Our favourite KEK Girls, Satira Diana and Farah Melissa, brought a piece of Malaysia ev­ery­where they went as they ex­plored the sweet streets of Sydney. Fol­low their deca­dent jour­ney as told by Satira.

Herworld (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

The KEK girls take on Sydney’s sweet­est treats.

2017has been a very ex­cit­ing year for us, the KEK Girls. From mak­ing a mark in the in­ter­na­tional cake scene with our uni­corn cake de­sign that went vi­ral glob­ally on so­cial me­dia, to be­ing in­vited by nu­mer­ous bak­ing stu­dios and cake com­pa­nies to host work­shops in their re­spec­tive cities, which in­cluded Sin­ga­pore, Bangkok, Melbourne, Sydney, and Jakarta.

Coin­ci­dently, three of the in­vi­ta­tions were ar­ranged one week af­ter another in July. We were ex­tremely ex­cited but ner­vous to leave the rest of the KEK team be­hind to keep the busi­ness run­ning. Nonethe­less, op­por­tu­ni­ties like these don’t come eas­ily, so Farah and I de­cided to take the risk and go for it! We fig­ured it would also be a good learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the team to hold the fort while we were away.

The ‘KEK Tour’, as we called it, started with a week-long trip to Sydney, Aus­tralia. It was win­ter, not our favourite weather. How­ever, we were game to dress up for the sea­son! Our two-day work­shops were set for the week­end, but we de­cided to fly in ear­lier to ex­plore the city, its cre­ative spa­ces and beau­ti­ful cafes – pri­mar­ily on the hunt for good desserts, nat­u­rally.

Day 1

Af­ter check­ing into our apart­ment at Bondi Junc­tion, we took a bus to Bondi Beach for some grub and to en­joy the win­ter breeze. It was about 10 de­grees, but be­cause of the strong winds, we were freezing! The pic­turesque sun­set – beau­ti­ful clear, blue skies and warm hues of pink that ac­cen­tu­ated the teal sea – made our time there worth­while.

We then headed to the city to en­joy some desserts at KOI, a fine-din­ing dessert bar founded by the Po­er­nomo broth­ers. Reynold Po­er­nomo, the youngest of four, was crowned the ‘Dessert King’ in Masterchef Aus­tralia 2015. Another brother, Arnold, was a judge on MasterChef In­done­sia and MasterChef Ju­nior.

KOI is ut­terly chic and mod­ern, and their desserts sim­ply di­vine. We had one cake each and licked the plate clean. All the Po­er­nomo broth­ers were there that night, but we de­cided to snap a pic­ture with Reynold, be­cause, well, he’s the cutest.

Day 2

It was a rainy morn­ing and not much sight­see­ing could be done. We de­cided to do a lit­tle shop­ping in­stead at the his­toric Queen Vic­to­ria Build­ing, and grab some mac­arons from one of our favourite Aus­tralian patis­series, Zumbo, founded by Adri­ano Zumbo, who was fa­mously dubbed the ‘Dark Lord of the Pas­try Kitchen’ in Masterchef Aus­tralia.

When the rain fi­nally stopped, we took a stroll down the street to the Con­tem­po­rary Art Mu­seum and, to our de­light, stum­bled across An­gel Place, a street known for be­ing home to an art in­stal­la­tion called ‘For­got­ten Songs’ de­signed by Michael Thomas Hill. As you stand un­der­neath the empty bird­cages, you’ll hear the chirp­ing of birds that once in­hab­ited Sydney, be­fore the city was built up to what it is to­day!

Day 3

Our first proper brunch stop dur­ing this trip was at the whim­si­cal and nifty Cuckoo Cal­lay at New­town. The light sta­ples aren’t just im­pres­sive in taste, but also ul­tra pretty and def­i­nitely In­sta­gram-wor­thy. Their sig­na­ture ma­genta pal­ette and Alice in Won­der­land vibes echo through­out the in­te­rior and on to the food pre­sen­ta­tion. This is one café we wouldn’t mind com­ing back to again and again.

