Where to eat and shop internationally in Marseille: an interview with foodie, in love with Japan

Today I am expanding our scope to present you with exciting suggestions of places related to foreign cultures, this time in Marseille, a “global-city with more than 100 districts and 200 nationalities”*.

I had the good fortune to meet Priscilla, a Marseillaise with Guadeloupean and Danish origins, who has been developing her passion for food, travel and photography for almost ten years. First through her blog “FullyFunny”, then on social media and more recently by becoming a “food photographer”. Priscilla offers her services to local restaurateurs, to make their culinary creations even more sublime.

Me: A lover of Japan, you describe the country on your blog as your favorite destination. Could you describe in three words the Japanese culture that seduces you so much?

Priscilla: If I had to describe Japanese culture in three words it would be Unique, Poetic and Quirky. But I have so many other ways to describe it in my mind …

Me: Can we find good places relating to Japanese culture in our region, and more particularly in Marseille? Could you please share some of them?

Priscilla: Of course! You should know that France is one of the top countries in the world for exploring Japanese culture. There is a very large French Japanese fan base, of which I am obviously a part. In Marseille particularly, the last ten years have seen the emergence of many restaurants, cafes, shops and associations that promote the culture of Japan.

There are two very active associations in the region: France Japon Connexion which is behind the shop Sakura Bento, which is also a real gold mine (on pictures below) and the Association Franco Japonaise of Marseille, where I took Japanese language lessons during two years. All cultural information, places to go, shows, events, workshops, etc. are regularly listed. These two associations are a real gold mine for those who are interested in the land of the rising sun, and who live in this region.

As for restaurants, there are so many that I will just mention those that have particularly caught my eye and are of high quality: Kyo Sushi, Wasabi, Ko-ishi, Tako San, Okaasan, Yoj, SHABU, Sushi Street café, Hako+, and Tabi, the most gastronomic of them that is managed by the passionate (and exciting!) Ippei Uemura, who is certainly the most Marseillais of the Japanese!

Me: On your blog, you also showed your readers different souvenirs that you brought back from your travels in Japan. You paint a very endearing and captivating description of them and say that they fill your daily life, and make your routine in Marseille, “seem more joyful and colorful like the spirit of your country of heart”. For those of us who have not had the chance to make these beautiful trips, do you know if we can find decorative objects from Japan locally?

Priscilla: A moment ago I mentioned Sakura Bento, that I absolutely recommend. They offer products directly imported from Japan. Also worth mentioning is the magnificent Luciole shop that has existed since 1998, and is a temple of traditional Japanese crafts.

Me: Finally, your passion doesn’t stop in Japan; you seem to appreciate Asian cuisine more broadly. We had lunch last month at the Ubud restaurant, which takes us on a trip to Indonesia thanks to its chef Avi Choiria. Avi is accompanied by her partner, Alain Bonetto – both of whom are passionate about transmitting Indonesian culture and cuisine. Are there other places to discover in Marseille that, according to you, are authentic and exciting enough to revive our taste buds?

Priscilla: Indeed, we had a great time at the Indonesian restaurant Ubud that I have known since its opening in 2017! Alain Bonetto is passionate about world cuisine and has several restaurants that highlight authentic cuisines, such as his Vietnamese restaurant Bao (on pictures below), managed by chef Maï who offers dishes from her native Vietnam or Lima Lemon, the first cevicheria in Marseille, where you can feast on ceviche, tiradito, empanadas and other South American specialties concocted by the Peruvian chef Dani. Alain Bonetto’s restaurants also transport us with their refined and exotic decorations. I have never been disappointed in his restaurants.

Photo credit: Priscilla Davigny

You can find all the addresses in our interactive directory and also share there your photos and reviews. If you are interested in recommendations shared by Priscilla, subscribe to her Instagram account.

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* A quote from the documentary film “Il était une fois Marseille” (Once upon a time in Marseille) by Hugues Nancy

By Martina Hornakova, Founder of KITnDO and Delicious Origins

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