Madison is something but a desert wasteland. Bakeries abound. It’s boom times for chocolatiers. And with spring’s arrival, ice cream stores throughout the isthmus have begun slinging their first scoops.
But when Arom Wichitchu looked for goodies traditional to his local Thailand, he found the city arising brief.
That changed six months ago while Wichitchu, the proprietor of Sa Bai Thong, changed into approached by using his enterprise partners, sister-in-regulation Taratip Buchli and Maihoua Xiong. Their goal becomes simple: build something to fill the space.
“At some point, we had been wondering, oh, we did no longer see any dessert, Asian dessert around,” Wichitchu stated. “We did now not see (the one’s varieties of) cakes round right here loads. And then we think this should be something that would be very, superb for people to have and try to 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 a small line of national franchises making Southeast Asian dessert liquids, coffees, and teas. Menu gadgets include treats like Vietnamese espresso, smoothies, milk teas, mochi, and waffles made with chewy, aromatic pandan jelly.
The celebrity at Bambu is the Vietnamese dessert chè.
Chè is a class of desserts that encompasses puddings in addition to iced liquids. Bambu focuses on the latter. Like tapioca pearls in bubble tea, chè begins 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 a culmination like jackfruit or a longan, tropical fruit like lychee. The drink is completed with a blanket of coconut milk or water and topped with shaved ice.
The result is a banquet for the senses: lush and colorful in appearance and flavor, with springy, chewy textures from the jellies. The beverage is meant to be admired; briefly, Wichitchu stated, then speedy mixed to meld the syrupy layers with the coconut topping.
The beverages at Bambu benefit from the freshness in their ingredients: The boba and jellies, prepared in-house every day, are flavorful and aromatic, however not overly sentimental. Young coconuts are broken down by hand earlier than every day’s carrier, Wichitchu stated, and the ensuing milk and waters have a rich, toasty high quality. Flavors are balanced and brilliant, and though the chè is filling, they don’t experience weightiness or overwhelming.