[Ho Chi Minh City] Bánh Xèo is a type of Vietnamese crepe, which marries the crunch of its crispy yellow shell with the freshness of its fillings.

Wanting to eat a good version of Banh Xeo, I made my way to Bếp Mẹ In located on Le Thanh Ton in Ho Chi Minh City.

It is tucked away in an alley near the bustling Ben Thanh Market at District 1.

Once you find it (thanks Google Maps!), it is a culinary gem in this part of Ho Chi Minh City.

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Stepping in is like traveling back to Vietnam during the 80s. It is as if you have entered someone’s home (minus the many tourists), while the mother is cooking in the kitchen.

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For some, this place is brimming with nostalgic childhood memories. Picture it as a slice of a Vietnamese life.

However, come during lunch time and everything may be rather frazzled due to its popularity.

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The Michelin Bib Gourmand eatery has been praised for serving honest, flavourful food that reflects genuine, traditional Vietnamese cuisine.

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Their menu features family-style Vietnamese food, as well as street food specialties, classic dishes, and modern interpretations of traditional flavours.

As their slogan says, “Mama’s Kitchen with a Twist”.

And if budget is an issue, you will be happy to know prices are reasonable. Dishes range from $2 to $10, not bad for a diner serving quality, home-style food.

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Must try is the Banh Xeo or Vietnamese pancake which comes in two variants: Vietnamese Pancake with Shrimp and Pork (VND139,000) and Vietnamese Seafood Pancake Banh Xeo Hai San (VND239000).

The crispy shell is made from rice flour, water, and turmeric powder, which gives it a distinctive yellow hue.

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While I had a number of Banh Xeo before, the pancake was indeed paper-thin crunchy.

The savoury fillings were more on average side to me though, but nothing the addictive sauces cannot save.

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After seeing the next table brimming with joy after ordering the Dau Hu (tofu), I knew I had to order a plate (even though I was already quite full).

The tofu came in 2 versions: Fried Tofu with Egg & Sesame Seeds (VND119,000) and Tofu with Mushrooms in Soy Sauce (VND99,000).

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Get the Deep-Fried Tofu (and thank me later).

The outer layer of the tofu was impeccably crispy, while the inside remained astonishingly soft and silky.

And that green sauce… vibrant, tangy, slightly spicy, and so refreshing.

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The Grilled Chicken Leg with Chilli Salt (VND129,000) didn’t look too fancy here, but it was still succulent and tasty.

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Straightforward home-style cooking livened up with a good rubbing of chilli salt for heat. Do give it a dip with that zesty, spicy, and slightly sweet sauce.

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The dishes need their rice.

You can pair it up with steamed white rice or go a notch up with Fried Rice in Coconut with Shrimp and Egg (VND149,000) served in a coconut shell.

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Far from the plainness of steamed rice, this fragrant rice dish carries sweet notes from the coconut complementing the savoury seafood and egg.

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There’s plenty more to discover. I heard their Beef in Dark Sauce with Chilis and Garlic Fried Rice is spot on.

Bếp Mẹ ỉn has received acclaim for its dedication to serving honest, flavourful food that captures the essence of traditional Vietnamese cuisine.

Good to go, especially if you are visiting Ben Thanh Market.

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Bếp Mẹ Ỉn – Lê Thánh Tôn
136 Đ. Lê Thánh Tôn, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)

Google Maps – Bếp Mẹ Ỉn

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