Entering a dingy tower block somewhere in the middle of Saigon felt like one of those oriental gangster movies. The kind of place you go to for the purposes of meeting a mob boss. This was actually the entrance to a block of businesses. We were heading for a bakery named Dosh.
The Vietnamese know how to utilise space. Every business just seems to make it work somehow. What looks like an old block of flats has incredibly been turned into a vertical mall. We headed to level three on the promise of amazing cakes and pastries.
Dosh are noted for their doughnuts and shakes. More notably perhaps, the Freakshake. We have never tried Freakshake back home in the UK. The sugar police have taken it upon themselves to wag a finger at whoever dare order one. Or indeed, sell one. Luckily the attitude in Vietnam is a lot more relaxed.
If you are unfamiliar with the term ‘Freakshake’ imagine if you will a large milkshake with a cake such as a doughnut or brownie on the top. Add onto that some cream and a garnish of say sprinkles or popcorn and you have something very freaky that will make you shake. Possibly as a result of the onset of diabetes.
Still, we were on holiday. Two Freakshakes please. Incidentally, the staff here are lovely and there is ample seating inside and a little more out on the balcony. The air conditioning is also on point for those sweaty Saigon days.
A Salted Caramel Popcorn Freakshake came in at 99,000 Dong (around £3.29) with the Chocolate Madness Freakshake at 89,000 Dong (around £2.96). I don’t think either of us were quite prepared for what was about to land on our table.
The Salted Caramel Popcorn Freakshake looked as intimidating as it did beautiful. A large doughnut spewing out custard and whipped cream on top, popcorn around the edges and a coffee shake underneath. The syringe was also an interesting addition, perhaps it contained insulin.
Across the table, the Chocolate Madness was another work of artery-clogging art. A large, square brownie propping up a mound of cream and chocolate marshmallows. Around the edge of the glass, a few chocolate sprinkles. Inside the glass, an intense chocolate milkshake. Madness indeed.
Now for the surprising bit. Vietnam don’t really do heavy desserts. How on earth can something posing as a heavyweight suddenly reveal itself as a bantamweight? The genius of the Vietnamese pastry kitchen has to be experienced to be believed.
The doughnut was as light as a feather. The custard melted away, as did the cream. With all these components seemingly designed to plant you on your backside, this was a welcome surprise. Flavour is the main talking point of the shake. Everything worked so well together and the balance was spot on. Why are they so good at this?
Normally a brownie is a dense brick of chocolate that recommends endurance. This was a squidgy square with a moreish texture. The cream sitting on top could have been made in the clouds. Yet another triumph in a glass.
The service at Dosh is friendly and their command of English is excellent. They even gave us cookies as a parting gift. We were one of the very few people to scale the tower block to Freakshake heaven but our gut feeling is that this is a place that won’t stay a secret for much longer.
Opening Times: Daily 1000-2200