In the heart of La Ciotat’s gastronomic desert, Mika and Yuichuiro Shimatani have opened up a traditional Japanese eatery for in-the-know foodies! The other day at lunch, seated in their tiny wood-clad restaurant that only serves six lucky guests at a time, the pastry chef and her chef husband (both of whom used to work for Alexandre Mazzia in Marseille and Christophe Bacquié in Fontvieille) served a series of delightful treats: a Japanese omelet made even better by the addition of yuzu, plus some extremely tender turnips and parsnips; chirashi that combined well-bred salmon, southern tuna, eel and salmon roe (too much of it, though!) – or pork loin pot-au-feu with chard, new carrots and piment d’Espelette, all served with good homemade seaweed bread; before a plump creampuff stuffed with green tea cream and rounds of candied kumquat. In the morning, the duo operates a tearoom with Japanese pastries: sake-marinated persimmon rolls, black tea brioche, etc. // Antoine Antoine
FEELING THIRSTY? Genmaicha tea imported from Kyoto (€4.80 for a teapot) or a glass of Nambu Shuzo sparkling sake (€9).
PRICE: Menus €49, €64 and €79 (lunch); to go, mains from €15.50 to €25, desserts from €6.50 to €7.50 (dinner, and lunch upon reservation).