DBHS Student Publication.

The Bull's Eye

Alternative to traditional drinks

Catherine Zhang, Editor-in-Chief

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






As seemingly healthy dessert fads, such as the acai bowl and frozen yogurt, have risen in popularity over the years, I grew curious about che, a Vietnamese dessert soup with various exotic fruits, beans and jellies as toppings. After viewing aesthetic images, displaying Bambu’s colorful array of healthy che drinks on food blogs and social media accounts, I decided to visit one of the chain’s locations to try out the drinks.

Although I originally had high expectations of my beautiful-looking drink, I ultimately left feeling as if I had ingested a week’s worth of sugar from just one of Bambu’s drinks. However, the quality of the fresh ingredients and the wonderful pairing of toppings far outshine the overly sweetness of one of the drinks, and I anticipate returning to this store again in the future.

Bambu offers a variety of coconut milk or coconut juice based drinks called che, with various combinations of traditionally Asian ingredients, such as mung bean, pandan jelly, tapioca, boba pearls, exotic fruits and taro. Providing the option for each customer to personalize their drink, the chain allows substitutions for toppings for no additional cost. Other than che, which the chain is renowned for, Bambu also serves coffees, milk teas and smoothies.

Visiting the chain location in Rowland Heights with my sister, I was greeted with a friendly employee who recommended a couple of popular drinks. We opted for the Bambu Special for $5.75 and the Bambu Combo for $5. Within minutes, our drinks, which were made fresh to order, arrived.

The urban shop was decorated simplistically with various professional pictures of the che drinks hung on the walls and lights dangling from the ceiling. On one side, the chain was embellished with bamboo shoots, emphasizing the chain’s Asian roots in its drinks or paying homage to its chain name. Although I visited on a Saturday afternoon, there were no other customers and plenty of tables available.

The Bambu Special was a coconut juice-infused drink with the addition of fresh coconut, longan, pandan jelly and basil seeds. Although the drink wasn’t as pretty as some of the chain’s other creations, the employee mentioned that it was one of the store’s most popular drinks. The coconut juice tasted like normal coconut water, although the flavor was a bit sweeter. The ingredients in the drink combined perfectly as the textures of the rather bland, chewy pandan jelly and coconut complemented the soft, sweet basil seeds and longan.

Although I expected the pandan jelly to have the soft, almost rubbery consistency of most jellies, I was pleasantly surprised by its rather boba like texture. For me, the jelly was the highlight of the drink, as it provided chewiness and a slight hint of sweetness.

The chain boasts fresh fruit, and the coconut shreds definitely lived up to the hype, as it was so fresh that I found a piece of coconut skin still attached. The shreds eluded a coconut aftertaste, and its bland taste provided a refreshing, sharp contrast to the sweet longan, which is comparable to lychee.

In addition, we ordered one of the coconut milk based drinks, the Bambu combo, which included red bean, white bean, mung bean, taro, boba pearls, pandan jelly and colored jelly. I was particularly excited to try this drink since I especially enjoy coconut milk, boba pearls and jelly. The coconut milk base was richer and creamier than its juice equivalent in our other drink.

Despite my initial thoughts of how the drink perfectly satisfied my sweet tooth, as I drank more of the creation, I realized how overly sweet it was.

The combination of the toppings and the sweet coconut milk proved to be excessively sugary, as the pandan jelly was the sole non-sweet component. The red, white and mung bean toppings were extremely creamy and occupied essentially half of the drink, vastly overpowering the taste of the other ingredients. The blended beans gave the drink a more traditionally Vietnamese taste, but it also made the drink too heavy and rich. The boba pearls and jelly provided a contrasting chewy texture to the extremely mushy beans and taro.

Overall, I was content with my drinks, although I would opt to reduce or substitute the beans in the Bambu Combo. With the overwhelming amount of beans in the combo, it was way too sweet; I definitely preferred the more refreshing take on che of the Bambu Special.

Although the drinks were a bit pricey in comparison to other dessert shops, I see myself returning in the future with friends or after a heavy meal. All of the ingredients in the drinks I ordered were fresh and lived up to the hype of Bambu’s self proclaimed “unmatched che.”

SHAREShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrPrint this page

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Feature

    Spring Fashion

  • Alternative to traditional drinks

    Feature

    Brahmas marching to military school

  • Feature

    Summer fun on a budget

  • Alternative to traditional drinks

    Feature

    Jack-of-all-trades ending DB stay

  • Alternative to traditional drinks

    Feature

    Brewing up the perfect cup

  • Alternative to traditional drinks

    Feature

    Drawn to comics

  • Alternative to traditional drinks

    Feature

    Stirring up new skills

  • Alternative to traditional drinks

    Feature

    Ocean of possibilities

  • Feature

    Serving justice through teaching

  • Alternative to traditional drinks

    Feature

    Helping students behind the scenes

DBHS Student Publication.
Alternative to traditional drinks