The $170 Pho That's Flooded With Luxurious Meats

Pho: a bowl of noodles and broth that can purge your soul of ailments. It's comfort incarnate that grows on you with every slurp. The harmony of flavors and its versatility have contributed to the popularity of the Vietnamese dish, but the affordability factor is the real cherry on top.

With prices generally lower than $10 in the U.S. and often less than $3 in Vietnam, pho is as wallet-friendly as comfort foods can get. Well, that is unless you order the special pho at the Oriental Pearl restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It will set you back a whopping $170 a bowl, which is equivalent to 4.1 million Vietnamese dong.

Located at the highest luxury hotel in Vietnam, the Vinpearl Landmark 81, The Oriental Pearl is one of the finest restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. The restaurant's special $170 pho successfully dethroned Anan Saigon's exquisite $100 pho, which was easily one of the most expensive bowls of pho in the country. The hefty price tag is justified by the high-quality ingredients that are used to prepare the dish.

It's pho on steroids

The Oriental Pearl's special pho is traditionally prepared and takes about 48 hours to come together. The broth is simmered with chicken carcasses, marrow bones, prime short ribs, and rich oxtail. Cinnamon and star anise add a spicy aroma to it. Its luxurious accouterments include Wagyu beef, truffles, and foie gras. A gold leaf adds to the opulence of the dish. The servings are limited.

As for why the restaurant was inspired to elevate a noodle dish so humble, the Oriental Pearl's executive chef Le Trung explained, "Pho is Vietnam's national dish, enjoyed anywhere and at any time of day... and I wanted to pay homage with this opulent new version" (via CNN Travel). Pho is hardly synonymous with fine dining, but Chef Trung wanted to make the dish special by upgrading the flavors with the best ingredients. "The result is a spectacular bowl of pho that lingers on the taste buds and in the memory," he said.

Believe it or not, the $170 price tag still doesn't make the Orient Pearl's pho the most expensive in the world. Previously, a $4,968 bowl of pho was sold at AnQi Bistro in Costa Mesa, CA as a part of fundraising efforts for the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and Orange County.