7, rue Ferdinand Rey, 13006 Marseille, France
After a long, hot morning of walking around Marseille, lunch at Chez Ida, the top rated restaurant on Tripadvisor, was a no-brainer. It took K and I a little while to find it – located just off the Rue Saint-Pierre, it was much smaller and less crowded than we expected.
The waiter and (?) owner of the restaurant was a lovely gentleman who had an incredible passion for food and service. Even though we were one of the few people dining at the time (we soon learnt that the French ate their meals quite late), he was still full of energy and attention to detail, making sure that we understood the ‘formule midi’ – the set price lunch menu depending on the number of courses ordered. K and I decided to go for the 2-course menu for €13 each (a very good price!), opting to share our entrée and dessert.
K’s choice of empanadas for his entrée was a good one – the pastry was buttery and flaky with a generous amount of filling. The owner even brought me a little garden salad as well, which was lovely and fresh.
My grilled chicken main was exactly what I needed after so much walking that morning. The creamy mushroom sauce was the perfect accompaniment, especially with a little dish of rustic ratatouille on the side which really cut through the richness. The chips looked amazing (and were presented in a cute little frying basket), but were in actual fact a little soggy for my liking.
K’s ravioli dish was made with a spinach filling and a tomato-based sauce, and its simplicity really enhanced all of the beautiful flavours and textures, including the fresh, silky pasta.
For dessert, we couldn’t go past the peach panacotta. I have to say, I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t demolded, as I think that really adds an extra level of technique and presentation value, but the taste was undeniably good. Smooth, creamy panacotta with fresh peach puree – simple yet delicious.
K and I (K especially) loved Chez Ida and were very impressed by the quality of the food and the man behind it all. He was even kind enough to recommend us a few places to try bouillabaisse, the iconic dish of Marseille – my thoughts on that in the next travel post!