Today is my first day in Vietnam and what better way to start the trip than with a hot chocolate. Because of the French influence in this beautiful country, I am expecting some interesting hot chocolates on this trip and this first one certainly did not disappoint.

After a breakfast of wonton soup and fresh fruit, we sat at the bar/café in the Lobby of the Legend Hotel in District I. It is Sunday and the place is quite busy. Many locals have come to the hotel to eat brunch and use the pool.  The bar/café is pretty quiet, but the décor definitely is not. Several of the beige and gold chairs are already occupied by small groups of Vietnamese men drinking coffee and smoking. We take a seat near the beautiful grand piano where we can’t smell the smoke at all. Next to us is a large marble water fountain surrounded by green plants. The whole area is illuminated by a beautiful blue and yellow stained glass ceiling. On the side wall is a display case with the words “Chocolatier & Patissier” in gold letters above filled with all sorts of sweet and delicious looking goodies. Four large statues of horses watch over us from the four corners of floor.

The hot chocolate, called the Legend Hot Chocolate, is 90% Dark Chocolate with steamed milk and is beautiful. The first sip is a pleasant surprise and very different than hot chocolates I have had in the past. It is very dark/bitter chocolate, no sweetness at all so, just like with coffee drinkers, I had the chance to choose how much sugar I wanted to add. I had half the cup as it was, and then added a teaspoon of sugar to the second half and it was perfect.

The hot chocolate became the starter of a fantastic first day in Saigon which included an XO Food Tour which brought us by motorcycle to try all sorts of incredible food from across the city, from noodles (of every sort) to hot pots (with beautiful seafood), duck egg embryos (not for me but very popular) and rice wine (at 45% alcohol not so much wine but dangerously good). What a fantastic city.

Verdict: Having arrived only late last night, this hot chocolate is my first Vietnam experience and a very good sign for things to come.  Legend Hotel, 2A-4A Ton duc Thang Street, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam