Buko juice – Villa Escudero

Buko juice - Villa Escudero
I both love it and hate it that not every coconut you get is gonna be sweet and delicious. I guess it depends on how developed it is (the younger the better) so it’s pretty much a crap shoot. The anticipation to see if you get a sweet one is exciting, but you’re very disappointed if you don’t. This particular one wasn’t very sweet. But on the flip side, I got a lot of coconut flesh.
Villa Escudero, San Pablo City PHILIPPINES

Buko juice - Villa Escudero
I was a little disappointed that the coconut didn’t come with a spoon stuck into the side (for eating the flesh). I think it’s a cool accessory and a nice touch.

IMG_3883
Carabao pulled cart. This is how you get around the park.

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Japanese cowboy beef roll – Barracuda Sushi

Japanese cowboy beef roll - Barracuda Sushi
Crab meat, mango, avocado, gobo (burdock) covered with lightly torched, thinly sliced kobe beef, seasoned with sesame oil and green onions. $12.95
Barracuda Sushi, San Francisco CA

Japanese cowboy beef roll - Barracuda Sushi
This rolls sounds amazing and it was actually very tasty, but I think that there was WAY too many things packed inside. I really couldn’t taste many of the ingredients individually and forgot that some of them were even in there. The beef was the dominant flavor and it was a little on the salty side. The roll was good but I probably wouldn’t order it again.

Serpentine monardella
Serpentine monardella (Monardella purpurea, Lamiaceae), Bon Tempe Lake.

South-north hot pot – Hoang Yen

South-north hot pot - Hoang Yen
Lau nam bac. So this hot pot was divided into a spicy side and a non-spicy side. I’m not sure which one was north and which was south because it wasn’t explained to us, but I’m guessing that south is spicy? Anyway, both sides were delicious and I think we drank almost all the broth! 279,000 VND
Hoang Yen, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

Wet napkin - Hoang Yen
Wet napkin. It’s weird to have to pay for these.

Water lilies
Water lilies (Nymphaea sp., Nymphaeaceae), Tao Dan Park.

Sweet and sour fish cake – Philippine Airlines

Sweet and sour fish cake - Philippine Airlines
With steamed vegetables, rice, crab salad, and dinner roll. Complimentary
Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) to Manila (MNL), Philippine Airlines

Eh, this could have been sweet and sour “anything” really. It tasted fine, but the highly processed fish cake wasn’t the best. They actually advertised it as sweet and sour “fish” so I was disappointed when it came out as fish cake instead although it made more sense to serve fish cake on a plane.

Reunification Palace
Reunification Palace.

Grilled scallops – Hai Lua Food Countryside

Grilled scallops - Hai Lua Food Countryside
Topped with green onions and ground peanuts. 60,000 VND
Hai Lua Food Countryside, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

Wow, these scallops tasted SO fresh, and they were very tender and juicy. The green onions, peanuts, and sauce made for a great topping to an otherwise simple, and straightforward dish. Perfect!

Hai Lua night market restaurant
Cooks at the Hai Lua night market restaurant. It seems like they can set this place up in 15 minutes or less! Pretty amazing.

Chopsticks - Hai Lua Food Countryside
Chopsticks.

View from the Saigon Skydeck
View from the Saigon Skydeck in the Bitexco Financial Tower.

Mini bibingka – Bibingkinitan

Mini bibingka - Bibingkinitan
Soft and moist rice cakes made with 100% rice flour topped with salted duck egg and cheddar cheese.
Bibingkinitan, Manila PHILIPPINES

Omg, these were SO frickin’ good! They were deliciously salty, buttery and super soft. And they’re the perfect size to snack on, but you really can’t stop at just one. Noms!

Malacanan Palace balcony
Malacanan Palace balcony where President Ferdinand Marcos made his last public appearance.