France, Uncategorized EUROTRIP: BOUILLABAISSE OVERLOAD AT CHEZ LOURY 3 September 2010

Bouillabaisse. This is a ProvenΓ§al dish that is famous and synonymous with the South of France.. in particular Marseilles as that’s where it’s said to originate. It’s a fish stew that is made with fresh local fish, shellfish, vegetables and ProvenΓ§al herbs and spices. Quite frankly, you can’t replicate it at home because of the local ingredients needed for this dish, and I don’t think I’d dare to attempt it because it doesn’t look easy πŸ˜‰

When you’re in Marseilles, you’re bombarded by places that serve up Bouillabaisse, basically every single restaurant has it. However, tread very carefully. Most don’t do it well, probably served up to tourists who can’t tell the difference. Of course, I am said tourist, but after doing a ton of research by asking friends and surfing online, I can tell πŸ˜› And this was how we knew to go to Chez Loury restaurant in Marseille (Restaurant “Le Mistral” 3 rue Fortia 13001 Marseille) that came highly recommended. Note that Chez Fonfon also came highly recommended, but it was closed for August πŸ™


At Chez Loury

Pretty blue and white decor

Toasted bread with this INCREDIBLE rouille (mayonnaise made from olive oil, garlic, saffron, cayenne pepper)

Chez Loury is a tiny nook of a cafe, in the midst of a hundred others along the Vieux-Port (harbour). Their little outdoor terrace seats around 15 people and their menu is small. We don’t really care, because we already know what we’re having πŸ˜‰ I should note here that the staff don’t speak a word of English. They did assign us an English-speaking waitress later, but she was quite indifferent and rather pushy, not as good as the French-speaking male waiters.

In fact, it was here that we made a mistake – she insisted the Bouillabaisse was “FOR ONE PERSON ONLY” and we’d need to order another course instead of sharing the dish. Let me clarify first by saying I have a pretty big appetite – maybe around the size of a big Aussie guy’s appetite or so? Anyway, after asking her again if she was sure, we decided to order the Bouillabaisse, as well as another main course.

BIGGGGG MISTAKE!!!!!

Considering both Chris and I have fairly giant appetites, we nearly fainted and killed ourselves trying to finish the meal. It would’ve been more than sufficient if we had just shared the Bouillabaisse. I honestly don’t know how other regular couples with regular appetites can handle this if she also cornered them into ordering 2 dishes. You know why…….?

The Bouillabaisse came out in THREE COURSES.

I picked the Bouillabaisse traditionnelle for myself, and it came out as follows:

  1. Soupe de Poissons – this was just the fish broth, served pure and simple. It came piping hot and with a tongue-enveloping flavour of rich shellfish and seafood. It was luscious. And so creamy and flavourful! In fact, after eating the large portion of soup and the toasted bread, I probably could’ve stopped there πŸ˜‰
  2. Soup with Saint Pierre, Rascasse, Baudroie fishes – this was the next course. It was the same soup, but with large chunks of the 3 types of fishes floating in it. The portions were large, each piece of fish is roughly the same size you’d find as a main meal. Beautifully cooked, tender, smooth.
  3. Soup with Vive, Galinette, Fielas fishes – we were STUNNED when this one came out, as we didn’t realise it was a 3-course meal. Same broth (again!) and this time with another 3 types of fish. I was pretty fish’d out by now and my eyes were rolling into the back of my head, so I was trying to urge Chris to eat as much of it as possible.


Bouillabaisse course #1 – Soupe de Poissons

Bouillabaisse course #2 – Soup with Saint Pierre, Rascasse, Baudroie fishes

Bouillabaisse course #3 – Soup with Vive, Galinette, Fielas fishes

Chris was a bit smarter, and opted for the Whole grilled fish. It was delicious. So simple, but well executed. It was just a whole fish, grilled to perfection, and filleted at your table. Add a squeeze of lemon and you’ve got yourself a perfectly fresh fish. Don’t be like Chris and ask for more of that rouille mayonnaise to dip the fish into – he was met with a horrified look by the waitress for trying to bastardize the flavour of the fish πŸ˜‰


A whole fish that they filleted for us. Lovely, simple, fresh.

I was feeling quite woozy from fish, fish and more fish by this point… so decided I needed DESSERT πŸ˜€ We picked a white chocolate and milk chocolate cake, which sounded enticing on the menu but came out tasting rather ordinary in reality. It was pretty pricey as well, so I would not recommend it.


