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Pho in Amsterdam?

  • k

Anyone know if there's Vietnamese pho to be found in Amsterdam? I don't even care if it's particularly good pho. I just need to satisfy this craving. Thanks in advance!

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  1. I know the feeling. A few months back I tried a place near Thaise Snackbar Bird on Zeedijk. It took me a while to find pho in the voluminous menu, but they had it. Not bad – I’ve certainly had worse. So: craving satisfied!

    I can’t remember the name of the place, but I found a link for Vietnamees Restaurant "Wellcome" – which may be it, although I’m pretty sure the entrance was on Zeedijk. If not, I’ll also post a link to the Snackbar that is only a minute or so by foot.

    Bird Thais Restaurant
    Zeedijk 72- 74 Amsterdam

    Vietnamees Restaurant "Wellcome"
    Geldersekade 56 Amsterdam

    1. Maybe at Cambodja City (they also have Vietnamese dishes): Albert Cuypstraat 58.
      Pho is not really well known in Amsterdam.

      2 Replies
      1. re: tertsie

        Cambodja City? of course you can try, but I wouldn't bother if I were you. Since the change of management there, some time ago, they changed in something horribly under par. The rave review they received years ago, is still pinned to the frontside, but this has nothing to do with what is actually served there.

        1. re: deepsandwich

          Ah, didn't know about Management change, this doesnt sound good.

      2. had Pho at 'Wellcome' yesterday in between my pub therapy sessions [i mean pub crawl]. it should probably cost €5 instead of €10. i'd normally make it at home but thought i'd give 'Wellcome' a go once and for all as i walk by this place all the time on my pub crawl route. (the pics are still in the camera.)

        Krees, give Wellcome a go. i think it matches your criteria.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Pata_Negra

          Thanks for adding the price. I knew that it was certainly over €5, but couldn’t remember how much.

          …and speaking of overpriced noodle soups, Wagamama could be another option if you decide that you are craving €15 ramen instead of €10 pho.

          1. re: rastan

            that's insane! i usually have a bowl of Wagamama ramen soup in Antwerpen on the way back to central station after my pub crawl. costs no more than €10.

            a bowl of Pho in Paris used to cost something like €9 and it was superior in comparison. but then when i go to Paris i moan the plane ticket to Vietnam costs just a little more! lol the longing never ends.

        2. Vietnamese Restaurant "Wellcome" at Zeedijk 57 (but I think there's also a door on the other side on Geldersekade) satisfied my cravings for pho and bun dishes. It's a touristy area, so it's not a super cheap meal (about 10 euro for 1 serving of pho or bun), but it is yummy, and the service is speedy. You'll have to ask for chopsticks, though. They default to knife and fork.

          1. there's a new Vietnamese restaurant that serves Pho:
            haven´t been yet myself but read some good reviews.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Klary

              Judging from their website it looks like they're aiming to be sort of upscale Vietnamese. I'd definitely be interested to hear if the food warrants the higher prices!

            2. Vietnamese is my favourite cuisine, and I reckon Xinh is as good as it gets in Amsterdam. I've eaten at "Wellcome" and wasn't terribly impressed. I had the Pho at Xinh and it was pretty tasty. Avoid the fresh salad rolls though - very expensive for a very small amount (especially when I make these at home and know how much they cost to make).

              1. I've been waiting for phỏ to "arrive" in Amsterdam for over 13 years. Sadly for us (luckily for the Vietnamese), Vietnam wasn't part of the Dutch empire, and even more sadly, the present-day Dutch are content with Chinese, Indonesian and Thai cuisine. So each time I go to France or the US, I eat as many goi cuon and bowls of phỏ as I possibly can (in the US Pacific Northwest, phỏ shops are almost as common as Starbucks, and you can normally get a giant bowl for under $7).

                The inconsistently spelled "Wellcome" (it's "Welcome" on their outdoor sign) has been around for ages, but I've always been discouraged by their very broad menu (always a red flag about a restaurant's focus), the high prices and the formality of the place. That and the reviews which are sometimes positive, but usually by people who've never eaten Vietnamese food before.

                The same skepticism (and dreadful reviews) has kept me from trying Cambodja City.

                This year, however, three more options have popped up in Amsterdam, leading me to imagine that we may be seeing an awakening here:

                Xinh has already been mentioned, though I have the same misgivings as "eoj" about the prices and the fashion-factor. It's really hard to trust a place that trendy, and I'm sure we've all been burned by this in the past.

                Maybe it's my frame of reference, but in my mind a phỏ shop should be more like fast-food or a deli counter than a restaurant. Fluorescent lighting, plastic tables, paper napkins and a long line at the door seem both more encouraging and appropriate. But I digress.

                Down the Reestraat just a short distance away is another chic-ish restaurant called "Nooch" (http://www.nooch.nl/). I went there for a group lunch and nearly lost it when I saw "pho" on the menu. I was absolutely appalled by the price €14.75 (?!?), but since it was the boss's treat, I ordered it anyway. The broth was good, the accompaniments correct (fresh basil, coriander, bean sprouts and lime on the side), but I had to order hot chilis from the waitress who was completely confused by my request. <eyes rolling> On top of that, it was half the size it should have been—like of a child's portion—at double the price!

