Classic Bouillabaisse and Tartare de Thon Rouge at Bistro Pernod, Marseille, France.

It’s been weeks since I’ve posted, I have been on the road again, well, actually on planes, trains and a cruise (which I will post about later) and one of the cruise ports of call was Marseille in France. I am with my dear friend of many years Brett, an Australian who is now a Dutch citizen and semi-famous in the Netherlands. You may recall him from one of my posts when we were in Prague a few years back, pre-pandemic… His message was kind of prophetic…

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The most famous and classic dish from Marseille is bouillabaisse. In theory, bouillabaisse is made with the ugly unwanted fish and was once known as the poor man’s soup but it’s not now and, thanks to its popularity, tourists (like me) will gladly pay a high price for it. At €35 it certainly was a splurge!

Bistrot Pernod is one of many restaurants along Marseilles waterfront that serve this classic dish which is also the perfect spot for people watching.

Vin de Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay €7.5. Pastis €9.

The only free table isn’t set but the delightful staff have in done in a short while. I go for my usual drink, a white wine – Vin de Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay. Brett has a Pastis, an anise flavoured drink that you can diluted with water to your liking and quite popular in this region of France.

Everything is brought out at once and it looks stunning. While I am excited to try the bouillabaisse, I get a little food envy of Bretts Tartare de Thon Rouge (Red Tuna Tartare). Accompaniments of fries and and pain are served alongside the dishes.

Bouillabaisse €35

Wow, so you have to be a serious seafood lover to enjoy this. It is quite strong in the fishiness (no doubt..) and really smoked paprika heavy. There are cockles and mussels which while tiny are flavoursome, as is the large pieces of fish hidden under the saffron-golden stock. The prawn is quite large but isn’t fun to peel and the smell of seafood lingers on my fingers for quite awhile no matter how many wipes I use! The two potatoes are perfectly cooked and add some bulk to the think stock.

Also supplementing the bouillabaisse is some crusty slices of baguette, shredded cheese and mustard. The bread is great to soak in the bouillabaisse, but I am unsure about the cheese and the mustard, although I will say the mustard is so lovely I am smearing my bread with it! Overall an enjoyable dish, was it worth €35… probably not… but when in Rome… I mean Marseille 🙂

Tartare de Thon Rouge €23

Food envy….I sample some of Brett’s tartare and I find it lovely. I asked Brett to pop his thoughts down in writing…”There are fish and then there are fish. The tartare was a perfectly prepared portion of ‘poisson’. Each morsel was an explosion of favour that can be sampled at its best at the harbour of Marseille. The plating was picture perfect and a photo of it could have easily be hung in the Louvre”. He’s a character 🙂

The fries are quite tasty, and I swear one of them is smiling at me. They have the flavour of homemade fries, not that fish and chip shop flavour. Is this because the oil is fresh or old?… I’m not sure, but I know they are darn good with their dusting of rosemary salt.

Tarte de Citron €9

Brett tells me his husband JH cooks the best Tarte de Citron ever so this is something for him to compare. We both take a spoonful. It’s not too sweet, quite delicious in fact. The crust is firm however the meringue is soft and a bit too gooey. JH wins against this version in Marseille Brett declares.

If you’re in Marseille, it may be a crime not to try its most traditional dish (but the price you’ll pay may be!). What’s your thoughts on the dish and the price? Was I missing something when it came to the cheese and mustard?

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Hyfee says:

    Nice! Looks great.

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