le 31 bistro, marseille

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decent bistro food in downtown marseille. the harbour at marseille was under heavy construction while we were there as they are preparing for their position of the city of culture in europe next year, and so it really was a bit of a mess. we spotted this cafe, which was furbished rather modernly and most importantly, had a good screen showing the wimbledown match between tsonga and murray.

in any case, we weren’t expecting much and so we were pleasantly surprised. a paper placemat that really just looked like a flyer of advertisements wasn’t very inspiring, but we were impressed by our mains when they arrived. my partner had mussels and fries, which really came as small tasty shellfish and skin-on crispy fries. very nice.

my own main was a seafood salad, and I was expecting some canned tuna and floppy lettuce – yes I get wary of restaurants in touristy areas – but it wasn’t! what I got instead was crisp and varied salad leaves with two large prawns, a medley of pesto-marinated squid and shrimp, as well generous slices of smoked salmon.

we enjoyed our meal, and it made us a little less wary of tourist-centric restaurants. but then again, perhaps we got lucky. in any case, a good restaurant to come to if you’re downtown in marseille!

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