The shop doesn't have any signage nor a single chair for its customers, but young people in Ho Chi Minh City just don’t mind.
Old Daddy’s shop, as many people call it, uses a sidewalk outside the Opera House as its business venue and prepares the famous milk tea right next to a fence.
Plastic cups of milk tea prepared by a fence outside the Saigon Opera House. Photo credit: VnExpress
It stands behind a showy Highlands Coffee store. But the milk tea shop never looks intimidated, thanks to long lines of customers waiting from 6 p.m. almost every night for the past eight years.
Young customers wait for their milk tea cups.
“Old Daddy” himself is a man in his 50s. He uses tea bags and condensed milk of established brands, which he shows to customers to convince them about the quality of his products.
He used to charge VND8,000 a cup but recently raised the price to VND10,000, or less than half a dollar.
“Still very cheap for such a tasty drink,” a customer named Gia Han told news website VnExpress.
There are usually three people running the place -- one adding tea bags and milk and pouring hot water from flasks, and another stirring everything up and adding ice.
A woman pours hot water into cups. Photo credit: diadiemanuong.com
The third person just collects money.
The shop once opened through the morning but now closes at midnight.
Loyal customers said it draws a lot of people not only for being good and cheap, but also because it stands across two of the most famous hotels Caravelle and Park Hyatt, arguably one of the best spots in the city.
Some people take their drinks home, but the main demographics -- young couples and groups of friends -- usually enjoy their cups of milk tea at the park nearby.