the ratio of savoury vs sweet to be reversed for a more balanced meal.
12 Micron, Barangaroo
12 Micron is an establishment situated in the new dining precinct of Barangaroo, complete with its own dessert bar helmed by Darren Purchese. First thing I noticed about 12 Micron was the enormous, modern space (able to seat more than 220 patrons) with a brilliant harbour view.
We were excited to get to the desserts but decided to have some savoury dishes first before the sugar hit. The menu is focused on Australian produce and we start with the Lobster omelette. It was a classic dish done well, with generous servings of lobster.
The Moreton Bay Bug rice paper rolls were disappointing in flavour and serving size, given the price charged.
The Goats cheese tortellini, on the other hand, was beautifully executed. The tortellinis were plump and the burnt butter sauce was spot on.
The Flinders Island lamb was beautifully cooked. I quite enjoyed the texture of the damper and the seared sweetbreads were very tasty.
The Suckling pork came with crispy crackling and the preserved riberries added a nice touch, though serving size is again a little small.
There were a number of dishes on offer from the rotisserie, visible in the open kitchen. We picked the Duck with duck fat potatoes. The duck was good, without being spectacular. By this stage, we were ready for the dessert onslaught and this is where 12 Micron really shines.
There's an option for a 3, 5 or 7 course dessert degustation but we opted to go a la carte. We started with the Pistachio, green tea and yuzu creation. The Pistachio and green tea mousse was delicate and pillowy, as was the green tea sponge. The gelato was smooth and creamy and the pops of yuzu and blackcurrant added some bold colours and flavours to the dish.
The glass of Coconut, passionfruit, ginger and mint was delicious in every way, and it was fun searching through the layers to discover all the different elements.
The deconstructed Gin & Tonic dessert had more components than I could remember. There was the lime and lemon curd, frozen cucumber and lime parfait, white chocolate mousse and marshmallows just to name a few. Somehow, all the ingredients work together and really delivered on the flavour of a G&T.
Another favourite of the night was the Smoked Vanilla ice cream with plum, Barossa Valley Wanera and Thyme Sable. It's the first time I've had ice cream with a slice of cheese, and surprised to say, it worked amazingly well together! The cheese manages to temper the sweetness of the plum sauce and the honeycomb.
Olive oil, chocolate, toast ice cream and smoked salt was another exciting combination that worked beautifully. The olive oil jelly was light and creamy at the same time, the chocolate ganache was incredibly rich with the bread ice cream providing some much needed relief.
The Rose, Apple, Strawberry and Beetroot dessert definitely caught out attention with its striking red colour and wonderful fragrance. The crystallised rose petals was a bit too sweet for my liking, but I did enjoy the apple sorbet which was very refreshing and the moist beetroot sponge cake.
Just when we thought we had conquered the desserts, a plate of complmentary petit fours (actually, threes) arrived on our table. I found the raspberry jellies much too sweet, but the mint biscuit was tasty, as well as the dark chocolate truffle.
The design of the restaurant is impressive, from the segmentation of the space down to the beautiful cutlery and crockery. The desserts are clearly the star of the show and why you should pay 12 Micron a visit. Not only do they look amazing, but the creations are playful, imaginative and full of unexpected flavour and textural combinations.
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