Vietnam is full of surprises. In 2011, two friends, both from France, came up with a simple, yet brilliant idea during a trip in the jungle: to use Vietnam’s natural richness to make chocolate! Since then, Marou Chocolate has become an institution in Saigon and abroad. Trust us when we say so: we’re talking about the best locally sourced chocolate in Vietnam.
2016 saw the the opening of Maison Marou Saigon: a coffee shop, patisserie, bakery store and chocolate factory—all in one—in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoians need not be jealous anymore: on 1 September 2017, Maison Marou Hanoi opened its doors.
The Cacao Embassy
Marou’s founders consider themselves ambassadors of all things chocolate. Fittingly, this vast, bright space of almost 300 square metres, entirely dedicated to the most tender temptation this world has to offer, is located in Hanoi’s diplomatic quarter. You’ve just had a romantic stroll around the capital’s famous Hoan Kiem Lake and can’t help but feeling like further pampering yourself? You have booked tickets for tonight’s show at the Hanoi Opera House and need to bridge the gap until then? Either way, you can walk down to Maison Marou Hanoi and enjoy a sweet treat.
But what do you actually get there? Let’s start with the original sin.
The Single Origin series, a range of six dark chocolate bars sourced in six provinces in Vietnam’s south, is what Marou made its name on. Try any of them and you’ll know why. What’s most striking is that each bar, with cacao percentages ranging from 70 to 78, has a distinctly different taste.
The sweet aroma of the Ben Tre beans clearly contrasts with the sour notes of their Dong Nai counterpart. Coffee fans might rejoice most in the Lam-Dong-sourced cacao, while the Tien Giang variation almost tastes of autumn with its warm hint of cinnamon. The flavours are as varied as the country they’re sourced in. Marou bars are Vietnam gone chocolate.
Definitely try the Origin Plus coconut milk chocolate, and if you need a rest from shopping, don’t forget to try Hanoi’s best...
It simply made sense. Imagine you were Vietnam’s premier chocolate producer and you happened to open a coffee shop. What would be your signature drink? The hot chocolate, obviously! Saigonese love it despite the eternal heatwave they live in. Now, imagine the delight of slowly sipping on a steaming cup of milky goodness during Hanoi’s freezing winter months!
Made from Single Origin products, the “Signature Marou” is full of intense chocolate flavours, perfectly complemented by the hot, extra creamy milk and topped off with a little artwork that shows just how much love goes into every cup. But hot chocolate is best enjoyed with one or two freshly made...
What’s the secret to great pastries? Quality ingredients and great know-how. Here the ingredients are the best you can find in Vietnam, and Marou has formed a team of some of the best pastry chefs in Southeast Asia.
Get all the classics—from éclair to tart, combining French expertise with the beauty of Vietnamese cacao. Never has an éclair been so chocolatey!
The only flaw is that travellers can’t bring the goodness home. But Marou has an answer to all your questions...
Pralines and Bonbons
Get Vietnam in a box! Maison Marou Hanoi has a wide selection of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate bonbons on offer, each kind representing another region with fresh, full-bodied flavours topped off by a generous pinch (or two) of the best French butter.
Be sure to store them in the fridge during summer so your relatives at home don’t have to spoon them!
Showtime at the Chocolate Factory
Maison Marou Hanoi is visibly inspired by its Saigonese brother. You’ll find the same homelike atmosphere, with bright wooden furniture and designs, bathed in natural light.
Once you step in, the first thing you’ll notice is a massive brass medallion on the floor and the high ceilings. The front part is the retail area, so go ahead and shop for some culinary gifts, both delicious and artfully designed.
The mid section is reserved for the cosy coffee shop area. Note the traces of the original architecture of the building while you’re sipping on your cup of chocolate—you’re sitting in a time-honoured colonial house here. Once you’re done marvelling, sneak a peek at the chocolate factory in the back of Maison Marou. Watching how beans become bars is sure to make your mouth water. Don’t stare too long though, it’s kind of hypnotic.
Last but not least, there’s good news for our friends with disabilities—the front area and the toilet are fully accessible. Because, after all, this is Marou’s credo: chocolate for everyone!
The chocolates here come with a slightly different accent than in Saigon: alongside the bars found in the southern metropolis, the Maison Marou Hanoi team likes to play with typically northern flavours and ingredients to cater to the Hanoian appetite for intense tastes. Try both Maison Marou locations to pick your favourite formula!