A chocolate cake dessert

Stuffed to the brim with FISH, we walked around the Vieux-Port afterwards where the weather was lovely and cool. It was a delicious meal and yes, the Bouillabaisse truly is a stellar dish that I don’t think can be replicated easily.. but if you go, get that Bouillabaisse traditionnelle to share between 2 people and top it off with a shared Starter and Dessert, and I guarantee both of you will be full afterwards πŸ˜‰


Night markets around the Marseille Vieux-Port area

Lighthouse in the picturesque sunset


32 Comments

  • rainingumbrella posted on September 3, 2010 at 1:43 am

    I think it’s mildly rude for her to force a dish on you and then not tell you that the other one you ordered was three courses… At least it was tasty though, right?

    Reply
    • beverly posted on September 3, 2010 at 10:36 am

      She should’ve just said “remember this dish has 3 courses, it’s quite big” instead of repeatedly saying it’s just for one person for sure!

      Reply
  • Anonymous posted on September 3, 2010 at 2:31 am

    ^__^ LoL.
    Yes the waitress was dumb and pushy…
    Dumb because the rouille is ALSO served with grilled fish (as I told you , you can have in l’Esquinade); it is poor that Fonfon was closed, the setting is better also in Vallon des Auffes.
    And she did not help you to eat the bouillabaisse: the “art” is to spread the rouille on the bread, spread some shredded cheese on top of it, put the bread to float on the soup..then take some soup with your spoon and soak the whole bread… maybe this is why French people say :” eat the soup” instead of drink the soup ^__*

    Don’t worry, end september , you will be able to eat it in Shanghai !!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on September 3, 2010 at 10:39 am

      Ohhhhh we did NOT know that about the croutons!! πŸ™ No wonder, we were saying “why is this baguette sliced and baked so it’s so hard, instead of fresh soft bread?”. D’oh…..

      I hope it’s as good as the original version, cos no way I can cook it myself, hehehehe

      Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on September 3, 2010 at 3:27 am

    I love night markets. Very fun to walk around in.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on September 3, 2010 at 10:40 am

      We managed to stay strong and not buy anything, though the stuff was so cute πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  • astrorainfall posted on September 3, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Am loving your euro trip updates. How on earth do you blog as you travel?!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on September 3, 2010 at 10:41 am

      With great difficulty, haha.. that’s why I’m back home now and have a massive backlog of holiday photos go blog about!

      Reply
  • joni_to0622 posted on September 3, 2010 at 7:58 am

    oh she was rude! I hate pushy waitresses/waiters! I went to their website but it does say that Bouillabaisse is a 3 courses meal. I think I would have a fish break for at least a few days if I were you! πŸ™‚ haha…The only thing I love bouillabaisse is their rouille and toasted bread!! I guess I prefer Chinese style fish soup better, hehe πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • beverly posted on September 3, 2010 at 10:44 am

      We just trusted her but in retrospect, shouldn’t have! Well, at least the meal was delicious :)~

      Reply
  • exhileration posted on September 3, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Your photos and meals look amazing as usual!

    I’m in Haikou now, going to Sanya tomorrow! Meant to ask you, how do you get access to your Facebook in China? lol, I got through the Great Firewall of China via my bf’s vpn with work but it shuts down after a while πŸ™

    Reply
    • beverly posted on September 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

      Ooh Sanya is pretty! And ya, VPN is pretty much the only way to go…

      Reply
      • exhileration posted on September 11, 2010 at 3:45 am

        We didn’t see the Banyan Tree where you stayed! I wanted to see it! We stayed at a smaller place that his family booked. But it was really pretty! Super hot!

        lol yay for vpn πŸ™‚

        Reply
  • rainingumbrella posted on September 3, 2010 at 1:43 am

    I think it’s mildly rude for her to force a dish on you and then not tell you that the other one you ordered was three courses… At least it was tasty though, right?

    Reply
    • beverly posted on September 3, 2010 at 10:36 am

      She should’ve just said “remember this dish has 3 courses, it’s quite big” instead of repeatedly saying it’s just for one person for sure!

