Monday, May 26, 2014

A Weekend Affair of Vietnamese Food

Immediately, a bowl of pho is in order.

Breinn and I went to Ho Chi Minh City in July last year and up until now, I have nothing but good words on how we stuffed ourselves with delectable food most of the time there. We savored every bit of the experience, knowing it was a real value for our meager budget.

Heading to this Vietnamese city was as always, an impulsive decision by me, with Breinn as a defenseless conspirator. The city came about when I managed to book our plane tickets at a price that's within my range of plane fares around Southeast Asia and that's a price I only set for myself! So, to include Breinn in that plane fare, consider it as "Buy 1 Take 1"? lol

Because sometimes, I can be stingy beyond human comprehension, I told Breinn that US$100 was enough for both of us for the entire weekend. By carefully avoiding superfluous tourist pitfalls, the amount surely did go a long way for us. How about all of these mouth-watering nice things in support to that?

And to begin...

Saturday: Brunch

Beef porridge for Breinn

A meal to us, majority of the Filipinos is most likely to be rice and a couple or so of dishes to come with. With half of my life living independently, I have weaned on the rice part and I can very well survive with anything other than rice. I find it troublesome sometimes, if I have to prepare rice when there's already a ready-cooked bread and my hit-or-miss experiments of what I find appealing in the grocery store that day.

For Breinn however, he almost always needs his rice in his meals. And when we arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, we immediately settled at a restaurant where there's a bowl of pho advertised. I tried to coax him to order the noodle soup but he insisted on his rice and the closest thing he got was the beef porridge. Serves him right. *evil laugh* Meanwhile, my bowl of pho is the first photo of this post.

Saturday: Coffee Break

The coffee jelly that we highly adored and a slice of cake we couldn't resist.

Getting caught up with torrential downpour wasn't so bad when we had coffee jelly to keep us company! This was in Highlands Coffee shop, one of the many ubiquitous coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh City.

Saturday: Late Afternoon Break

Chicken and Burger in Jollibee

I know. I know. This shouldn't appear in this list but we had this anyway. The decision came when Breinn was half-suggesting that we go for a Korean restaurant after he saw the tarpaulin ad across the War Remnants Museum. He was already starving at that point and obviously, his porridge was only able to tide him over till late afternoon.

I quickly dismissed his idea, telling him that we're in Vietnam so, it's only fitting we eat Vietnamese food! But after a few minutes, I took back what I said when I saw the charming bee from afar! Bwahahaha Because I was the navigator, he had no choice but to follow me, although begrudgingly. 

Jollibee is the most popular fastfood restaurant in the Philippines, with most kids favoring more the bee over Ronald. Breinn tried to console himself with the chicken which he had high hopes on but... We can only say that when in Vietnam, please stick to Vietnamese food.

Saturday: Dinner

This plate of healthy stuff for our Pho

Breinn's empty bowl in a matter of seconds

Breinn reserved the pho for dinner and his eagerness to empty his bowl came in a matter of seconds before I could even tell him to take a photo of his very first pho.

Spring rolls in a bed of colors

Moving on to my bowl. At first, we couldn't quite figure out what we would exactly do with it. I have a penchant for colorful things, especially when it comes to food and ruining this bowl seemed to be equivalent to sinning. Soon enough, one of the Pho 24 staff witnessed our dilemma and gestured to us that we need to mix in the red sauce. Okay fine. Sorry for we are mere mortals. haha

Before we ended up here in this pho restaurant chain, we initially tried to consider having dinner in one of the docked boats along the river. But upon checking the price for the two of us, it would cost us almost the amount that we had allocated for the entire trip. So yay! Pho 24 saved the penny-pinchers!

Saturday: Midnight Snack

Vietnamese tea and a slice of marble cake

Oh yes! We still had space for tea and cake to cap our night! :p This time, at Trung Nguyen coffee shop.

Sunday: Breakfast

One of my breakfast plates

We had a free breakfast from our hotel and I only managed to take a photo after I had a generous fill from the breakfast buffet. hehe

Sunday: Morning Snack

On our way to lunch, I saw a peddler of local snacks and I then urged Breinn that we tried some of the goodies. The taste? It was like rice cake with coconut syrup. It was good but it could have been better if it were warmer. We have no idea what these are called.

Sunday: Lunch

We had to get back to Highlands Coffee for the coffee jelly!

Breinn had been fasting from his rice for over a day and I could never sway him to order baguette. He was that adamant. Of course, we had to have our coffee jelly. And oh, we had this lunch right after the local snacks above. We were unstoppable.

Sunday: Dinner

We had dinner at the airport and by this time, our cash was dwindling close to zero. We even had last-minute souvenir purchases which practically depleted almost our Vietnamese Dong. Wrong move. Before we knew it, we were then left with an amount that could not buy us both a meal and we were hilariously panicky because we had no idea what to do! To stave off Breinn's hunger, I let him have my baguette, the other half of my lunch which I couldn't finish.

After immigration check, we decided to exchange a small amount because apparently, Breinn's hunger was a force to be reckoned with. We settled at Burger King but it turned out we only exchanged less! Nonetheless, we stretched our VND to its limits and ordered only those we could afford. Breinn and I were laughing the entire time, even considering the thought of asking from those who couldn't finish their meal. Never again. 

I explained Breinn the humorous side of our situation and that out from our experience, we were able to almost stick to our planned budget. Of course, we could choose to pay in SG$ (our extra money) since Burger King accepts the currency but where's the fun in that, right?

And this ends our weekend in Ho Chi Minh City. Without a doubt, we can do this all over again but maybe, US$10 more in our budget. :p

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