First the oil needs to be around 375*f to cook the outside before it can soak in, Yuk! You have to stage things going in because each item will lower the oil temperature; too much too fast will ruin things.
Second she might not have had everything completely dry. It helps to lightly flour the things going into any kind of batter.
She also might not have gotten the batter right. You can usually judge by how well it is stuck on before putting it in the oil.
You seem rather keen on fondue. You might want to look into the Chinese Hot Pot technique. It is roughly the same but with a larger pot of boiling broth and oil.
You then have trays of various things cut VERY thin. The easiest way is to have them almost frozen and use a, obviously clean, carpenter's plane to shave things to the desired thickness, especially meats.
You then use chop sticks to move things into and out of the cooker.
There are endless combinations for the broth and oils, every place has their guarded recipe.
This might easily be the most popular type of dining in China.
Just remember that setting up a large pot of boiling liquid in the middle of the table requires that it be VERY stable, not a good plan to have children involved.
If you are not good with chop sticks you can use bamboo skewers, but it kinda takes the sport out of it.