From the first day Chris Duong and Dylan Duong (no relation) parked their food truck outside a Dulwich Hill car wash to sell topnotch deep-fried ice-cream, a flagship dessert shop was always their plan.

“Opening Strathfield is surreal for us. When we started, we didn’t have the money to do what we wanted, but five years later, we’ve finally made our vision real,” Chris tells Broadsheet after the launch of the pair’s beautiful new shop at Strathfield Plaza.

Deep-fried ice-cream was Duo Duo’s original focus. Feeling nostalgic for the kind they got as kids at Chinese restaurants, Chris and Dylan wanted to make their own, and make it “the best deep-fried ice-cream possible”. Technically gelato, the frozen treat is handmade from fresh ingredients, with less cream and more milk than ice-cream. Each oversized scoop is rolled in panko and cookie crumbs, then another layer of panko, before being deep fried until crisp. It’s the perfect textural mix of crunchy and creamy.

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Having cornered the artisan deep-fried ice-cream market, the Duongs wanted to take it further, adding doughnuts and (un-fried) gelato to the menu when they opened their first shop – a hole in the wall at a Roselands warehouse.

The offering at the Strathfield store is familiar. Deep-fried ice-cream comes in salted caramel, pandan coconut, and cookies and cream. There are 14 flavours of gelato – served out of shining pozzetti to keep the dessert at its optimal temperature – including hojicha (roasted green tea), Vietnamese iced coffee and Sicilian pistachio, plus a lychee-coconut-raspberry sorbet. Like the gelato, the doughnuts incorporate Asian and Western flavours such as black-sesame cookies and cream, Biscoff cheesecake, passionfruit, and crème brûlée.

The interior is polished and contemporary, with a long, curved terrazzo counter, a doughnut display behind glass, and 14 built-in pozzetti. Sydney artist Felix created the shopfront mural, plus the kinetic neon sign on the wall. The shop is takeaway-only for now, until they get council approval for seating.

After carving out a safe niche in deep-fried ice-cream, you might wonder why Chris and Dylan would venture out from a captive market and join a saturated one (after all, there’s plenty of outstanding gelato in Sydney). It comes down to confidence, without a trace of bravado.

“Yes, Sydney and Melbourne have lots of high quality gelato. We know what we’re getting ourselves into. We have a unique and awesome gelato,” says Chris. “It’s simple as that.”

Duo Duo
11 The Boulevarde, Strathfield

Tue to Fri 4pm–late
Sat & Sun 12pm–late