Koi Dessert Bar, Parramatta Lanes 2017, Parramatta

Cakes that look almost identic­al to their fruit coun­ter­parts are nov­el and dif­fi­cult for me to res­ist, hav­ing first enjoyed an apple one in Tokyo StationKoi Dessert Bar released lim­ited edi­tions of such cakes in the form of man­dar­ins (first released in April) and that was quickly fol­lowed by pears, peaches and apples.

After much effort, this is the Mandarin ($12.00). N and I had first attemp­ted to chase this down on our vis­it to Koi Dessert Kitchen in Top Ryde in June and then on sub­sequent vis­its to the ori­gin­al Koi Dessert Bar in Chippendale, only to be dis­ap­poin­ted each time. Even at the Koi Dessert Bar’s stall at Parramatta Lanes, I had to vis­it three even­ings out of the four it was run­ning — I’m not that ded­ic­ated; drop­ping by is just con­veni­ent — to finally track it down on the last day, Friday. It’s one cake that’s very dif­fi­cult to track down.

The Mandarin is described as a ‘man­dar­in and vanilla mousse, encased in a lem­on madeleine tart and filled with ooz­ing pine­apple jam’.

Ordinarily, cakes from Koi Dessert Bar have nev­er always delivered on the prom­ise fla­vours, but this is the unfor­tu­nate excep­tion. The fla­vour of vanilla dom­in­ates the mousse without no trace of man­dar­in. Rather, the man­dar­in fla­vour comes through only as can­died rind in the jam. The trop­ic­al fla­vour of pine­apple is not evid­ent in the jam at all, although it may lend the nat­ur­al sweet­ness in it. A cit­rus fla­vour comes through the madeleine tart, although not iden­ti­fi­ably lem­on.

Overall, the cake was a dis­ap­point­ment in terms of size (~4cm in cir­cum­fer­ence) and fla­vour (lack­ing prom­ised fla­vours and com­plex­ity) and tex­ture (the ped­es­tri­an vanilla mousse dom­in­at­ing). Perhaps I’d have more luck with the oth­er fla­vours — if I can man­age to track them down again! — with the peach sound­ing prom­ising.

Koi Dessert Bar occu­pied a stall between 10 – 13 October in Arcade Jam, Aird Street as part of Parramatta Lanes 2017 at Parramatta NSW 2150.