Once again, Anthony Bourdain has led me to a great meal. After watching his show about Vietnam, I knew I had to try Banh Xeo 46 A and I was not disappointed. I walked to the restaurant from my hotel and when a special tourist police offered me his help, he pointed me in the right direction with a big thumb up, nothing like a local seal of approval!
The restaurant is located in a narrow alley, I use this pink church as a point of reference since it was the easiest and nearest point to find on my map of Saigon.
Banh Xeo 46A is an open air restaurant which in Vietnam is a very nice way to try to catch a breeze.
Banh Xeo is a Vietnamese crispy crepe garnished with pork, shrimps and bean sprouts. If you have been to Japan, there is a certain resemblance to okonomiyaki.
The cooking is done on tiny charcoal stoves which are pretty much metal cans. The open air kitchen is perfect for making banh xeo.
The place was packed with locals and the atmosphere was awesome. I shared a banh xeo with my wife as a late afternoon snack before heading to a sea food restaurant. I could have easily eaten a whole banh xeo and sampled a couple other dishes, but too little time and so many places to try.
The banh xeo itself was crunchy, burning hot and served with fresh lettuce and herbs. The idea is to break down the banh xeo in smaller pieces, wrap it in lettuce and dip it nuoc cham sauce. Simple and delicious!
Banh Xeo 46A is definitely a place to visit in Saigon. Vietnamese cuisine has somehow adopted the crepe from France and transformed into a mouth-watering dish which can give the crepe stands of Paris a run for their money.