Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fried Bananas at Thach Che Hien Khanh - Westminster

What is that golden-fried club, all crispy and glorious? Why it's a fried banana, of course, the donut of South East Asia (if you don't count the things they also do to fried dough).

We took this one after our lunch at Quan Hy last week. Thach Che Hien Khanh is located right across the plaza, donchaknow?! And it is the preeminent purveyor of all things sweet and dessert in Little Saigon. There are lines even when there shouldn't be, in the middle of the afternoon. People patiently queue up to order from steam trays filled with the sugary, the bean-based and the sticky-rice-anchored. What you order gets piled into take-out containers, sold and then consumed for later.

But we came in with the express desire to have fried bananas. I pointed at the tray, where they were stacked out in the open. "Two!", I said, holding up the appropriate amount of fingers for emphasis. Our cashier proceeded to pick up with tongs one, two, three, and four of the browned fat logs into a paper bag. She looked up, saw the puzzled look on my face and replied, "Oh I thought you meant two dollars' worth! Sorry!"

When we got back in the car, we couldn't wait until we got home to eat them. Biting into one was like that first tap of a spoon on a creme brulee: there was just a slight resistance that quickly gave way to the blubbery custard beneath.

On this fried banana, what seemed like a natural crust had formed on the batter--a sugary, caramel shield that made it still inexplicably crunchy even after sitting there out in the elements for probably at least an hour since its birth. It was delicious. One of the better and most unadulterated fried bananas I've eaten.

Now I'm wishing the cashier left the other two banana fritters in there.

Thach Che Hien Khanh
(714)839-8143
9639 Bolsa Ave., #A
Westminster, CA 92683

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10 Comments:

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Dye-A-Graham said...

Bananas are my favorite fruit. I love them plain, fried and frozen!! And I want the one you have...are those sesame seeds I see? Nomnomnom

 
At 12:18 PM, Blogger Madison said...

I LOVE che! I love this place! They have an amazing selection of Vietnamese desserts. Fried bananas..I wish I had one now.

 
At 4:00 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Dye-A-Graham,

It is, indeed, sesame seeds! It didn't need it, but I'm glad it was there to lend it a little bit of nuttiness.

Madison,

This place is cool! If it were next door I'd keep myself with a constant supply of both their fried bananas and the bánh cam!

 
At 12:05 AM, Blogger EatTravelEat said...

This sounds so interesting especially how the outside is crispy like creme brulee! Haven't had bananas in this style before, will definitely try to check it out on my visits to Vietnamese places soon.

 
At 6:20 AM, Blogger Bill said...

I would agree this place is good. I remember when they first started out on Westminster across from the Vietnamese ghetto. It still there but it's a walk in and out affair now. No more lounging and enjoying the che, so sad.

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

EatTravelEat,

Also don't miss some of the other che! And the sesame balls! It's a veritable wonderland of VNese sweet treats!

Bill,

It would be nice if they had a few seats to sit down and relax, but then I like the system they have now. It's friggin' efficient and really ordered, unlike say, Croissant Dore and Banh Mi Che Cali on Magnolia and Bolsa (that place gives me a headache!)

 
At 7:20 AM, Blogger Bill said...

No kidding Banh Mi Che Cali is a nightmare. I swear I'm in a mosh pit when I get there.

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger Runeatrepeat said...

I am going there. Done.

 
At 7:04 AM, Anonymous polishari auto said...

I love bananas, too, but I never tried a fried one before. Guess it’s time to try one. It looks great.

 
At 8:47 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Bill,

Amen!

Runeatrepeat,

So many goodies await you! Not just the bananas! But definitely get the bananas!

polishariauto,

Fried bananas: the best use of bananas.

 

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