An Extraordinary Culinary Experience with Chef Massimo Viglietti at Taki Labò in Rome, Italy

Onorio and Yukari Vitti, patrons of Taki Japanese Restaurant in the heart of the Prati district in Rome welcomes Chef Massimo Viglietti, one of Rome’s best multi-awarded chefs who stands out with his punk style. In a diverse project from the authentic Japanese cuisine that Taki represents, Viglietti opens a different route by putting together an avant-garde cuisine, a mosaic of Japanese and Italian elements. Using the best of both worlds, Taki Labò was born in the hands of Viglietti, a new culinary experiment wherein he has absolute freedom in expressing himself.

Chef Massimo Viglietti is an innovator of extreme ideas in the kitchen, a lover of British punk rock music and of tattoos (he has 26 in all). He has been a protagonist in promoting the Italian cuisine through his own cooking for 40 years. Originally from the Italian region of Liguria, where he worked at the two Michelin-starred Il Palma Restaurant in Alassio (Liguria).  Five years ago, he moved to the capital and took charge of the kitchen of Achilli Enoteca al Parliamento where he gained a Michelin star. This year, his project takes him to a totally new direction – to let his creativity shine by directing Taki Labò inside Taki Restaurant.

“For me it will be a gymnasium, a laboratory where I can work on my ideas, and then subsequently launch TAKI OFF. The clients will live an immersive experience, every night there will be a different performance, with my background music. In the dishes you will find Japanese ingredients but not only, because I have thought of proposals without borders: you will have to prepare yourself for “The Dark Side of Taki”, another aspect that I thought of, for those who want to experience an unexpected evening. Alternatively, you can always choose Yukari’s harmony, which knows how to show the truest side of the Rising Sun,” explains Chef Viglietti.

Taki Labò is Chef Viglietti’s stage, a place where he can express himself in absolute freedom. Each course expresses a part of himself, whimsical and punk-style which guests are invited to discover while being immersed in the music selected by the chef. It is a captivating and unique experience that involves all the senses through each passage that arrives to the conclusion of getting to know well the conductor of the kitchen. Taki Labò does not have a menu that follows the customary succession of courses. There are two proposals: Ten courses with wine pairing at €130 and another one with six courses plus wine pairing at €90. The Japanese ingredients combined with the chef’s innovations are interpreted in full play creating surprising flavors, rich colors and fragrances.

The preview 10-course dinner, so energetic with the unpredicted union of flavors, accompanying music and stories depicted by Chef Viglietti, held the true sense of an unforgettable gastronomic experience. The dinner started with a refreshing floral drink inspired by the South Tyrolean cocktail blending sparkling sake and elderflower syrup accompanied with the initial presence of wasabi grissini. Each dish, a harmony of distinguishable flavors, was a sequence of surprising combination of ingredients put together with progressive techniques.

There was the beef tartare with raw shrimp, including the contents of the shrimp’s head which the chef squeezes directly on each plate on the table then seasoned with tapenade of olives and yogurt. There is also the tris of gyoza filled with shrimp, pork and vegetables served with a cup of warm broth that’s made with katsuobushi (dried tuna) and vegetables served from a moka pot then mixed with a raw egg yolk which is an incredible amalgamation of delicate flavors. Another play of land and sea flavors together come out in the seared Hida Wagyu coming from the Japanese Alps with its exceptional marbling and delicate flavor which exceeds the one of Kobe, served with a single anchovy fillet on top then dressed with black garlic sauce. The grand finale were the dessert entries that had extremely unsuspected ingredients with an explosion of unusual and balanced commingling of flavors. There is the dish with the banana cream, white chocolate, savory shortcrust pastry and caviar, a dish inspired by the stylist Jean Paul Gautier. The final dessert is even more unimaginable, Gambero Suzette (Shrimp Suzette) wherein the shrimp is marinated in yuzu then served with green tea gelato and salted crumble.

While Taki Labò takes its guests to a curious gastronomic path, Takì continues as the temple of traditional Japanese cuisine as headed by Yukari Vitti. Cold and hot dishes of  ravioli, ramen, gyoza, wagyu and sushi, all handcrafted by the resident cooks, remain in the menu. There are the quick and light proposals for lunch with their Lunch Sets (€15). For those who want a more profound comprehension of the genuine traditional Japanese cuisine, there is the possibility to try the Kaiseki (by reservation only), a meal made with the products of the day’s shopping, a fascinating alternative linked to the tea ceremony during which they eat small gourmet plates cooked with the ingredients found at the market in the morning.

Among the particularities that characterize Taki is the Ghindara Saikyoyaki, black cod marinated with  the Saikyo Miso, typical of the Kyoto cuisine. Another special dish is Kamo Roast, duck breast cooked at low temperature then seared with three Japanese sauces of soy, rice vinegar and yuzu. As Yukari says, “Kamo roast is a dish that reminds me of my mom, she always cooked it, and her recipe is the best for me, so my chefs follow it to the letter. Every now and then, when I miss Japanese cuisine, I propose to the chefs to include that dish on the menu, so I feel a little closer to my country.”

Yukari, born and raised in Kyoto is a true ambassador of the most authentic Japanese tastes. Studying the Italian language took her to Perugia before moving to Rome in 2001 where she opened an ice cream shop. Together with Onorio Vitti, her husband, business partner and owner of Vitti Dal 1898 Restaurant, they created Takì in 2007.

Taki

Via Marianna Dionigi, 54 – 62
00193 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 063201750
Website: https://taki.it/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ristorantegiapponesetaki/
Taki: Open daily for lunch and dinner
Taki Labò: Open from Tuesdays to Saturdays between 20:00 to 22:00