Tag Archives: Koi Dessert Bar

Weekend Coffee Share 29th May, 2017.

Welcome to Another Monday Afternoon Coffee Share in Australia.

This week, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you popped round for a visit. That’s because I’ve not only been to visit the Koi Dessert Bar of Masterchef fame, I’ve also made Pumpkin Soup. For me, there’s only one way to make Pumpkin Soup and it has nothing to do with tins. Indeed, tins are heresy.

So, would you like tea, coffee, juice or water and I’ll let you help yourself to a choice of soup or sweets.

How was your week?

Our week had more than the usual ups and downs.

On the upside, I caught the train down to Sydney for a medical appointment and had the afternoon to myself walking around Central Station, through Chippendale and into Surry Hills and Paddington. This area is characterised by 19th Century terrace houses and even though much of it has been renovated and gentrified, there’s still that element of grunge and even though the real estate there is very pricey, the terraces still only have a yard the size of a folded handkerchief. Every time, I go to Surry Hills, there’s something different and this trip, I focused on the striking Autumn leaves, which looked so poised against a deep blue sky.

I arrived back home with the excitement of a few desserts for the family to try. However, that excitement was broken by news that the son of a family friend had died suddenly, leaving behind his wife and three little kids…not to mention his parents who have been friends of my Mum’s since forever. This guy was a year younger than me and being a boy, I never played with him growing up, but he was around. His parents were around a lot. Naturally, that felt like a brick just hit me in the head and I reiterate previous questions about why bad things happen to good people, even though even I’ve reached an uneasy truce with this imponderable conundrum.

Friday afternoon, I rang my 11 year old daughter to tell her that I was stuck in a queue at the supermarket. I was meeting her only metres away and all she needed to do, was turn around to see me. However, she was sobbing when she answered the phone. She’d walked into a pole. Broken her glasses. Cut herself and was at the Medical Centre. This wasn’t the medical centre we usually go to either so she was in a very unfamiliar environment with people she didn’t know, and she can be very shy. Fortunately, the staff were exceptionally kind and another Mum had found her and taken her in. So far so good, except once I appeared, stitching up the cut needed to be addressed. Either they could do it there with only a local anesthetic or she could have it done at the local hospital where they could give her gas. That was a 30 min drive away and a hassle. Fortunately, she was brave and had it done there. Well, neither of us was feeling very brave, but we survived and I took her for an ice cream afterwards. Saturday morning, her eye was so puffed up, that it barely opened. However, she was of to dancing and is on the mend.

I had a huge nap yesterday to de-stress wrapped up in my doona with the electric blanket on.

Well, I’m runnning out of time to post this. So, I’ll head off now.

Hope you’ve had a great week.

This has been another Weekend Coffee Share.

xx Rowena

 

 

The Walk, Sydney.

Last Thursday, I ran away. Absconded.

Well, to be precise, I walked. However, “walking” doesn’t sound as good.  It doesn’t conjure up that same sense of theatre. Lacks drama. Walking also sounds, dare I say, rather “pedestrian”.

After going down to Sydney for a doctor’s appointment, I decided to pop into the Koi Dessert Bar in Chippendale. Koi was roughly “on the way home”, even if it was in the diametrically opposed direction. Koi is co-owned by Reynold, the Dessert King of Masterchef 2015. So, I was more than willing for my sweet tooth to lead me astray. Mum was taking care of the home front. So, I was a free agent. Cinderella dancing away at the ball with no thoughts about midnight.

DSC_5493

After catching the train from St Leonards to Central, I was walking to Broadway via the Devonshire Street Tunnel. This long pedestrian tunnel houses buskers, the homeless, beggars, along with a vendor selling The Big Issue. The tunnel itself has been there since 1906, but the characters keep changing. Today, I was mesmerized as the notes of a saxophone rose above scuffling feet into some kind of heaven. At least, heaven in a dingy tunnel. I didn’t feel like dancing, but I certainly felt my spirit soar.  It felt like the scene out of a movie. Indeed, I made my own so stay tuned.

