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Sip on Happiness at Bambu

By Michelle Lee Photos By Nathalie Walker
December 15, 2013

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While snowstorms and below freezing temperatures hamper much of the world, it is a very different situation here in the Aloha State with its never-ending supply of sunshine and trade winds. To offer the perfect hot weather pick-me-up, Bambu Desserts & Drinks invites all to try its collection of refreshing, Vietnamese-style tropical desserts and drinks.

Founded by four sisters living in San Jose, Calif., Bambu is one of the most successful Vietnamese dessert franchises to date, with approximately 50 locations nationwide. “Our concept is to offer all the traditional sweets and drinks people enjoy in Vietnam,” says Daren Tran, co-owner of Bambu Desserts & Drinks. “Because Vietnam’s weather is also tropical, our drinks cater perfectly to the residents and visitors of Hawaii.”

Taking advantage of the Island’s access to fresh fruits, Bambu proudly offers virtually every variation of the fruit smoothie. “We use only high-quality produce, buying locally when possible,” says Tran. “To capture the perfect concentration of flavors, we are very conscientious about not including any sugar additives and customizing each drink just the way you love it.”

Popular smoothies include Taro Coconut ($4.25), Lychee ($4.25), Strawberry Banana ($4.25) and Avocado ($4.25). Customers will also appreciate the dessert house’s homemade Milk Tea ($3.75), made from brewing fresh black, jasmine and green tea leaves.

For a truly authentic Vietnamese experience, Bambu’s lineup of fresh desserts is a must. The Che 3 Mau ($4.75) layers red, white and mung beans with taro and pandan jelly, which is made from scratch. Another popular item is Hat Luu Suong Sao Banh Lot ($4.75) with red tapioca, grass jelly, pandan jelly and coconut milk. For a lighter consistency, Bambu Special ($5.25) adds coconut juice along with basil seed.

Although categorized as “dessert drinks,” such sweet delights are surprisingly filling. Che Trai Cey ($4.75), which intertwines fresh lychee, red tapioca, jackfruit, palm seeds, pandan jelly and young coconut, has been a local favorite since the shop opened. “People say it is like the Vietnamese version of halohalo,” says Tran.

Because of Bambu’s considerable success, the shop will soon be opening a second location in Aiea.

Bambu Desserts & Drinks

745 Keeaumoku St. Ste. 102, Honolulu (with additional location in Aiea)
949-0288
Open daily, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.