Che-Licious is a recently-opened Vietnamese sandwich and dessert shop on Denman, and they’re elevating the basic banh mi to something quite glorious, as well as serving up colourful, tasty, and fun Vietnamese desserts.
On the savoury side of the menu are salad rolls, grilled skewers, and sandwiches packed with flavour. Their banh mi range from the more traditional, like the Saigon Signature (Various cold cut meats, BBQ pork, pork floss, pate) to the inventive, like the Ducking Good (Roasted duck, ginger, scallion) and the Seoul Savoury (Kalbi beef, kimchi, seaweed strips).
The bread is the perfect meld of crunchy, flakey exterior and soft, light interior, and the meat nicely cooked with a great complexity of flavour. Look for wild specials promoted on social media, like their Fried Chicken Ramen Banh Mi, which was around for just one week earlier this month.
The dessert side is where Che-Licious really shines. “Che” is the Vietnamese word for dessert, and the name is right: this stuff is delicious. They’ve got a range of Bubble Teas, and a fun hot-and-cold “Icy Bun” sandwich (warm sweet bun pressed around gelato and the “topping” of your choice), but the best are their Che: Tall cups of drinkable desserts full of house-made jellies, “pearls,” and other texture-riffic bits and bites.
The Che-Licious Special is their most popular, and it’s made with Pandan jelly, agar jelly, pom pearls, toddy palm, jackfruit, longan, and coconut milk. Served with a wide straw and a spoon for scooping, these filling sweet treats are unforgettable.
Address: 1120 Denman Street, West End
Hours: Monday to Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday to Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.