A number of young Saigonese are so eager to try a new kind of milk drink that they are willing to wait for a few hours in long lines to be able to grab their hands on the ‘trendy’ beverage.
Such a line of customers can easily be spotted in early evening in front of a sidewalk stall on Tran Hung Dao Street in District 5, which has only one item in its menu - fresh milk served with brown sugar-made tapioca balls.
Defying the sweltering heat of Saigon, many come as early as possible to be the first to the drink that has been captivating their taste recently.
The scene made passers-by curious and even lured some of them to join the queue.
"I caught sight of the long queue when I was driving my grandchild home, and he then insisted on buying one cup of this drink, so I also lined up," Tran, a resident in District 6, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
|The drink stall opened two months ago and has seen the number of customers increase significantly over the last few weeks. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
An attendant of the beverage stall told Tuoi Tre that the shop opens from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm every day.
“The drink is priced at VND20,000 [US$0.88] per serve,” he said.
“On the average, we sell from 2,000 to 3,000 cups a night.”
The favorite drink is made of fresh milk, filled tapioca balls, also known as ‘pearls,’ a common topping for bubble tea.
The shop requires up to 20 attendants to cover a variety of tasks including preparing raw materials, carrying stuff, looking after customers’ vehicles and selling the drink.
But the employees are usually spread too thin as the stall is always overcrowded.
Overall, the drink receives satisfaction from customers for the mild fatty flavor and light aroma. The tapioca balls are not brittle, and some are slightly stiff.
However, some customers complain that there is not enough sugar in the topping, leading this drink to miss the typical smooth sweetness.
|The long queue is seen waiting in front of the drink stall only one hour after the sun goes down in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|The drink is attractively priced at VND20,000 (US$0.88) per cup. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|The shop uses brown gold caramel pearl, not the traditional black. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|Everyone lines up neatly though it is packed. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|Some customers are on tiptoe due to long hours of waiting. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|A customer hold cups of the fresh milk served with brown sugar-made tapioca balls. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|An elder captures the queue before joining the line over curiosity about the taste of the drink. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|A little boy is seen waiting in the line with his mother. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|An attendant of the shop is busy carrying a bracket of stuffs. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|A female customer smiles brightly at the drink in her hands after hours of waiting. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|Sometimes, the queue attracts up to hundreds of people. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|It is 10:00 pm but the queue still lasts. Photo: Tuoi Tre|