                This week I discovered a place on the Van Woustraat called "Suvi" which has an odd split menu of japanese sushi and vietnamese standards. (This perhaps explains their name.) I was drawn in by the sandwich board on the sidewalk offering phỏ bò for just €6! Sadly, this was their lunch special price only. I ended up ordering anyway, recognising that if I wanted phỏ in Amsterdam, I'd better be prepared to pay whatever they ask. Only €12 this time, and I took it to go with an order of "nem quân" (a little like goi cuôn (summer rolls/ rouleaux de printemps), but with chicken). The phỏ was again, tasty, but there were little to no fresh herbs or chilis, maybe three bean sprouts, no limes, and the rice noodles were those really thick kind, more like udon than I'm used to. That said, the beef was superb, if a little thickly sliced. The cuôn were enormous, and quite delicious, if lacking on the essential greens (coriander, mint, green onion, lettuce) though the chef still needs a little practice assembling them—they were soggy and too loosely rolled to allow dipping, and all of the chicken placed in the center, like a maki roll, rather than just inside the rice paper.

                So now I guess I have a better measure of what's out there, and I'm encouraged to see some movement in the right direction. I'll break my boycott now and visit Wellcome and Xihn, just to get a comparison. Whoever sets up a proper phỏ stand in Amsterdam (selling just the essentials, at the right price) could benefit enormously; as will all us addicts.

                3 Replies
                1. re: cpoticha

                  Try out Xinh, there's actually Vietnamese people making the food, which is encouraging. Trendy? Yes. Reservation needed? Yes. Overpriced? Yes. But they do good Pho (though the fish balls were a bit rubbery, that's my only complaint).

                  1. re: amansterdam

                    I went to Xinh last night for dinner and can vouch for its authenticity. I am a pho lover and constantly on the hunt for the perfect broth, (since I've never been to Vietnam and can't vouch for the amazingness of their pho) which I have only had twice - once being in Paris (Le Bambou) and the other made by the mother of my Vietnamese best friend.

                    That being said, Xinh's broth was excellent. Full of anise/cinnamon flavor and rich. All of the herbs (thai basil, cilantro, etc) and flavorings (hoisin/sriracha) were there as well. At 15 euro a bowl it's the most expensive pho I've ever had, but definitely in my top 3 now.

                    Thanks for this thread, without it I wouldn't have been able to satisfy this craving I've had during my vacation. :)

                    Now back to New York and the lackluster pho there. :(

                  2. re: cpoticha

                    Talking about my US. The Pacific Northwest is where I grown up. Pho isn't that expensive and so the Chinese foods. I couldn't find any good Chinese food here in Nederland. When I find a Chinese restaurant the food is so rediculous expensive.

                  3. Welcome on Zeedijk is 'ok'

                    Suvi on Van Woustraat was better, Pho Ga (Chicken) was really tasty and the fresh rice paper springroll was delicious!

                    I was at a dinner party a last week with a few foodies and chefs in amsterdam and someone mentioned Ken San's Vietnamese Street Food near Rembrantplein. ok this sounds promising! i'm going to give this one a try for sure. http://www.ken-san.nl/

                    If I want a trendier restaurant, I'll give Xihn a try. One of my neighbors recommended it, but a viet friend from AU said it was 'ok'.

                    1. It turns out there's a place in Zwolle, which is closer to where I live anyway. Bonus!

                      Ly Vietnamese Specialiteiten on Steenstraat (http://www.ly-vietnamees-eten.nl/). The pho is delicious and really hits the spot. I couldn't say how how it compares with pho at other places in Amsterdam or elsewhere, but I will go again. I believe they only serve it on the weekends.

                      1. Another Vietnamese restaurant has opened in Amsterdam: Cafe Saigon (conveniently located just near Leidseplein but on the first floor so you don't notice!). The restaurant is run by Chinese people and I wasn't impressed with everything I ate there but the pho was pretty good - it should be really, they claim it's their signature dish. http://www.saigon-cafe.nl/

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: eatamsterdam

                          In Amsterdam you can eat the best Pho at Xinh. There came a few extra Vietnamese restaurants like Miss saigon & Saigon Cafe, but they all seem to be more chinese-Vietnamese. Xinh is owned by Vietnamese people and the whole staff is Vietnamese as well. The pho they have is truly fantastic. It has a deep and rich flavor. You can taste it's quality. Compared to other restaurants, this is quite an expensive pho. But the size for it, truly can make this pho a main course. Yes at other restaurants the pho are cheaper, but the ingredients are less, as well to flavorless and the bowls smaller. Xinh is also trendy, with nice looking staff and great decorating. The owner is such a friendly, modern Vietnamese lady. After a talk, I found out her passion to cook food. It's such a pleasure to know that you come somewhere for dinner, that owners not only do it for the money, but just because themselves are foodies. Best Pho, highly recommended!

                        2. Absolutely no Pho or any damn vietnamese restaurant here buddy. I have to cook Pho at home if I want to eat Pho. It is hard to find stuff at the vietnamese grocery store too. The only place to find good vietnamese food is in Paris, France :-)

                          1. Xinh is actually pretty good, and not just for pho. The menu is rather limited, but everything I've tried was very good. Definitely authentic. I think it could go up against any Vietnamese restaurant in Paris. And Saigon's pho isn't bad at all. Saigon isn't on par with Xinh, though. But in a pinch, it's fine.