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This summer I found Hien Khanh by accident when I was going to Thanh Son, now I pretty much come here every time I’m back at home from NY.
Hien Khanh specializes in che (Vietnamese sweet soups) and xoi (sweet or savory glutinous rice). It’s located in a small strip mall in Little Saigon. There isn’t any décor to speak of and the place is basically just a big cafeteria style steam table which has various desserts and other goods and there are some small refrigerators in the back.
I don’t think most of workers speak English very well, but they can speak enough to get by and I’ve sort of figured out what I’ve liked by just going there a few times. Plus everything is laid out in front of you, so it’s very easy to figure out what you’re ordering.
Here’s what I got last time:
- Che Ba Mau: This is a drink / dessert made from mung beans, red bean, coconut milk, tapioca, these multi colored jellies and a mung bean paste that tastes like custard. It’s served cold with semi-crushed ice. I eat it with a spoon and a straw. I really love che ba mau and this is the best version I’ve ever had. Everything tastes awesome and I really like the mung beans and the mung bean paste that tastes like custard. It’s reasonably rich and my mom who doesn’t even like rich desserts thought this was really good. I highly recommend getting this. 4.6/5
- Flan: I think this maybe the best flan I’ve ever had. It looks similar to the Mexican flan except the flan is so light, so much lighter than the Mexican version. The caramel sauce at the bottom is great and really goes well with the flan, it’s not too sweet and just perfect. I could eat this all the time. 4.6/5
- Sua Chua (Yogurt): This is a Vietnamese yogurt that is very thick. It’s sweet and sour at the same time, it tastes sort of like Pink Berry although it’s a yogurt not a frozen yogurt and it’s more creamy. I like this a lot although it’s probably not as good as the other desserts, but it’s worth trying especially if you don’t like things that are too sweet as this is not too sweet. 4/5
- Xoi Man: This was a dish that was savory as opposed to sweet, but it looked really good so I decided to get it. It’s sticky rice that is topped with Chinese sausage, shredded pork, golden fried onions, dried shrimp and diced green onions. The combination of flavors is really great and goes great with the texture of the sticky rice, I really liked this dish. Also, the sticky rice was sticky, but not really heavy like some sticky rice. I highly recommend this although I really tastes a lot more Chinese than Vietnamese. 4.5/5
- Xoi Nep Than: This is black sticky rice was smeared with mung bean paste (same one that tastes like custard), sprinkled with sesame seeds, salt and shredded coconut. It also comes with a hot sweet coconut milk sauce that has tapioca in it, which you pour over it. This was also really good. 4.25/5
Overall, I really like this place; everything is really high quality and fresh. I’ve really grown to like Vietnamese desserts quite a bit. I want to come back and try every dish they have to figure out what the best ones are. I highly recommend this place.