New Vietnamese drink cafe: Bambu Drinks and Desserts

Left: #6 with pandan jelly, young coconut, red tapioca, jackfruit, palm seed, lychee and longan. Right: #7 with basil seed and longan

If our love of texture is any indication, then Bambu Desserts and Drinks will be a hit. The national chain opened its first Hawaii outpost recently, serving Vietnamese drinks/desserts reminiscent of the Filipino halo halo: crushed ice and coconut milk concoctions as colorful and varied in ingredients as a crackseed store.

Packed in the cups: green pandan jelly, chewy like gummy candy; red tapioca; yellow jackfruit; translucent palm seeds (my favorite–slippery and smooth); white, opaque strips of fresh, young coconut; red beans and green beans. And that's not even all of the options. If everything-but-the-kitchen-sink type drinks don't appeal, then there are more spare combinations, like a coconut milk-less basil seed and longan drink—sweet rehydrated longans and slippery basil seeds (visually, like tiny alien eyes, texturally, similar to tapioca with a crunchy center). 

There are also less exotic drinks: milk tea, frozen coffee drinks and smoothies that actually taste like fruit (Soursop! Jackfruit!) rather than a flavored powder.

Perfect for when our trade winds abandon us.

Drinks $3.25 to $4.50
Bambu Desserts and Drinks, 745 Keeaumoku Street #102 (next to Like Like Drive Inn), 949-0288