Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Halong Bay: Palatable

Food on the cruise was outrageous. As we plied the fine waters of Halong Bay, our meals were a symphony of dishes, varying from traditional Vietnamese fare to Asian inspiration all the way to Western fine dining. We ate:

  • Oysters on the half shell as our very first dish. 
  • Crab cakes, an American classic, but presented with the cake stuffed back into the crab's shell. 
  • Japanese noodles served with mounds of steaming vegetables, all the usual Asian suspects.
  • Fresh spring rolls that we made ourselves
  • Platters of sweet and tangy pineapple, dragon fruit, and watermelon. 
  • And for our final encore, a medley of prawns and pineapple steeped in Malay-style sambal flavors. 

In fact, each meal on the Victory Star was in perfect pitch.

Save one.

Before our early-morning excursion to Vung Vieng and the follow-up brunch, we had a light breakfast that caught me entirely by surprise.

Two types of pastries and bananas were provided. And cocoa krispies.

Yes. Chocolate breakfast cereal. On a Vietnamese junk on the other side of the world, I ate perhaps the most discordant of American culinary wrong notes.

My third-born explained that they are a favorite among the Vietnamese, and in that spirit, I decided to have a bowl. 

They were as awful as I imagined.

But still, I'm glad I ate them. For better or for worse, my Victory Star meal plan was truly a rhapsody of international flavors and I can honestly say I tried them all.

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