Wagyu Pho in Guangzhou: Too Much of a Good Thing?

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The Pho Kim Saigon Guangzhou Restaurant Review is part of The Year of the Monkey Trip Report which covers the following places:


I know I’m supposed to eat Chinese food when I’m in China but sometimes I don’t feel like being local which is why I had this for my first meal there:

ba da ba ba ba 我喜欢呢
ba da ba ba ba 我喜欢呢

While visiting the Guangzhou International Financial Center, I stumbled upon Pho Kim Saigon. I rationalized another culturally insensitive meal as something I had to do for the blog. (see all my pho reviews here)

Pho Kim Saigon
Pho Kim Saigon
Awesome ceiling
Awesome ceiling

As I was flipping through the menu, something caught my eye. In addition to the usual pho offerings, Lil’ Kim also served up a bowl of pho with wagyu beef. I had mixed feelings about paying double for a bowl simply because it had wagyu. Here’s why: In a normal bowl of pho tai, the beef comes almost rare and is cooked in the broth. It is so thinly sliced that tenderness is not an issue. Wagyu, the Krug of the beef world, melts in your mouth like butter and is best served on its own. Still, I was intrigued with what the combination of top-shelf beef and my favorite dish would be like, so I ordered it.

The Menu
The Menu

The Spring Rolls 

Before I get to the beef, I have to follow pho restaurant review protocol and evaluate the spring or summer rolls. Kim did not have any summer rolls leaving me with fried spring rolls that were good enough.

Skip the spring rolls
Skip the spring rolls

The Broth 

With only seconds before the wagyu would be overcooked, I slurped a few spoonfuls of broth. In a rush to get to the beef, I could not sample it like a freshly uncorked bottle of wine. From what I remember, it was balanced and delicious.

How can I focus on the broth with all that wagyu?
How can I focus on the broth with all that wagyu?

The Wagyu 

The moment had come to taste the wagyu to see if it was worth the price. Before adding the additional pho ingredients, I tried a naked piece of beef. It was certainly special.

Wagyu burning up
Wagyu burning up

The Bowl 

As I began to mix the broth and add the right amounts of hoisin and sriracha, I realized what a dumb idea it is to order wagyu pho. The pureness of the meat was being contaminated by other flavors. Using wagyu in pho is no different from putting A1 on a great cut of steak. Having said that, I finished the bowl in no time.

Mixing it up
Mixing it up

Overall 

I give Pho Kim Saigon the TPOL seal of approval, but next time I will just order a normal bowl of pho tai and not fall for the wagyu gimmick.

That says it all
That says it all

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