May 9, 2022
HANOI – Under the sweltering heat of Hà Hội, it’s hard to resist the cooling allure of chè khúc bạch (white cube sweet soup).
This sweet pudding can be found in every corner of Hà Nội throughout the summer, whether it’s in a small stall on the street or in a fine dining restaurant. It has a delicate blend of the aromatic flavour of almonds, the creamy taste of milk, and the sweetness of longans.
Although it is a popular dish in Việt Nam, adjusted with various ingredients to suit local tastes, the sweet treat supposedly came from China.
Khúc bạch means white cube, and the name says it all about this refreshing dish: a sweet soup with cubes of jelly.
With the chef’s creativity, the jelly cubes have become more flavourful than ever. They come in a variety of colours and flavours, such as green tea, strawberry, chocolate and taro.
The delicate flavour of the white cubes is unlike any other jelly. Just one bite and it melts at the tip of your tongue, leaving an unforgettable sweet taste.
The traditional white cubes have a milky aroma and a little chewiness due to being made with full cream milk and gelatin powder, different from the aromatic and nutty flavour of tofu made from soybeans.
The clear sugar liquid has a sweet flavour as it’s made with lychee or longan in syrup and rock sugar. The dish is often mixed with ice or cooled before eating to balance the taste.
When summer comes, chè khúc bạch is a cooling dish that can save you from the heat.
A few years ago, there were only a few restaurants selling this pudding in Hà Nội, but they have multiplied rapidly. Many local stores, cafes, and snack shops have added this sweet soup to their menus to meet high demand.
“I enjoy this sweet soup with my pals every summer. It is so tasty that you won’t get tired of it, and the price is reasonable too,” said Nguyễn Thị Thúy, a Hà Nội resident.
Chè Nhà Suvy is one of the capital’s well-known shops serving chè khúc bạch.
This shop, located in central Hà Nội, is particularly popular with young clientele due to its affordable price and distinctively flavoured sweet soups.
Lê Thu Quỳnh, a client, said: “Chè khúc bạch here tastes delicious and delicate. They have two different flavours: cheese and matcha. I will definitely come back again and again.”
Suvy’s chè khúc bạch has its own distinct cheese and almond flavour thanks to a special recipe. The dish’s sugar syrup has a pleasantly sweet taste, and when combined with cold longans, creates a refreshing sensation like no other.
If you’re not a fan of fusion dishes and want to try something more traditional, Chè Bốn Mùa shop might be the best place to go. They serve chè khúc bạch as well as a variety of classic Vietnamese sweet soups that are beloved in the capital.
Founded in 1975, this venue is a signature name in the city, and people generally have to stand in line to order such is its fame.
However, there is only one sort of chè khúc bạch served at this shop, which comprises a variety of colourful and flavourful jelly cubes. The clear sweet syrup is the highlight of this dish, which has the refreshing flavours of sugar and longans, and the light aromas of jasmine scent.
Despite its expensive pricing compared to other restaurants, Bốn Mùa’s chè khúc bạch is an excellent sweet soup to beat the heat and will not let you down when you are gasping for some refreshment. VNS
Chè Nhà Suvy
Address: 33 Quang Trung St, Hoàn Kiếm Dist, Hà Nội
Tel: 0837 225 665
Opening hours: 11am – 9.30pm
Chè Bốn Mùa
Address: 4 Hàng Cân St, Hoàn Kiếm Dist, Hà Nội
Tel: 098 458 33 33
Opening hours: 10am – 11pm