Today I got to my Vietnamese lesson early, which I have several times a week at a coffee shop chain called Highlands Coffee. I’d wanted to go over the article from VNExpress.com that I was supposed to practice for pronunciation, as well as run my numbers again (they’re still shaky, especially thousands and millions), but the maitre’d apparently had a huge problem with me sitting in our usual spot on the second floor without ordering the expansive buffet on the other side of the room.

In the past couple weeks we haven’t had any problem with this, so it may have been a new policy that everyone on the second floor has to be ordering the brunch until it closes at 9 or 9:30. Or maybe he’s a dick – we may never know (no, he’s definitely an ass). Since I was so early, and because I’d actually been dying to try it, I acquiesced and paid the 6 bucks. It was a great deal, and it ended up being completely worth it.

On top of a western-style “coffee cup full of coffee” (YOU SMILE… but this is the first time I’ve just seen straight up coffee in a cup, even when I’ve tried ordering it), there was fresh squeezed orange juice, water, iced tea, and regular black tea.

Hit the jump to find out exactly what was on my plate…

I ended up trying one of everything on the menu except the Salted Duck Egg slices (boo, they were out), a fried egg (I forgot they were doing those back there), and the pho (I was phull).

Up top, clockwise: Crab and Corn soup, Stir-fried Chinese Cabbage with garlic, Fried Rice with Sausage, Chicken Curry (holy crap, tender. And bones), and Stir Fried Soft Noodles with Egg and Ham.

Bottom, clockwise from top: a piece of white bread, coffee roll, baguette slice, dragonfruit (pitahaya), cucumber, cherry tomatoes, pineapple, pork sausage, tiny orange muffin, small sweet coffee bread bite, some kind of very rich meat, 2 slices of some kind of cheese, and some fried potato wedges.

I made a little sandwich to save for lunch out of the white bread, cheese, meat, and cucumbers. The french fries were bland as hell. Dragonfruit tastes like kiwi and I will DEFINITELY be buying some of that at the market. The fried rice was unexceptional and a little cold. The chicken curry was the best I’ve had in ages. The sausages were pretty good, but not my favorite ever. Everything else was ridiculously awesome. I drank 5 cups of coffee, 4 cups of juice and 6 cups of water (hell, when you see liquids in quantities like this you GO FOR IT, YO! How do people here not have constant IV drips to keep themselves replenished?!).

I didn’t get that extra language practice in, but this was a pretty good reason. I almost never eat a breakfast like this anymore! I could see this becoming a Monday morning reward for the excruciating brain cramps that the following hour and a half of language learning bring…