Located at 8 Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Ward 7, Binh Thanh District, Xoi Bat welcomes its customers every day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The establishment was honored with a place on the Michelin Guide’s list of 29 Bib Gourmand restaurants in Vietnam in June.
Bib Gourmand selections are known for their simple, easy-to-enjoy cooking styles, offering delicious dishes at affordable prices.
Phuc Thinh, the owner of the restaurant, prepares his mother’s ingredients according to her styles and recipes. Photo by VnExpress/Van Khanh
Huynh Phuc Thinh, owner and culinary benefactor of Xoi Bat, shares that although sticky rice is a familiar staple in Vietnam, its essence is not recognized by foreign palates. Driven by a mission to share southern flavors with friends around the world and preserve his mother’s cherished recipes, Thinh began his culinary journey that led him to create Xoi Bat, where his mother runs the kitchen.
The restaurant features a simple but welcoming interior with plenty of plants and five sets of wooden tables and chairs, capable of seating around 20 people at a time.
Xoi Bat started operations in 2021. Thinh says the business grew at first, but then the owner of the rented space took over half of the property, so the restaurant is now smaller.
The interior of the restaurant is minimalist, with wooden chairs and tables throughout. Photo by VnExpress/Van Khanh
As the name suggests, Xoi Bat (“Sticky Rice Bowl”) specializes in serving sticky rice in bowls.
The restaurant offers nine side dishes: pâté, braised pork, pepper braised pork, shredded chicken, pork rolls, intestine stew with coconut juice, char siu, omelette and braised eggs. Besides the char siu, Thinh’s mother prepares each side dish fresh every day.
The cost of a serving of sticky rice, accompanied by homemade kimchi and carrot soup, ranges from VND 35,000 to VND 65,000 ($1.50 to $2.70) depending on the ingredients selected.
Thinh says the most popular order is the “mixed bat xoi,” which includes pâté, braised eggs, shredded chicken, intestine stew with coconut juice and char siu.
A bowl of sticky rice topped with a variety of ingredients, topped with a dollop of braised pork sauce. Photo by VnExpress/Van Khanh
The gut is skillfully managed to eliminate any unwanted organ odor while retaining its crispness. Lean ground meat is used for char siu, which makes it tender, aromatic, and not dry. Beyond the seasoning, Thinh believes the restaurant’s unique flavor comes from selecting high-quality ingredients. “When I can’t prepare a dish myself, I make sure to get it from trustworthy suppliers known for their dedication to quality,” Thinh said.
However, the variety of side dishes is not the only factor that contributes to the success of Xoi Bat. According to Thinh, people who come for sticky rice are mainly looking for high-quality rice, enjoying it even more than its tasty side dishes.
Freshly cooked sticky rice at Xoi Bat. Photo by VnExpress/Van Khanh
The restaurant produces sweet and fragrant sticky rice, infused with coconut milk and pandan leaves. Thinh said he even closed his shop at times when the rice did not meet his exacting standards. He explains that making sticky rice involves precise steps, from soaking to cooking, a process he has studied and mastered.
“To maintain the rice’s white color, firmness and texture, the cooking process requires a fresh start each time. I cook 15 to 20 kilograms of glutinous rice per day, not all at once, but in batches When a batch is almost done, I start the next one,” Thinh said.
With an average daily production of 200 bowls and peak service extending to 360, Xoi Bat’s popularity exploded after earning a place on Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list. This recognition increased the restaurant’s visibility and stabilized the flow of customers.
Before the Michelin recognition, the restaurant had a small group of foreign customers, but since then more and more customers have come, including famous bloggers. Thinh shares that these influencers praise the sticky rice dish after trying it. Moreover, they are often pleasantly surprised to discover the diversity of Vietnamese cuisine, beyond the simple banh mi And photo. Thinh sees this as a positive sign for his mission to introduce the world to the many facets of Vietnamese cuisine.
A serving of sticky rice comes with a soup of kimchi and carrots. Photo by VnExpress/Van Khanh
Seduced by the Michelin label, Thao Nhi, a resident of Binh Thanh district, was encouraged to try Xoi Bat. She said the portion of sticky rice is generous and worth the price. The rice has a mild flavor of coconut milk, but what stood out was the pate, which has a pleasant smell and lacks the bitterness you may find elsewhere.
For diners like Quang Anh from Phu Nhuan District, who aren’t usually fond of sweets, the sticky rice here offers a unique flavor profile. He appreciates the restaurant for adding kimchi and soup to the dish, which he says breaks the monotony. He loves the tangy, spicy taste of kimchi, and the way it stays crispy. The soup, on the other hand, balances everything out and prevents the dish from seeming too heavy.