AM (Marseille)

© Julia Sammut

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Insatiable flavor hunter and master chef Alexandre Mazzia has made his mark on planet Mars(seille) with his frank flavors, outstanding techniques and clever pairings of unexpected spices, chilies, smoking and roasting techniques…. We rediscovered so many surprises the other day at lunch inside his sanctuary (blonde wooden tables, atmospheric suspension lamps, an open kitchen), with no fewer than 25 knock-out compositions on the €125 tasting menu! The best bits: a surprising seaweed chip with sweet potato and grated bottarga; explosively flavorful katsuobushi and grey shrimp; an incredible eel and chocolate bonbon; thinly sliced tuna covered in a textural beer yeast crust; legendary smoked milk with wild salmon roe, sake and toasted hazelnuts; spider crab meat and dentex (a Mediterranean fish) in a rich beetroot-sake marinade; finely ground semolina with orange blossom and horseradish; a mixture of mussels, herring and mackerel marinated in a lemony jus sweetened by coconut; a perfectly cooked langoustine coated in seaweed popcorn and a lemon-geranium condiment; a nice white goosefoot tempura with smoked pike roe; a tantalizing haricots verts salad doused in grilled onion drippings and a satay jus…. Before some sweets that were just as striking, like the dulce de leche and matcha tea ice cream, followed by a masterful apricot marinated in a verbena-tamarind-hibiscus mixture, placed atop a brioche moistened by a…. meat reduction! // G.LeP.

FEELING THIRSTY? A pricey wine list, which (almost) exclusively focuses on white wine: a Chablis from Alice and Olivier de Moor (€19 a glass), a Sartène white from the Domaine Pero Longo (€55 a bottle), an extra dry Champagne from Françoise Bedel (€150 a bottle)…

PRICE: Menus €97-155 (lunch), €195-255 (dinner).

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