I am a big fan of sushi and recently, whilst visiting a friend in Marseille, I was lucky enough to have the best sushi I have ever tasted.
My friend had mentioned this lovely little place to me on numerous occasions with the best fish you can eat in Marseille, straight from the boats of the local fishermen. So whilst in town it was top of my list of things to do.
As we approached the restaurant, I realised that Sushi Qui was not the chic, fancy place I was expecting. The simple, intimate and homely feeling was so much more endearing than any fancy place could ever hope to achieve. Run by Christian Qui (find out more about him here), Sushi Qui was the most personal experience I have had in a restaurant, it was like being invited into Christian’s home.
The tiny room, holding maximum 12 guests, has an open kitchen where you can see your dishes being prepared with love right before your eyes. There is no menu. Your are provided with beautiful dishes straight from the ocean that day.
We started with Miso soup, but not your ordinary Miso soup. This was made with fresh fish stock and flavoured with urchin. I had always wanted to try urchin after being absolutely petrified of the giant ones which shared the ocean with me when I snorkelled last year in Mexico. This one was tiny in comparison but delicious.
Then came the fresh oysters, sushi style. Sprinkled with wasabi, spring onion and lemon juice. Such pretty things! I then ate the freshest sashimi possible. The tuna was literally gutted, cleaned and sliced in front of our eyes and then served with stracciatella cheese and flying fish eggs. A serious taste sensation.
Throughout the meal, we were accompanied by music provided kindly by my friend who acted as DJ, selecting records from the personal collection on display. It really was like being invited into a friend’s for dinner.
Not only was the food great, but the company was too. Christian and I reminisced about music and about Leeds, where I grew up and where he studied landscape architecture. You can absolutely see the artistic past in Christian’s dishes. Each plate is prepared with such care and attention, not only for taste, but for look.
I can tell you something for nothing: going back to regular ‘high street’ sushi was tough!