      Reply
  • Anonymous posted on September 3, 2010 at 2:31 am

    ^__^ LoL.
    Yes the waitress was dumb and pushy…
    Dumb because the rouille is ALSO served with grilled fish (as I told you , you can have in l’Esquinade); it is poor that Fonfon was closed, the setting is better also in Vallon des Auffes.
    And she did not help you to eat the bouillabaisse: the “art” is to spread the rouille on the bread, spread some shredded cheese on top of it, put the bread to float on the soup..then take some soup with your spoon and soak the whole bread… maybe this is why French people say :” eat the soup” instead of drink the soup ^__*

    Don’t worry, end september , you will be able to eat it in Shanghai !!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on September 3, 2010 at 10:39 am

      Ohhhhh we did NOT know that about the croutons!! πŸ™ No wonder, we were saying “why is this baguette sliced and baked so it’s so hard, instead of fresh soft bread?”. D’oh…..

      I hope it’s as good as the original version, cos no way I can cook it myself, hehehehe

      Reply
  • tiffanyx posted on September 3, 2010 at 11:26 am

    its like soooooo much soup!!!!!!!!!!!!! O.o

    Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on September 3, 2010 at 3:27 am

    I love night markets. Very fun to walk around in.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on September 3, 2010 at 10:40 am

      We managed to stay strong and not buy anything, though the stuff was so cute πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  • astrorainfall posted on September 3, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Am loving your euro trip updates. How on earth do you blog as you travel?!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on September 3, 2010 at 10:41 am

      With great difficulty, haha.. that’s why I’m back home now and have a massive backlog of holiday photos go blog about!

      Reply
  • joni_to0622 posted on September 3, 2010 at 7:58 am

    oh she was rude! I hate pushy waitresses/waiters! I went to their website but it does say that Bouillabaisse is a 3 courses meal. I think I would have a fish break for at least a few days if I were you! πŸ™‚ haha…The only thing I love bouillabaisse is their rouille and toasted bread!! I guess I prefer Chinese style fish soup better, hehe πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • beverly posted on September 3, 2010 at 10:44 am

      We just trusted her but in retrospect, shouldn’t have! Well, at least the meal was delicious :)~

      Reply
  • exhileration posted on September 3, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Your photos and meals look amazing as usual!

    I’m in Haikou now, going to Sanya tomorrow! Meant to ask you, how do you get access to your Facebook in China? lol, I got through the Great Firewall of China via my bf’s vpn with work but it shuts down after a while πŸ™

    Reply
    • beverly posted on September 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

      Ooh Sanya is pretty! And ya, VPN is pretty much the only way to go…

      Reply
      • exhileration posted on September 11, 2010 at 3:45 am

        We didn’t see the Banyan Tree where you stayed! I wanted to see it! We stayed at a smaller place that his family booked. But it was really pretty! Super hot!

        lol yay for vpn πŸ™‚

        Reply
  • tiffanyx posted on September 3, 2010 at 11:26 am

    its like soooooo much soup!!!!!!!!!!!!! O.o

    Reply
  • Anonymous posted on November 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Loury is one of the best place to take a Bouillabaissse

    I’m from Marseille and I can tell you that Loury is one of the best places to taste an authentic bouillabaisse from Marseille, located in the center, good quality and good prices.
    I really think that this is a good place to discover “Provencal food”.
    For a good Bouillabaisse the three best places to me are Fonfon, Loury and the Miramar
    Fonfon good place – but vallon des Auffes is not in the center.
    Loury for me it’s nearly the same quality but downtown close to theatre, the Harbor called “Vieux-Port” and Museum.
    The Miramar on the harbor is a very good restaurant in the “guide rouge Michelin” but the prices are not the same, much more expensive.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 4, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      Re: Loury is one of the best place to take a Bouillabaissse

      Thanks for the info! Yeah I’d love to have tried Fonfon but they are closed in August πŸ™

      Reply
  • Anonymous posted on November 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Loury is one of the best place to take a Bouillabaissse

    I’m from Marseille and I can tell you that Loury is one of the best places to taste an authentic bouillabaisse from Marseille, located in the center, good quality and good prices.
    I really think that this is a good place to discover “Provencal food”.
    For a good Bouillabaisse the three best places to me are Fonfon, Loury and the Miramar
    Fonfon good place – but vallon des Auffes is not in the center.
    Loury for me it’s nearly the same quality but downtown close to theatre, the Harbor called “Vieux-Port” and Museum.
    The Miramar on the harbor is a very good restaurant in the “guide rouge Michelin” but the prices are not the same, much more expensive.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 4, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      Re: Loury is one of the best place to take a Bouillabaissse

      Thanks for the info! Yeah I’d love to have tried Fonfon but they are closed in August πŸ™

      Reply

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