Monday, November 17, 2014

'Visit to Jaipur Restaurant, Marseilles, France' by K.J.S.Chatrath

Walking in the Vieux Port area of Marseilles, I just could not miss signboard of an Indian restaurant.

Since it was early for dinner, I spent some time enjoying the fantastic view of the old port and returned when it was beginning to get dark.

We in India are used to expecting water to be the starting point of any meal, before even placing the order. I had just travelled through some South American countries for a month and a half and found that no free drinking water was served with the meals in the restaurants. The same is true of restaurants in Europe and in France*. Of course an old provision in the Napoleonic Code makes it the responsibility of the restaurants in France to offer free drinking water to the guests. Well I was thrilled when an Indian looking gentleman brought a big jug of water and a glass. By the way please do take a look at lights of the port in background of this photo.
I had a look at the menu. It was not a cheap place to dine. I chose 'Thali' thinking that it would give me a fair idea of various dishes prepared and served in the restaurant. Another consideration was that ordering various dishes seperately would make the bill swell to a level uncomfortable for me. When asked about how 'Masala' (spices) I would like in the meal, I opted for a safe 'medium masala'
While ordering a drink I nostalgically asked for an Indian beer and soon a bottle of the familiar 'Kingfisher' was on my table.
The 'Thali' arrived soon. The food looked good but was of excessively red colour. 'Samosa', the starter was very ordinary and fairly spicy. The rice was very long grain but did not have the scent of Indian basmati. Mutton was not fully cooked and nor was the chicken.
The 'tandoori roti' (Indian bread baked in oven) was really good- one of the best that I have had in a long time. A slice of cheese seemed to have been put in the roti before baking and it had melted in the oven giving an excellent taste and flavour.
The three 'chutneys' were OK and very mildly spicy, keeping in view the European clientele. Before leaving I exchanged a few words with the gentleman serving the food. I complimented him on the choice of location for the restaurant. He discclosed that it was started about two decades ack and the management was lucky to have got this location I further enquired about the choice of 'Jaipur' as restaurant's name. He explained that the most popular tourist destination for the French tourists in India was the Golden Triangle -Delhi-Agra and Jaipur and thus the French were aware of Jaipur even though the restaurant did not specialize in Rajasthani cuisine.

I thanked and left walking towards my hotel.

If you travel to Marseilles, try out 'Jaipur'.

As advertised by the restaurant, it is an Indian Pakistani restaurant. It serves daily lunch and dinner except on mondays and tuesdays for lunch. The restaurant serves Halal meat. To make your reservation, please call / Free bottle of champagne (offer valid only on reservation and if all meals are composed of starters + dishes + desserts) for group of 6 persons onwards. There is an offer of 10% off on the takeaway. Free home delivery. (Please see the website of the restaurant given below)

Google Location Map:,5.3732238,15z

Restaurant's website:

By the way, I was a full paying customer when I visited this restaurant in October 2014.

A shorter version of this article was earlier put up on my website:

My blog address:

. *Prof. Jacques Weber of Nantes University, France has, on reading the above, advised me that 'If you want free drinking water in a French Restaurant, just ask for “une carafe d’eau”. Bread is free in French restaurants, but you have to pay it in many European countries.' Thank you Prof. Weber. . .


  1. I have received the following precision from Prof. Jacques Weber of Nantes University, France:

    “From: weber jacques
    Sent: Friday, November 21, 2014 10:26 AM
    To: kjs chatrath
    Subject: Re: Indian restaurants worldwide

    Cher Docteur Chatrath,
    J’essaierai le Jaipur dès mon prochain voyage en Provence. Savez-vous que mon village natal où vit toute ma famille est à 17 km du Vieux Port et de la Canebière ?
    Ceci dit, l’eau est offerte dans tous les restaurants français, sauf évidemment l’eau minérale.

    Jacques Weber
    If you want free drinking water in a French Restaurant, just ask for “une carafe d’eau”.
    Bread is free in French restaurants, but you have to pay it in many European countries.
    Amitiés ,