A Night in Marseille

Atelier [N.]: From Old French astelier, meaning ‘an artist’s workshop’

Paris might be the most well-known French city but the cuisine of the historic port city of Marseille has made its own impact on the world stage. Dishes like the famed seafood stew Bouillabaisse or Bourride and items like Tapenade, Pistou, and Fougasse have all left their mark. A tradition of fresh seafood and wines means that Australia’s tastebuds are well-prepared to savour these flavoursome offerings.

Overlooking Darling Harbour, Atelier by Sofitel has relaunched with a new design, new menu, and new team – all dedicated to bringing the flavours of Provence and Marseille to our own harbourside city of Sydney. New Executive Chef Eric Costille and Chef de Cuisine Jordan Hajek, both trained at highly-renowned Michelin-starred restaurants, and have joined modern luxury hotel Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour in their vision of a true French experience.

From the selection of home-made freshly baked breads with a choice of three signature butters – tomato, vineyard (red wine based) and anchovy – to begin your meal, to the three open kitchens reflecting the essence of a bustling, vibrant French brasserie, Atelier by Sofitel is an exciting fusion of traditional and modern Provençal cuisine. And while you might expect a luxe experience like this to be intimidatingly austere, in fact both the restaurant and the menu will make you feel like you’re enjoying the best produce at a seaside port; hearty, friendly, and perfectly served.

Signature dishes include an elegant Bouillabaisse – a traditional rock fish casserole recipe from Marseille, with seabream, scallops, squid rings, mussels, baby capsicum, confit and fennel; you can also enjoy culinary marine delights such as Red Snapper, Barramundi with Aioli and Prawn Provençale – where the prawns are flambéed in Pastis to give a hint of aniseed through the traditional garlic, fresh herb and tomato sauce.

Desserts by Pastry Chef Puti Firmansyah play an equally important role in the new menu and include a French/Australian fusion found in the lemon myrtle crème brulee; a vanilla pineapple mango and the Itakuja floating island made with Valrhona passionfruit chocolate, meringue and croustillant.

It would be remiss to enjoy this menu but ignore the expertly curated wine and champagne list; it features 20 different types of champagne and vintage cuvee, from the smaller champagne houses like Canard-Duchene and Dom Perignon to the houses of Louis Roederer and Pommery, as well as an extensive range of Australian and international wines. You can survey them in the 800-bottle wine and champagne wall that connects Atelier by Sofitel to Sydney’s only hotel Champagne Bar.

And if you happen to be sipping your tipple at 7pm on a Friday night at the Champagne Bar prior to dinner, you’ll see a display of Sabrage – a truly gasp-inducing sight of a Sofitel host opening a champagne bottle using a saber to break the neck of the bottle away in one clean sweep before serving up glasses of the champagne to guests.

To truly experience these French flavours, book a Marseilles Experience Long Table Dinner. From the entrée through to the dessert course, you’ll be taken on a tour through the delicious traditions of Marseille; the courses include Niçoise Salad with “Espinaler” sardines, Stuffed Capon Fish with Bouillabaisse jus, and an Iced Nougat with Citrus Compote for dessert that you’ll want everyone to taste while not wanting to share a single morsel.

For $119, or $179 with paired wines, you can enjoy a four-course dinner that highlights Provençal cuisine with a unique Australian touch in a stunningly beautiful harbourside location.

Visit Atelier by Sofitel for more information and to make your reservation.