Let’s Eat: Colorful, coconutty chè, a Vietnamese dessert

Madison is something, however, a desert barren region. Bakeries abound. It increases instances for chocolatiers. And with spring’s arrival, ice cream stores across the isthmus have begun slinging their first scoops. But while Arom Wichitchu searched for goodies conventional to his local Thailand, he determined the town coming up brief. That was modified six months ago when Wichitchu, the proprietor of Sa Bai Thong, was approached through his commercial enterprise companions, sister-in-regulation Taratip Buchli and Maihoua Xiong. Their intention became something easy: to construct something to fill the distance.

“At a few points, we have been wondering, oh, we did not see any dessert, Asian dessert round,” Wichitchu said. “We did not see (the one’s sorts of) desserts around here loads. And then we assume this ought to be something that would be superb for human beings to have and try and discover it and flavor it.” Enter Bambu opened in mid-April at Hilldale Shopping Center.

The first storefront in Wisconsin, Bambu (550 N. Midvale Blvd.), is one in a small line of countrywide franchises making Southeast Asian dessert liquids, coffees, and teas. Menu items consist of treats like Vietnamese espresso, smoothies, milk teas, mochi, and waffles made with chewy, aromatic pandan jelly. The star at Bambu is the Vietnamese dessert chè. Chè is a category of cakes that encompasses puddings as well as iced beverages. Bambu specializes in the latter. Like tapioca pearls in bubble tea, chè starts offevolved with layers of colorful jellies flavored with Southeast Asian botanicals, including pandan, sweetened beans, or tapioca.

Some iterations are scattered with syrup-soaked basil seeds, fleshy coconut meat, or jackfruit or longan, a tropical fruit much like lychee. The drink is finished with a blanket of coconut milk or water and crowned with shaved ice. The result is a feast for the senses: lush and colorful appearance and flavor, with springy, chewy textures from the jellies. The beverage is meant to be renowned. Briefly, Wichitchu said, then quickly mixed to meld the syrupy layers with the coconut topping.

The beverages at Bambu benefit from freshness in their elements: The boba and jellies, prepared in residence day by day, are flavorful and fragrant but are now not overly sentimental. Young coconuts are damaged down using their hands earlier than each day’s service, Wichitchu said, and the ensuing glasses of milk and water have a wealthy, toasty high quality. Flavors are balanced and bright, and though the chè is certainly filling, they don’t feel weighty or overwhelming.

Bambu’s chè variety ranges from colorful and complicated Bambu Favorite ($6) to fruity and floral Taro Lover ($6). The keep additionally has a create-your-very-own choice (starting at $6.50). Wichita encourages clients to experiment with variables like sweetness or toppings.

“We just try to offer something that I think maybe human beings will like. However, you get a preference,” Wichitchu stated. “And then you may change it, anything you want. You pick out what you like.” While many objects on the menu are dairy-unfastened by design, clients might also be the alternative for non-dairy creamer, soy, or almond milk for dairy-based total drinks. Caffeine-unfastened options also are ample.

Bambu’s storefront, sandwiched between Muramoto Hilldale and Gigi’s Cupcakes, also targets delight. Decorated using Buchli, the interiors are ethereal and open, with high ceilings anchored by a vintage chandelier. A garden setup, complete with a miniature waterfall, greets clients at the door, setting a tranquil tone for the scholars, customers, or post-dinner guests who collect there.

With the appearance of the summer season, Wichitchu hopes to add door seating for the best people-watching. He’s searching beforehand to fall, kicking around concepts for hot beverages better than autumn’s colder temperatures. In the meantime, even though Wichita’s desires for Bambu are clear-cut. “I desire human beings can come and revel in the assembly vicinity,” Wichitchu stated. “I desire people to revel in the vicinity and revel in the liquids and enjoy the cakes.”


I love cooking and eating food. I always look for new recipes, new foods, and new restaurants. I just love food! My goal is to post interesting and delicious food and share recipes with the world. I have a passion for all types of food; especially Asian cuisine.