Coffee shop nearly 70 years opened from 2am in Saigon

Located in Phung Hung market, Ba Lu bar serves racket coffee cups made with wood stoves and added salted butter when roasted.

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Following the main road leading to Phung Hung Market, District 5, you are not hard to find Ba Lu although this address is located among the stalls of clothes and food. Mr. Hung, the owner of the shop, said his father - Mr. Ba Lu opened a coffee shop when he was 17 years old. In a Vietnam-speaking Chinese voice with a slight accent, Hung said: "After my father passed away, my siblings and I in the family succeeded, maintaining the restaurant to the present."
 Ba Lu bar
Old restaurant space over time but the coffee taste is considered by many customers as "old". Photo: Phong Vinh.
After dozens of years, Ba Lu's coffee brewing recipe is still well-liked by family members. "Every couple of weeks, we roast and grind coffee once in a traditional way. Coffee roasted with charcoal will be more aromatic and flavorful," said Ms. Hoa -  daughter of Ba Lu.

If you have the opportunity to observe, you will see the unique point of this heirloom roasting. The shop uses firewood while adding butter, salt, and wine while roasting. Ms. Hoa said this material helps reduce the bitterness of coffee beans. "Salt is added at the beginning of the roasting process, and the wine is slowly poured onto the coffee when roasted.

During 69 years, the taste of coffee from the old earth pot and the black tinted racket are still preserved by the members of Ms. Hoa's family. When a customer calls, Ms. Hoa or Mr. Hung quickly decant coffee from the hot soil pot, then adds sugar or condensed milk as required.
 Ba Lu bar
Mr. Hung himself brews each batch of coffee with a familiar racket. Photo: Phong Vinh.
"Water and fire are two important factors in cooking coffee. The fire must be kept so that it is neither too large nor too small," Hung said while preparing the coffee for the guests.

Coffee water made with a racket as usually washy, not viscous. The black coffee cup in the shop has a sweet aroma when exposed to the sun, the color will alight brown color. Guests feel the aftertaste of the coffee in the throat after the sweetness of sugar and milk are gone.

Not only welcoming guests warmly, the attendant who often stand in the kitchen also easily recognize you are the first time to visit or favorite coffee of patrons. Recently the restaurant welcomed a lot of young people and tourists. "I am very happy that the family shop is getting more and more popular. Hopefully, the house after rebuilding next year will serve customers better," Mr. Hung expressed.
 Ba Lu bar
Ms. Ngoc (65 years old, blue shirt) has been a guest of the shop since she was a teenager. Photo: Phong Vinh.
Sitting in the middle of the house more than 4 square meters, diners can clearly feel the noise of the market every morning or the heat of summer noons. But not so that fewer guests. Those who love Ba Lu coffee taste still come back often.

Living in District 5, Ms. Ngoc is one of the patrons of the restaurant. Holding a glass of black iced coffee in her hand, she said, "I like it very much. For decades, I didn't drink coffee elsewhere but just came here."

The restaurant starts serving from 2am to 5pm every day. If you come for morning coffee, you can park your car at the market gate and walk-in. The price of each cup of coffee ranges from 10,000 VND.

Coffee shop nearly 70 years opened from 2am in Saigon Coffee shop nearly 70 years opened from 2am in Saigon Reviewed by Duy Khiêm on September 05, 2019 Rating: 5

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