I walked on, emerging into daylight and city streets.

 

My destination was only a few streets away. I was heading to the Koi Dessert Bar in Kensington Street, Chippendale. This is not any ordinary restaurant or cafe. Rather, it is home to Reynold, the Dessert king of Masterchef 2015. Moreover, so many of the current Masterchef contestants end up doing work experience at Koi, after they’ve left the show. I was hoping to experience a touch of Masterchef. I’d met Reynold on my last visit to Koi and enjoyed watching their open kitchen at work and was hoping to see someone and talk Masterchef.

Above: I met Reynold and watched him and the team in action at Koi last year.

However, neither Reynold nor any familiar faces were there. So, I didn’t feel I could gush like a Masterchef tragic.

DSC_5480

Dessert Heaven at Koi.

Rather, I had to choose my dessert…not an inconsiderable process. With so much yum on display, it creates that impossible choice. You know they’re all sensational, and it’s just a matter of personal taste. I chose the Nomtella…a dome with Espresso mousse covered in chocolate, and a mousy salted caramel centre nesting on a chocolate brownie base. I loved it, but found that half was enough. My sweet tooth hasn’t been quite so sweet lately and I blame the increased exercise for that. I bought an Orange Creme Caramel and a citrus dessert to take home and they were much more to my palate, which surprised me. They were truly sensational.

After leaving Koi, I ended up walking up Cooper Street into Surry Hills. I explored a few alleyways, chasing images of autumn leaves back-dropped against a deep, blue sky. I was swept off my feet by a special kind of Autumn magic, which was a world away from to do lists, action plans and responsibility. I still haven’t forgotten what it was like to wander the world as a backpacker, but now I have the love and security of home and my family to go home to. I only seek temporary escape. Not a one-way journey.

I don’t know what it is that keeps drawing me back to Surry Hills.

My Dad’s side of the family, Irish immigrants from County Cork mostly following the Irish Famine, settled in Paddington and Surry Hills and the family stove making business was at 90 Fitzroy Street for many years. However, that was long before my time and even my father’s. Yet, the stories were passed down. Indeed, there’s a photo of my grandfather and his Dad standing by their truck, which gives me that sense of belonging…origins. That at least a part of me, harks back Surry Hills, back when it was a surrogate Ireland and not the rough slum that it became.

JCurtin

The J Curtin Truck with my Great Grandfather and Grandfather.

Moreover, although I’ve never lived in Surry Hills, I did live in neighboring Chippendale for a number of years. Lived in a range of terraces, and even a converted warehouse a life time ago.

Surry Hills is an eclectic, constantly changing place, and you never know quite what you’ll find or what to expect. There was a little cafe I’d found, which made the most scrumptious Coconut Chai Lattes, but it closed about 2 years ago. Gone, but not forgotten. On Thursday, I went to see what I knew as the art dungeon in Campbell Street, but it now sells shampoo and looks so sanitized. It’s such a travesty…a sell out. A place with so much character, gone.

Surry Hills is expensive real estate, and yet it retains its sense of grunge. Crumbling, run-down terrace houses can still be found, along with signs of Struggle Street. I can’t account for that. After all, I’m only passing through. Picking out bits and pieces through the lens, and immortalising what I’ve seen today on my hard drive. My perspectives or interpretations of an ephemeral, kaleidoscope world.That’s without even delving into its characters. I merely chat to a few people in shops, not knowing whether they’re local or not. Then, I go home.

DSC_5595

I was starting to fade.

Walking along Crown heading towards Oxford Street, was a long walk and I was starting to look out for passing buses….a magic carpet to carry me home. Or, at least, back to Central Station. My legs can struggle to keep up with all I see and it’s easy to conk out half way.

 

Yet, I kept walking until I finally staggered into Museum Station and caught the train to Central. I walked over to Country trains and slumped in my seat. Unlike most of the daily commuters, Too excited to sleep and pulled out the mag I’d bought in Surry Hills:

I was heading home.

