There’s sugar in the milk, sugar in the fish sauce, and you can even get sugar in your banh mi, but then it’s red beans for dessert?? Sometimes the Vietnamese sweet tooth leaves even me scratching my head. But if you want a great dessert, I suggest you try sweet tofu in Da Nang.
Tau Hu Xe Lam
This place is a modern twist on a Vietnamese classic: soft tofu in a bowl with sweet ginger sauce. If you walk around Hoi An late at night, you’ll see people selling it everywhere. I’d say it’s somewhat less popular in Da Nang, but it’s definitely still around. Tau Hu Xe Lam expands the offerings by letting you get different flavors in your tofu. I like the ngũ vị “five flavors” as you get a bit of everything. Other toppings include jackfruit, a type of cheese glob (I actually like this one!) and some assorted jellies. There’s even one with durian, which is certainly one of the most interesting ways to enjoy sweet tofu in Da Nang. If you haven’t tried the famous “king fruit”, this is a quite a palatable way of dipping your toe in the durian waters.
With all the flavor options, you could keep coming back to try a different tofu every day for a week. But the real dark horse of this place is the drinks. You can get a lemon juice with tamarind, or my favorite is the lemon juice with lemongrass. It’s so refreshing on a hot day, and it looks pretty gourmet too! I never pass up the chance to get one of these tasty drinks.
You can sit downstairs, but the view from up top overlooking the street is much better. It does get a bit of sun during the day when the shop is mostly empty. I’ve come at night though and it’s a packed house, full of teeny-boppers. And me.
My one knock about this place is the music: it’s terrible. Maroon 5 on repeat, followed by Katy Perry on repeat, followed by… you get it. I understand they’re just catering to their audience, but that doesn’t make it less bad. Bring a friend to chat with so you can distract yourself from the tunes.
Ready for some sweet tofu in Da Nang? Head to 176 Trần Phú in the city center.