December 19, 2016

Plus 1 trip to Vietnam day 4: unsatisfying breakfast

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We kept waking up early in the mornings on this trip, which in theory gives us a head start on the day.  We have a limited amount of time in Ho Chi Minh City, and I had already mapped out all of our meals here - including breakfast.

Hello Kitty wanted phở, so we took a taxi to Phở Hòa Pasteur for breakfast.  When we arrived at the address, we saw a construction site where the restaurant was supposed to be, with a sign outside...  Merde!

Of course, why should anyone expect that in Vietnam, renovation that was supposed to be completed by yesterday would actually get done on time?!  From what we saw, it would be more than a few days before this place would be up and running again.

Disappointed, we asked to taxi driver to head to our next destination so that we could have some coffee.  Du Miên Cafe wasn't far away from our present location, so it would be a quick ride from here.

We went for an unexpectedly long ride, during which our taxi driver got a little lost and reversed direction at one point.  The frustrating thing was that since we didn't have data roaming - and decided not to buy a 3G SIM card to replace our own SIM cards - we had no idea where we were while we were lost.  If we ever came back to Vietnam again, I'm definitely bringing my portable wifi router so that I can stick a local 3G SIM card inside.  We resorted to calling the cafe and asking the staff to speak to our driver in Vietnamese, because on our first attempt the woman told us she didn't speak English and hung up on us...

We finally did arrive at our destination, and it turns out I had been a little confused and marked the wrong location on Google Maps.  I had pinned Du Miên Cafe on my map, but had shown the address for Du Miên Garden Cafe to the taxi driver.  The latter branch is actually located slightly past Tan Son Nhat International Airport! No wonder it took us so long to get there!

We walked through the garden and the water fountain, found ourselves a table and sat down.  Besides coffee, we needed a little breakfast, and Hello Kitty decided to be a little playful and ordered something unorthodox.  I took her lead and ordered something else unorthodox, and we would both come to regret it...

Cà phê sữa nóng - this was a lot stronger than the ones we'd been having at Princess D'Ân Nam Resort.

Damn!  I know there's condensed milk at the bottom of the cup, but even discounting for that, one can definitely taste the richness of the butter in the beans.  Taking the coffee without condensed milk surely would have blown my head off... it's that strong.

French fries with butter and sugar - I have no idea why Hello Kitty ordered this, and both of us sort of stared at the plate when it arrived.  So... it's just a bunch of fries, with a pat of butter and a little dish of sugar.  We ended up picking up the fries individually, rubbing them on the butter, then dipping them into the sugar.

Stir-fried macaroni with diced beef - this one's on me.  It wasn't the least bit interesting, as it's just beef cubes stir-fried with tomatoes, onions, and capsicum, which was then poured on top of some pan-fried macaroni.

Feeling unsatiated after two crappy dishes, we decided to follow the lead of several neighboring tables and ordered a bowl of bún bò Huế.  We kept seeing these bowls passing by with a plate of herbs such as shredded banana blossom, bean sprouts, basil, spring onions, and perilla leaves piled high, and it looked really enticing.

This was pretty satisfying.  The bowl of noodles came with thin and chewy slices of beef shank, pork meatballs, and a thin, flat piece of pork paste that reminded me of otak otak in terms of shape and texture.  The broth was slightly spicy but very well balanced with the other flavors.

We hung around a little to take some pictures of the grounds, then headed back to our hotel for a quick break before lunch...

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