After a monumental seven-year construction project, billionaire Maja Hoffmann’s dream has finally sprung forth from the land in Arles! At the foot of the sparkling tower designed by Frank Gehry, the Luma Foundation boasts an impressive restaurant for chefs in residency. This summer, hidden behind twisted metal, Drum Café’s open kitchen welcomes the nomadic chef Céline Pham (ex-Carousel in London, Providence in Guéthary, Tontine in Paris…), who sends out audacious dishes that blend Vietnamese and Camargue heritage. The day we went for lunch, we had: an electric ox steak tataki with preserved lemon and charred eggplant and shiso condiments; lovely roasted carrots with browned butter and XO sauce – or plump fried ravioli filled with cochon noir pork, leeks and ginger, served with a sriracha-date sauce; before a sweet rice milk pudding paired with figs and a fig oil – unless you’d prefer the striking coconut mousse made with aquafaba, dukkah and a spelt milk reduction.
FEELING THIRSTY? There’s a long and impressive wine menu with something for every budget: a Vermentino from Les Terres Promises in the Var (€36 a bottle), a Tarn macerated wine from Causse Marines (€50 a bottle), a Provence red from the Domaine Hauvette (€60)…
PRICE: Plates €6-22.