Spicy salt and pepper chicken – Chelu Bar & Grill

Spicy salt and pepper chicken - Chelu Bar & Grill
With sauteed onions and bell peppers, served with vinegar sauce. 238 PHP
Chelu Bar and Grill, Manila PHILIPPINES

I was really confused by this dish. When I saw the menu item, I didn’t expect it to come out with a mound of sautéed vegetables on top. Oh well, it still tasted fine. And dipping anything in a vinegar based sauce is fine by me!

Cocktails - Chelu Bar & Grill
Margarita and mai tai. The cocktails here weren’t very good at all! It was definitely better to stick with beer.

Quirino statue and sleeping homeless person
Quirino statue and sleeping homeless person, Manila Ocean Park.

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Seafood fried rice in clay pot – Bamboo Garden

Seafood fried rice in clay pot - Bamboo Garden
Fried rice with shrimp, calamari. 114,000 VND
Bamboo Garden, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

Seafood fried rice in clay pot - Bamboo Garden
This dish was OK. The seafood was actually pretty tender and flavorful, but the dish as a whole was kinda boring. They actually just scooped the fried rice into the clay pot before serving. I thought that it was gonna be cooked in it so that there would be crispy rice at the bottom, but that didn’t happen. :(

Cocktails - Bamboo Garden
Caipirinha: dark rum, lime, and sugar. Two for 85,000 VND
Long Island Iced Tea: tequila, gin, rum, vodka, triple sec, coke, and lemon.

Saigon Opera House
Saigon Opera House (Municipal Theater of Ho Chi Minh City).

Rooftop cocktails – Rex Hotel

Planter's Punch - Rex Hotel
Planter’s Punch: Bacardi light rhum, triple sec, lemon juice, pineapple juice, soda. 220,000 VND
Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

So this was probably the most we spent for cocktails while in Vietnam. We really wanted to check out the rooftop bar though (and get out of the scorching heat). The Rex hotel is historic and it was quite relaxing up on the roof so I really didn’t mind too much about spending a little more for drinks here. My Planter’s Punch tasted pretty weak and not as sweet and vibrantly colored as those you would find on a Caribbean island.

Gin and tonic - Rex Hotel
Gin and tonic. 240,000 VND

Salted peanuts - Rex Hotel
Salted peanuts.

Table centerpiece - Rex Hotel
Table centerpiece.

Rex Hotel rooftop view
View from the Rex Hotel rooftop.

Hula’s hurricane cocktail – Hula’s Island Grill

Hula's hurricane cocktail - Hula's Island Grill

3 rums infused with pineapple and vanilla topped with tropical juices and Foslings Black Seal rum. $8
Hula’s Island Grill, Santa Cruz CA

I love the beautiful colors in this cocktail. They make you think of vacations and beaches. I’ve had plenty of frou frou cocktails in my life (hehe), and some of them miss the mark. This hurricane did not disappoint – it was delicious!

Red and green Fuschia flowers
Red and green Fuschia flowers (Onagraceae), The Mystery Spot.

Zombie cocktail – Hula’s Island Grill

Zombie cocktail - Hula's Island Grill

Don Q Cristal rum, passion fruit, pineapple juice, lime juice, Goslings Black Seal rum and Bacardi 151 rum. $8
Hula’s Island Grill, Santa Cruz CA

I had to order something served in a tiki glass during our visit to Hula’s. Enter the zombie cocktail, lol! This drink was delicious and deceptively easy to drink. I definitely felt a buzz after finishing off this fruity concoction.

Red and purple Fuschia flowers
Red and purple Fuschia flowers (Onagraceae), The Mystery Spot.

Hula’s mai tai – Hula’s Island Grill

Hula's mai tai - Hula's Island Grill

Appleton’s gold rum, DeKuyper orange curacao, pineapple and lime juice, orgeat, Goslings Black Seal rum. $7
Hula’s Island Grill, Santa Cruz CA

There was something off with this cocktail. Perhaps the pineapple juice was old, but something just didn’t taste right. This was unfortunate because I do love my mai tai’s.

The Mystery Spot sign
The Mystery Spot sign.

Cocktails – Comme Ca

Ramble cocktail - Comme Ca

Ramble: gin, sugar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, muddled raspberries, crushed ice.
Comme Ca, Las Vegas NV

Mmm, I LOVED the cocktails at Comme Ca! There were plenty to choose from and they were all deilcious and very different. AND during happy hour they are half off – SCORE!

Sazerac cocktail - Comme Ca
Sazerac: rye whiskey, sugar, peychaud bitters, absinthe.

Hemingway daiquiri - Comme Ca

Hemingway Daiquiri: silver rum, maraschino liquor, fresh lime juice, grapefruit juice.

Rose Eight cocktail - Comme Ca
Rose Eight: 108.2′ bourbon, orange juice, fresh lemon juice, honey/grenadine, rose flower water.

New York sour cocktail - Comme Ca
New York Sour: bourbon, sugar, egg white, freshly squeezed lemons, red wine float.

Shimmy Flappers cocktail - Comme Ca
Shimmy Flappers: vodka, aperol, fresh lemon juice, sugar, red wine float.

Jamaican planter’s punch – Smuggler’s Cove

Jamaican planter's punch - Smuggler's Cove

“Where it all began – the heart of the exotic cocktail as enjoyed for centuries in Jamaica. This follows the traditional Caribbean formula: 1 of sour (lime) 2 of sweet (sugar) 3 or strong (dark Jamaican rum), and 4 of weak (ice), with allspice liqueur and Angostura bitters for spice.” $12
Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco CA

Just in time for Friday happy hour, lol! I love most of the drinks at Smuggler’s Cove, but this didn’t do it for me. I think the allspice liqueur was a bit too much.

Cliff House Totem Pole

Cliff House Totem Pole, Point Lobos Avenue.

Puka punch – Smuggler’s Cove

Puka punch - Smuggler's Cove

“Mere mortal bartenders quake in fear at the sight of eleven carefully measured ingredients, but not our intrepid crew. Such is the nature of a great exotic cocktail like this masterpiece from the world famous Tiki-Ti in Los Angeles. Four juices, four rums, and a sea of spices make this ‘Superb in Taste Sensation’.” $14
Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco CA

This is definitely a silent killer! It tastes SO delicious and fruity that you forget that it’s also packed with a ton of alcohol. One of these definitely gets you going so be careful, you don’t wanna barf in their indoor water feature. Lol!

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2011

Coastal strawberry plants
Coastal strawberry plants (Fagaria chiloensis, Asteraceae), Point Lobos Avenue.

Chocolate mousse napoleon – Maven

Chocolate mousse napoleon - Maven
Creme fraiche and lemon ice cream, malt, brandy. Bloomspot 4-course chef’s tasting menu with cocktail pairings for two.
Maven, San Francisco CA

I liked this dessert because it tasted great, but it was really difficult to eat. The cookies were a bit too hard to break through so the chocolate mousse just kept oozing out every time you tried to cut into it. Hmm…

Maven's Milk Punch cocktail - Maven
Maven’s Milk Punch Cocktail: rum, Maven’s bourbon, vanilla, milk, hazelnut.