 

Before we leave Surry Hills, I thought you might like to join me on some of my previous visits:

Window Shopping, Surry Hills.

Surry Hills to Gore Hill, Sydney/

Surry Hills…A Sense of Place.

Have you been on any epic urban walks that you’d like to share?

xx Rowena

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share 22nd May, 2016.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share. I apologise for adding two posts to the link up but I added the Chocolate post by mistake and being well past my bedtime, I’ll have to leave it be.

This week I’m asking you to fasten your seat belts for what’s not quite a 1000km drive from the NSW Central Coast to Surfers Paradise on Queensland’s Gold Coast. We’ve driven up here for the weekend for Geoff’s sister’s 60th Birthday.

So, in addition to offering you the usual choice of tea or coffee, I’m also offering you a glass of bubbly sarsaparilla, a popular Queensland drink (which could well be root beer in the States).

However, before we get too settled on the Queensland side of the border, I thought I’d fill you in on the previous week.

Last Monday, I finally had an ultrasound done on the lump on my arm. While the lump felt noticeable enough, it proved quite difficult to pick up on the ultrasound, which is a good thing. It meant that it showed no sign of being a cyst and is probably a lipodema or bubble of fat. That was naturally quite a relief as I was concerned that a weird lump on the arm could be a secondary for much bigger troubles lurking somewhere else.

What a relief!

DSC_1047

A Cappuccino & A Mookie…What more could I want?

On Wednesday, I caught the train down to Sydney to for an appointment with my neurologist. That was all expected to be pretty routine. However, the appointment is not the story.

DSC_1053

Meeting My Mookie, Koi Dessert Bar.

Rather, it provided the justification for me to check out the Koi Dessert Bar in Kensington Street, Chippendale not far from Central Railway. Of course, I had to change trains at Central and so this provided the perfect justification for what really was quite a detour from my appointment in St Leonards, on the opposite side of Sydney Harbour and there are other, much more efficient stations for changing trains than Central but they didn’t have dessert bars. More to the point, they didn’t have a dessert bar run by last year’s Masterchef Dessert guru, Reynold, to tantalise their taste buds and lead them completely astray.

DSC_1074

Reynold…The King of Desserts.

Needless to say, I was completely blown away by my dessert experience which you can read about here: My Affair With Chocolate Mookie

After leaving Koi, I walked around the adjacent streets, photographing crumbling old buildings, posters, graffiti as well as checking out a few of the shops. This used to be the Tooth’s Brewery site and I still remember workers wearing blue singlets and Stubbies (shorts) pouring out onto George Street as I walked past on my way home from work.

The vibe around there is very different now.

It was quite a nostalgic journey and I would have loved more time to head down to Glebe and revisit Sydney University, where I did my degree. So many fabulous memories and seemingly no chance of going back.

Anyway, that was Wednesday done and dusted.

Friday, was spent in the car driving up to Geoff’s other sister’s place in the hinterland behind Byron Bay, which is our base for the weekend and we drive home Monday. We had a wonderful picnic in Surfers Paradise and went back to our niece’s stunning hotel win expansive view across the bright lights of Surfers and out along the beach. Brought back many memories of childhood holidays there.  I’ll be writing more about that during the week and for next weekend’s Coffee Share.

I also wanted to apologise for being a bit off the air of late. The A-Z Challenge took a lot out of me and writing about some difficult times for me, raised many questions and dragged me down further than I’d thought. It is great to be a survivor and overcome your hurdles but I am still human. That so-called process of “moving forward” is actually much more complex than we’d like. It’s great to get an ink pad and stamp “better” on our foreheads,  but perhaps “Work In Progress” would be a more honest and realistic descriptor.

It’s done me a lot of good to get away and have such a change of scenery this week.

Anyway, how was your week? I don’t have Internet access at the moment and am posting this by connecting my  laptop to my husband’s phone. I didn’t want to miss you all, even though I’ve slacked off lately.

Hope you’re all doing well.

This has been another Weekend Coffee Share. Please click here for the Linky

Best wishes,

Rowena