It's black, it's beans, it's in a big pot, there's a ladle but it's not soup. It's an icy, sugar fix called che dau den (black bean che), sold at the Sheraton Hotel end of Yen Phu Street, right-hand side footpath coming from the old quarter.
The woman who runs these baskets is a permanent fixture on this patch. In the warmer months, she ladles this dark, cool treat and, from tomorrow, dare I want to know it, she starts frying up sweet potato and banana fritters. I'm getting ahead of myself.
Che is a dessert drink, spooned and slurped, of which there are two on offer here: one is a yellow bean (che dau xanh) variety, the other this fine specimen below. Pot of yellow bean che has already been scraped empty, so we go the black. It consists of black beans swimming in a watery syrup and black cubes of jelly tossed over crushed ice - nothing spectacular, but I get me half an extra handful of that yummy crunch on top - toasted bits of coconut. I don't want to even know where you get hold of a bag of that stuff - I'd pig it down in one sitting!
I like plastic-stooling it here, where other street peddlars often spend a lazy 20 minutes, under a tree, fanning their sweat on the outside, cooling their insides with the icy che.
Not much, 2000VND (USD12c, AUD16c) a pop!