November 16, 2007
46A Dinh Cong Trang Street
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Phone: (04) 824 1110
Goi Cuon (50,000 VND)
Cha Gio (50,000 VND)
Banh Xeo Dac Biet (35,000 VND)
Everyone and their mother knows about Banh Xeo 46A. What was once a local joint with a dash of tourists has become the premiere destination for Vietnamese crepes in the city.
Job well done to the PR folks behind this restaurant.
Based on a recommendation from a fellow Viet Kieu, I visited on a Friday night with The Astronomer and our friend Zach. The metal tables and patio seating reminded me of eating lunch in the quad back in high school.
The eatery was bumpin’ the entire time we were there, which was cool because big crowds equal sweet atmosphere.
We started off the evening with ten cha gio and ten goi cuon. I love eating with boys with hearty appetites. The cha gio were the fattiest (you know, wide) ones yet and filled with a pork and crab mixture that rocked all of our taste buds. A little lettuce leaf wrapping and a dip of nuoc cham made the cha gio even better. These may rival Yen Do as my favorite cha gio in the city.
The goi cuon were awesome as well. They were larger than average and packed with the freshest shrimp, pork, herbs and vermicelli noodles around.
[Hmm... I'm sensing a trend here. I think 46A's popularity with westerners has led them to super-size their portions.]
The house specialty banh xeo was stuffed with an abundance of pork belly slices, shrimp, bean sprouts and onions. The proper way of eating banh xeo is by wrapping up a piece of the crepe in greens and herbs and dipping it in nuoc cham. However, I still eat it the no fuss way my mom prepared it while growing up—small bowl + banh xeo + nuoc cham – greens and herbs.
The crepe was good, but a little soggy in some parts and in my opinion, not worthy of the hype machine.
The hype should instead focus on the cha gio, because they were so freakin’ delicious!