Pho 91: does it work the same as chicken soup?

Yesterday, two days before I’m due to go on holiday, I feel that familiar tickle in my throat and ache in my sinuses. I’m getting a damn cold. It’s never a good time to get sick, but two days before a holiday that will involve 11 adults, two kids (I feel sorry for them), one French villa and more bottles of Bordeaux than I’m prepared to admit to, followed by a huge wedding in a chateau… I am pissed off. So I took action: vitamin C, Echinacea, warm salt water rinses, tea, and – the foodie’s choice of penicillin – soup. Pho, to be precise, packed with beef, chicken, herbs, onions, chilli sauce (extra – the more spice the better is my theory when it comes to colds) and, not unimportantly, plenty of liquid. It came from Pho 91, which is a jovial little place that’s not much bigger than a hole-in-the-wall and has a queue of people (albeit a short, fast-moving one) lining up to get their Vietnamese fix.

Pho 91 Amsterdam
The foodie’s penicillin: pho soup from Pho 91

I liked my soup – but it’s hard to tell whether that came from a discerning palate or a sore throat. The beef (which was in three forms: thinly sliced raw, brisket and meatballs) was uniformly good. I wasn’t so sure about the chicken, which was dry and felt unnecessary. I also could’ve done with more lime – but then again I am a citrus nutter.

I didn’t drink – which means that a) I really am sick, and b) it was a cheap dinner. The pho itself was €14, and my cup of tea €2.50. But the question is: will it work? Can I recover by tomorrow? A week of French restaurants and wine tastings says I’d damn well better try…

all the info

Pho 91 (Vietnamese)


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