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The best frozen desserts in Sydney

All the top icy cold sweets to cool you down this summer

By Helen Yee |
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Classic sundae at Ciccone, iced dessert
Photograph: Helen Yee

Hot summer days call for cold confections, but don’t just stop at ice cream. Beat the heat with these 12 frozen and icy desserts from around the world that you can get right here in Sydney.

Other ace ways to cool down include a dip in Sydney's best ocean pools, a visit to our favourite beach kiosks, and an ice cream crawl for the best gelato in Sydney.

Frozen desserts for a Sydney summer

1
Build-your-own shaved ice dessert at Kaysone Sweets, iced desser
Photograph: Helen Yee
Shopping, Chocolate and sweets

Build-your-own shaved ice dessert at Kaysone Sweets

Cabramatta

Pick and mix all your favourites at Kaysone Sweets for an icy dessert you can eat on the run. The rainbow of options includes everything from tinned rambutan and jackfruit to palm seeds that taste like jelly beans. They’ll cram up to eight choices for six dollars into a plastic cup before covering the lot in shaved ice and coconut milk.

2
Classic sundae at Ciccone, iced dessert
Photograph: Helen Yee
Restaurants

Classic sundae at Ciccone and Sons Gelateria

Redfern

Relive Happy Days with a classic sundae for $12 at Ciccone & Sons. We’re talking an old-fashioned sundae glass filled with a scoop each of creamy jersey milk and chocolate gelato, plus a single scoop of your choice (decisions!). It’s garnished with a housemade chocolate shell, caramel sauce, fresh cream and a chocolate wafer, complete with a maraschino cherry on top.

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3
Filipino halo halo at Descanso, iced dessert
Photograph: Helen Yee
Restaurants, Cafés

Filipino halo halo at Descanso

Glebe

Say goodbye to $12 and halo halo to this famous Filipino dessert at Descanso – it’s a shaved ice sundae that’s a playground of fun. The highlight is the housemade ube purple yam ice cream, but you’ll also find leche flan (the Filipino version of crème caramel), jackfruit, banana, sugar palm fruit, sweetened red beans, rice flakes and coconut gel, all drowned in evaporated milk. 

4
Hong Kong matcha snow ice at Hong Kong Day Dessert
Photograph: Helen Yee
Restaurants, Cafés

Hong Kong matcha snow ice at Hong Kong Day Dessert

Sydney

Cascading ribbons of shaved milky ice are what make snow ice such a treat. The matcha snow ice ($15.50) at Hong Kong Day Dessert is big enough to share, the cotton-soft folds of green tea milk ice are bolstered with sweetened red bean puree, chewy mochi glutinous rice balls and a green tea mochi cake.

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5
Ice cream sandwich from Kakawa, iced dessert
Photograph: Supplied
Restaurants

Ice cream sandwich from Kakawa

Darlinghurst

Is the best kind of sandwich an ice cream sandwich? Kakawa offers perfectly cut slabs of silky but not-too-sweet ice cream between thin buttery planks of chocolate biscuit for seven bucks. Caramelised black sesame with white chocolate is a crowd favourite, but so too is blueberry cheesecake, espresso Martini, and milk chocolate with sea salt caramel.

6
Indonesian es campur with durian at Shalom, iced dessert
Photograph: Supplied
Restaurants

Indonesian es campur with durian at Shalom

Sydney

Es campur, or mixed ice, is how Indonesians cope with humidity. Underneath the avalanche of ice splashed with condensed milk and red coco pandan syrup you’ll find basil seeds, grass jelly, coconut gel, palm seeds and fresh avocado. Get the es campur with durian for eight dollars at Shalom and relish a full creamy lobe of the king of fruits.

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7
Iranian faloodeh at Shiraz Ice Cream, iced dessert
Photograph: Supplied
Restaurants, Ice cream and gelato

Iranian faloodeh at Shiraz Ice Cream

Merrylands

Never tried Iranian faloodeh? You need to. These ice cold starchy noodles served in a semi-frozen rosewater syrup are so cooling, you’ll feel your body temperature drop with every spoonful. At Shiraz Ice Cream they serve it with two scoops of creamy saffron ice cream for $8, dusted with crushed pistachios for crunch.

8
Italian gelato at Gelato Franco, iced dessert
Photograph: Helen Yee
Restaurants

Italian gelato at Gelato Franco

Marrickville

Rejoice in summer mango season by stopping by Gelato Franco for their mango sorbetto, providing pure fruit sweetness without the messy chin. While they make a range of milk-based gelati (hello Toblerone, sour cherry and organic matcha), their seasonal fruit-based sorbetti (watermelon, mulberry and white peach have all made an appearance) are unbeatable. Score three scoops for nine dollars.

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9
Japanese kakigori at Devon Cafe, iced dessert
Photograph: Adrian Lee
Restaurants, Cafés

Japanese kakigori at Devon Cafe

North Sydney

You’ll need a couple of mates to help you conquer the kakigori ($14) at Devon Café, a towering mountain of finely shaved ice that’s bigger than Mount Fuji. Flavours change each season. Right now it’s shaved ice with blood orange syrup, coconut soft serve, freeze-dried mango and fresh strawberry, honeydew and mandarin.

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Generic bingsu
Photograph: Creative Commons
Restaurants, Bakeries

Korean injeolmi bingsoo at Cael Bakery Cafe

Lidcombe

This Korean bingsoo shaved ice is so fine that a spoonful on your tongue will melt like a freshly fallen snowflake. Get the injeolmi flavour ($17) for a party-sized bowl of shaved ice dusted with nutty roasted soybean powder.  Pour your own condensed milk and evaporated milk and fight over the mochi glutinous rice balls.

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11
Thai milk tea ice cream
Photograph: Supplied
Restaurants

Thai milk tea ice cream at Yok Yor

Haymarket

If you’re a fan of Thai milk tea, that strong orange-coloured tea sweetened with condensed milk, you’ll love the Thai tea ice cream at Yok Yor. This scoop of icy refreshment is colour-coordinated with caramelised sweet potato chunks, a move that will totally change your mind about root vegetables in desserts.

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Hakiki--food+ice_cream.jpg
Restaurants

Turkish ice cream at Hakiki

Newtown

If you haven’t tried the refreshment that is rockmelon and feta ice cream, you need to get to Hakiki. You’ll notice a slight chewiness, courtesy of the salep wild orchid root used in its dondurma Turkish ice cream. Popular scoops here include Turkish delight, baklava, Turkish coffee and grape molasses with tahini.

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