Restaurant Ippon (Marseille)

© Laura Dargent

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Ippon, one hundred points! The former Spok lab on Rue Lulli, renamed after a well-known judo move, serves a knockout set menu cooked up by the trio behind Figure – Christophe Juville, Ferdinand Fravega and Rémi Hernandez. The day we went for lunch, in this dojo with decor that’s as sobering as the month of January (a slender bar, cream-colored concrete walls and floors, eco-friendly lighting), we experienced a parade of dishes each as stunning as a Yamamoto muse: a tamago sando (aka an egg salad sandwich) sliced open to reveal a soft-boiled egg, with spicy mayo and trout roe; spinach and sweet potato tempura in a dough that was a little too thick, paired with ponzu sauce for dipping; a torrid ramen bowl featuring an unusual collab between slow-roasted veal, smoked sardine, black garlic, roasted squash and raw ginger; incredibly crispy karaage chicken dolled up in black garlic sauce and Japanese mayo, and served with an adorable green cabbage salad; and to conclude this stellar line-up, three soft mochi (plain and green tea flavored) poked on a skewer and cooked over charcoal. It’s worth mentioning that the izakaya will evolve into a chef’s residency program at the end of February, with chef Julie Della Faille (ex-Montezuma and Le Chateaubriand) kicking off the roster. // Laura Dargent

FEELING THIRSTY? A naturalist menu featuring reds like Poignée de Raisins, a Rhone wine from Gramenon (€6) and Bufentis, a Minervois produced by Benjamin Taillandier (€33 a bottle), and whites like Hors Norme, a Savoie wine by Paul Gadène (€5 a glass), and Fratelli Félix, a Campania wine from Vigneti Tardis (€29 a bottle). To go with all that, there are Kirin beers (€4.50 for 330 ml) and Symples cherry, lemon verbena or lavender herbal teas (€3.50 for 330 ml). 
PRICE: Set menu €14 (main + side), plates €8-16. 

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