A petite Vietnamese addition to NYC’s burgeoning South-East Asian dessert community.
You may recall that earlier this year, we published a review of Ban Bè Vietnamese Bakery’s cookies (see here). This much coveted tin of cookies was only available throughout the pandemic as an elusive pop-up. Fast forward a few months, and Ban Bè has transformed into a brick-and-mortar store hidden among the brownstones of our leafy Brooklyn neighbourhood. Having launched operations in early July, it is currently opened on selected days of the week — check its Instagram (linked below) for the most up-to-date opening hours.
On each occasion that we walked over to sample Ban Bè’s dessert offerings, we have been greeted by 30-minute long lines on weekdays or up to an hour on weekends, only to learn that what we want has sold out! :O Below are what we have managed to try over several visits:
- Cà Phê Rau Câu Flan ($7) — Ban Bè’s coffee-flavoured layered cake is a showstopper. Long-time readers of this dessert blog may have noted that over the last few months, we have been traipsing around NYC searching for all the best Malaysian kuih cakes (see here, here, here, here, here). Similar in style, but lighter because it is made of agar instead of rice, this Vietnamese dessert is an especially wonderful summer treat.
- Bánh Kẹp Lá Dứa ($5) — only slightly sweet, this pandan waffle makes for a great breakfast treat. We particularly love its chewy, mochi-like texture too.
- Bánh Bò Hấp ($8) — this quartet of pastel-coloured cakes were essentially mini-sponge cakes. They came accompanied with a small crucible of coconut cream, into which you can dip the cakes if you were craving for more sweetness. We preferred the cakes on their own.
- Bánh Khoai Mì Nướng ($6) — we adore cassava cakes, and the best one we have had so far in NYC may be found at Kabisera. Lady Wong is a close second, but lacks Kabisera’s caramelized surface. Ban Bè’s version had a more grainy texture than expected.
- Durian Ice Cream ($10) — overlooking the slightly over-priced figure, Ban Bè’s durian ice cream is exceptional. It is ultra-creamy, and doesn’t shy away from the strong pungent flavour of the fruit.
- Sữa Dừa Lá Dứa Đá ($7-8) — we love all things pandan, and this pale green coconut milk drink is no exception.
Although it is still in the very early stages of opening, Ban Bè has so much promise already. And as the newest member of a burgeoning community of wonderful South-East Asian dessert shops in NYC, we look forward to seeing more Vietnamese desserts being introduced to the city!
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Ban Bè Vietnamese Bakery, 187 Sackett Street, Carroll Gardens / Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
- ☑ Budget: $-$$.
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Vietnamese desserts.
- ☑ Must-eat: The Coffee Flan Agar Cake, and the Durian Ice Cream.
- ☑ The short and sweet story: A petite Vietnamese addition to NYC’s burgeoning South-East Asian dessert community.