Once we were done with our meals, we took a walk around the funky New­town in search of our next dessert des­ti­na­tion, MakMak Mac­arons – a quaint patis­serie by tal­ented Malaysian pas­try chef Car­los Heng. New­ton has a di­verse se­lec­tion of quirky cafes and, not to men­tion, an abun­dance of street art. As we made our way to MakMak, many photo op­por­tu­ni­ties pre­sented them­selves in the form of graf­fiti.

At MakMak, we were pleased to fi­nally be ac­quainted with Car­los him­self. A lovely and hum­ble per­son, we had a good time ex­chang­ing sto­ries and ex­pe­ri­ences on the dessert in­dus­try in Sydney and Kuala Lumpur. Happy to have made a new friend, we were also so proud to know a Malaysian hus­tling his way through the very com­pet­i­tive Sydney mar­ket, prov­ing him­self to be amongst the crème de la crème in mac­aron-mak­ing.

Day 4

Our O cake work­shop host, Clif­ford Luu of Cakes by Cliff, and our new friend Car­los had men­tioned a dessert show, called Sweet Street, that was tak­ing place at the Shangri-La Ho­tel. Or­gan­ised by award-win­ning pas­try chef Anna Polyviou, we de­cided to pur­chase tick­ets to this show on a whim, as our last ‘treat’ be­fore work com­menced over the week­end. Af­ter prepping our work­shop at Wil­liams-Sonoma Bondi for our week­end classes the fol­low­ing day, we headed straight to the city for a sweet night out with Anna and her crew.

As we ar­rived, the mu­sic was pump­ing, the set-up was def­i­nitely ‘street’, and we felt like we were en­ter­ing a mu­sic fes­ti­val. Many pop­u­lar pâtissieres from Sydney and Melbourne took part in the show, and we were lucky to have met and chat­ted with some of them, in­clud­ing Nick of pop­u­lar YouTube show The Scran­line and Anna Polyviou her­self. On top of that, we got to de­vour more desserts than our tummy could han­dle! Be­ing there and ob­serv­ing the Aus­tralian dessert com­mu­nity was a good ex­pe­ri­ence – and we gar­nered many ideas on how to el­e­vate the in­dus­try back home.

Days 5 & 6

Fi­nal­lyFi­nally, ouro first-ever in­ter­na­tional cake work­shop took place at the Wil­liams-Sonoma Bondi Junc­tion. Quite pos­si­bly one of the most beau­ti­ful kitchens we have been to, we were so ex­cited to teach there! We were even more pleased to meet our Aus­tralian stu­dents, who were all ex­tremely lovely and they did a truly re­mark­able job on their cakes! We were moved by the fact that most of them fol­low our work re­li­giously on so­cial me­dia and were ex­cited to meet us, too. It was a suc­cess­ful two-day work­shop, thanks to our gra­cious host, Clif­ford. We hope to go back to Sydney soon.

A flat­lay of Nec­tar & Stone's newly launched book, I'm JustHere­forDessert, and MakMak mac­arons with trin­kets we found in Sydney

Deca­dent desserts at Cuckoo Cal­lay

Gor­geous graf­fiti works in New­ton

The sound of birds chirp­ing echoed around the hang­ing bird­cages at An­gel Place Bondi Beach

The sales girl's funky hair matched the colour­ful ar­ray of mac­arons at Adri­ano Zumbo's Patis­serie kiosk at QVB Mall

Scrump­tious lunch at Harry's in Bondi

Desserts at KOI Dessert Bar

Stu­dents' work from the Alicorn Cake work­shop at Wil­liams-Sonoma Bondi Junc­tion

Quick photo with the stu­dents from the Happy Soda cake work­shop

His­toric Ro­manesque de­tail­ings in­side the QVB Mall

Demon­stra­tion ses­sion dur­ing one of the cake work­shops in Sydney

Kek Girls with Clif­ford from Cakes by Cliff

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