Ahh chocolate… it’s my very favorite food
before after egg. I was extra thrilled when I found out about Maison Marou while digging information for my oncoming Hanoi trip over a year ago.
Maison Marou is a chocolate café and shop and they currently have three stores (as of writing) in Vietnam; two at Ho Chi Minh City and one in Hanoi. Maison Marou offers many things chocolate from single origin Vietnam chocolate drinks, pâtisserie to single origin chocolate bars and provisions and as well as non-chocolate drinks like coffee and tea.
Chocolate break at Maison Marou Hanoi.
Their chocolate brand; Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat (Marou Chocolate Maker) makes bean-to-bar single origin Vietnam chocolate. In bean-to-bar chocolate, the chocolate maker is in charge of the whole process from sourcing raw cacao beans to the crafting and creation of the chocolate bars. This means that the chocolate maker has the control of the quality right from the beans to the kind of additives added.
Single origin means that the cacao beans are from the single source/origin of say a farm, a province, a region, etc. Soil, season, climate, topography, elevation, etc all affect the flavors of the cacao bean crops. Because Marou Chocolate sources their beans from several different provinces, their chocolate series consist of different chocolate flavor profile aka terroir that are unique to each province.
I have never tasted bean-to-bar chocolate before as every chocolate I’ve eaten so far have been mass-produced. I had wondered how different bean-to-bar chocolate would taste like and my findings opened up a whole new world!
We visited Maison Marou Hanoi after our lunch at Chả Cá Phan on day 2 of our Hanoi trip.
First thing you’ll see upon entering the cafe is the counter. Place your order and pay here. There’s also a display where you can gawk at the French pastries and then maybe order yourself one or two or even three or four.
I love the design and ambience of this place so much. It’s very comfy, down to earth and also classy. This wall is showcasing the various cacao beans themes and products labels.
At the far end of the hallway (near the entrance) is the working cacao roaster. This hallway brings you to another seating area.
Maison Marou Hanoi.
Maison Marou adopts the open kitchen format. It’s fascinating to watch the creation of pastries right from your seat.
Here are what we ordered…
Signature Marou chocolate (hot) @ 90,000 VND (~RM16.40) for me. This chocolate is made from single origin Vietnam cacao.
The chocolate was very strong but with just the right sweetness. The thing about this hot chocolate is it ain’t anything like the regular chocolate drink. It has a unique-weird chocolatey base note. I find it hard to accept the note initially because it’s not a chocolate flavor that I’m familiar with but as I drank more and more, it stuck to me and I fell in love with it.
It took me a long while to empty the cup because it’s so powerful. I haven’t drank any chocolate that’s this strong before. I had to down some water from my water bottle after every few sips. Maison Marou does provide water.
Signature Marou chocolate (cold) @ 90,000 VND (~RM16.40) ordered by sis. I asked her how was it and she said the same as mine but with ice. She also tasted mine you see. She said she dislikes this chocolate because of the note I mentioned above. The ices dilute the chocolate later, so it’s easier to drink.
L’Opéra @ 150,000 VND (~RM27.50). It was chocolatey rich and yet normal. I wasn’t really blown by it. I wished I have bought another pastry to try but alas was still full from our lunch.
Marou brownie @ 60,000 VND (~RM10.90) which we enjoyed in our hotel room. It’s one piece but divided into two for sharing. It was robust, fudgy and extremely sweet. I like it but don’t think I can eat many because it’s so sweet.
I almost don’t sit around (only once in a few years!) in a cafe but I’m enjoying this one a lot and can lounge for hours.
After our chocolate break, we proceed to the shop area to purchase some souvenir home.
Lots and lots of chocolate to buy! My eyes were darting here and there. Haha There are several chocolate bar ranges such as single origin, origin plus, rare origin, Maison Marou and collaborations. They also have bonbon.
Before coming here, I have promised myself to get either just one or the whole set. In the end, I only got one because I didn’t bring enough cash (just an excuse as I could use the card). Ok, I wanted to cut down on chocolate (am I kidding myself?) and also save $$. I figured I could buy it at the airport if I have a change of heart.
So, I ONLY bought the award-wining Mekong kumquat 68% Tiền Giang @ 130,000 VND (RM23.50) from the origin plus series. I’ll write another post dedicated to this chocolate to justify its greatness.
By the by, I did went searching for Marou Chocolate at the Noi Bai International Airport and have decided to buy the whole set (it was way cheaper at the airport before passing the immigration) but because my sis looked wrongly at the expiry date (she thought they are expired!) and I did not double checked, I ended up not buying any. Did I regret it? Surprising just a teeny tiny bit. It’s all the more reason to visit Vietnam again!
The Provisions Marou range consist of cacao powder, cacao nibs and cacao spread.
I bought the Provisions Marou cacao powder tin @ 240,000 VND (RM43.70). I haven’t tried it yet as I’m treasuring it like gold. Haha I will write a separate post about it when I take it out for testing.
By the by, I would like to give a shout out to the plate design use for the pastries. They are simple and exquisite. Love the gold prints.
Ever since my visit to Maison Marou, I so wish they open one near me. The wonderful news is Marou Chocolate can be found around Asia but the bad news is the nearest shops that carry Marou Chocolate are at Singapore and they cost a BOMB, although the prices are already on the higher side.
Overall, Maison Marou and Marou Chocolate prices are expensive as mentioned and that’s because the chocolate quality and taste are above the par. The terroir is definitely very special. Is their chocolate the best of the lot? I don’t know as the majority I’ve eaten are mass-produced chocolate products, but I can say that as a chocolate lover they’re definitely high up there.
This chocolate lover was super satisfied.
Maison Marou Hanoi
91A Thợ Nhuộm,
Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm,
Hà Nội, Vietnam
Tel: +84 243 717 3969
Opening time: 9am-10pm (Monday-Wednesday), 9am-10.30pm (Thursday and Sunday), 9am-11pm (Friday and Saturday)