The problem with Papeda

Phở Mum recently opened on Alum Street. The official opening ceremony was held last Wednesday and the little store really turned out well. It’s a bit like the opposite of Mikado, no wonder he has the same boss and the same interior designer.

Open kitchen at Phở Mum
Open kitchen at Phở Mum

Inside, you can look into the open kitchen, two large pots of phở – that is, soup – are simmering – one vegan and one with a chicken base. I sit down in front of the restaurant to try a small snack. Here you can admire the hustle and bustle of Alaunstrasse, which is also lively at lunchtime. I choose the Phở Gà Bio – chicken broth with organic chicken soup and rice noodles. Very friendly service takes the order and after a few minutes the fragrant and smoky soup is served.

Sitting diagonally on the sidewalk

When sitting outside, you should take some countermeasures. Because the bench mimics the slope of the sidewalk, you’re always sitting at a slight angle. The slant can also be seen in the soup, which is served in the finest blue patterned porcelain by Kahla. While the other person skillfully and habitually grabs the chopsticks, I dig into a fairly large bowl of soup with a fork and spoon. The soup is tasty, seasoned, just the right amount of salt, not very spicy. I finally manage to fish the rice noodles out of the soup. They are tasty and quite filling.

Owner Thi Hanh Ha
Owner Thi Hanh Ha

Dominant spice

In addition to noodles and crispy dough, some spices are added to the soup, as well as onions and soybean sprouts, spring onions, small dumplings and pieces of chicken. They are obviously from the soup chicken and are therefore quite firm to the bite, occasionally with a bit of fat and skin. So far so good, except for one spice.

A few small brown straws float in the soup. And every time I bite into it, it seems to explode with flavor in my mouth. Everything else is covered for a moment, not exactly described. Not bitter, not salty, not spicy, but extremely dominant when you bite into it.

Phở Gà Bio - chicken soup
Phở Gà Bio – chicken soup

With the help of my companion I learn that these are obviously dried papeda leaves. In Wikipedia, they write about the spicy aroma and that it is characteristic of Vietnamese cuisine. Well, I will not become a fan, but it does not spoil the general impression of the soup. The food here is fresh and made with good ingredients, which is reflected in the price – 13.50 for chicken soup. Half a portion would be enough for me for lunch.

Phở mom

  • Alaunstrasse 51, 01099 Dresden
  • Opening hours: Tuesday – Thursday from 11:00 to 22:00, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 to 23:00, Sunday from 11:00 to 21:00
  • Menu:
It's cozy in the yard.
It’s cozy in the yard.


I used the word kaffir lime in the original post, not knowing that kaffir is a swear word. I changed it accordingly.

Blue hour in Kupferstichkabinet
Approach together with Claudia Seidel

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