“I was hoping the doughnuts would come before Dirty Bird,” he tells Broadsheet. “But it took so long to get the recipe right that at one point it felt impossible, so I put it on the backburner.”
Mochi hails from Japan and is made from mochigome, a glutinous rice flour that is pounded into a paste and then moulded into a shape. It’s sticky, stretchy and gummy. At Demochi, it’s been fashioned into a doughnut and has a thin, crisp bite that’s surprisingly airy and light but with a little chew.
Chan decided to make time between running Dirty Bird and his other job as a pharmacist to recipe test. “I thought it would be really simple to do but it actually took so long,” he says. “The biggest challenge was trying to get the mochi-to-doughnut ratio right. You don’t want it so chewy it’s like bubble gum. You want there to be distinction between a doughnut and the slight chew you get from a mochi.”
The idea came to Chan five years ago when he was traveling with his wife Monique in Japan. Mochi is traditionally baked or boiled, but there they discovered a deep-fried version.
The Demochi Donut Bar – a play on the word “mochi” and the couple’s nicknames (“De” for Dennis, “Mon” for Monique) – is a standalone marquee next to the Dirty Bird food truck in Banksia, in Sydney’s south. Chan says it will serve as a testing ground to see how accepting crowds are of the mochi-doughnut hybrid, but he’s already thinking about expanding. “I hope mochi doughnuts are the next cronuts [croissant-doughnut hybrid]. Eventually, I’d like Demochi to either be a food truck or a shopfront.”
The doughnuts are available in two flavours on Fridays and Saturdays: original honey glaze and a flavour of the week, such as cereal-milk frost, green tea, yuzu mint, chocolate iced, strawberry and hundreds and thousands. “It’s a mix of American and Japanese flavours to represent the fusion of the two cultures,” he says.
Demochi Donut Bar
286 Princes Highway, Banksia
Fri & Sat 6pm–9pm