Rating: 8 / 10
I tend to steer clear of anything gimmicky or purposely made for tourists, however even the many locals I spoke to raved about this restaurant in a small alley sprouting off the end of Cau Calmette. My fears were substantially calmed upon entering the restaurant and seeing a sea of local people fighting over morsels at the tables. Sure, there were a few lost looking tourists asking each other what a "Banh Xeo" was, but generally the mood was convivial.
Turn right at the end
Since the decibel levels indoors were of an offensive measure, I lucked into one of the only outside tables as a Vietnamese couple took their last bite's and paid their bill. I quickly ordered a lime soda to quell the evening fire, a humidity that never abates though the sun is a distant memory.
In quick routines my starter of spring rolls, and my Banh Xeo came out to gasps from the neighboring table. That look over that betrays the fact they ordered the wrong thing. Regardless, I tucked in, mouth beginning to wake with carefully planned flavours.
Overall this was definitely one of the better meals I ate in Saigon when it comes to sit-down restaurants. Sure the street food can be more authentic tasting, but with a flight the next day I try not to tempt fate in the upset stomach department and go for something "safer". If I came with a single critique, it would be a generous pinch of salt in the omelette would have brought it up a notch in satisfaction. Apart from that, it was a delicious meal.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"