Speaking about an exotic imagery of mysterious faraway places, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poetic fragment Kubla Khan represents Xanadu, the summer capital of the Yuan dynasty founded by Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan. In his fantasy world, there is a pleasure dome where Alph the sacred river runs, caverns, ancient forests, walls, towers, luxurious vegetation, sunless sea and mighty fountains are broached. There are four friends who were so influenced by the very words of the poet that they decided to create their own visionary place which speaks of distant worlds, travels and of course, good food. And this they called Kubla Khan.
Valerio Del Grosso, Matteo Roscani, Francesco Rosati and Andrea Malkam all come from the world of gastronomy prior to this project and their restaurant at the Appio Latino district of Rome, Kubla Khan, focuses on food and mixology of Oriental and South American influences. Their idea is to concretize the fantasy world that Coleridge has written about and to give life to an identity cuisine which is purely theirs to present to the capital: a contemporary fusion cuisine and unique mixology, which are the two souls of Kubla Khan.
The restaurant’s interior replicates the world of Xanadu where it is completely immersed in psychedelic lights characterizing the mood of Coleridge when he was writing the poem. Wooden tables, statues, comfortable corners with pillows, lanterns and plants swing from the ceiling, together overtly create an ethnic and oriental soul with colors of green, gold and brown. There is an ample space for a good number of guests with fifty seats indoors and another fifty outdoors.
Cocktails, dinner and after-dinner represent three moments which often merge into a single experience that focuses on an identity menu: a cuisine that looks to the East and South America to give a new look to local flavors. This philosophy is well represented by specific sections on the menu: Bao (€5), Tacos (€12 to €14), Raw Bar (€13 to €17), Kubla Rolls (€10 to €12), Gyoza (€9 to €10), Burgers (€13 to €14), Plates (€15 to €17), Fried Dishes (€3 to €5) and Dessert (€6 to €8). The Kubla Rolls are interesting creations of the chef of sushi rolls with unusual combinations like the Parmigiana Rolls which have the flavors of the classic Italian parmigiana squeezed in the uramaki rolls: rice, basil sauce, creamy Parmigiano and smoked aubergines. There are also the popular Japanese gyoza with three choices of fillings: grilled shrimp, vegetables or chicken completed with teriyaki sauce. For the burger lovers, there are three kinds: Wagyu beef with cheddar cheese, and guanciale; cod tempura which are battered and fried with tzatziki and mashed potatoes; or breaded chicken with teriyaki and vegetables cooked in a wok. For bigger plates, there are the salmon marinated in miso with tzatziki or beef served with vegetables.
From 18:00 to 20:00, aperitif is served with a series of finger food, tasting portions of the dishes in the menu accompanied with a glass of one of the cocktails of Kubla Khan. The bar is manned by Nicholas Pelliccioni together with Eleonora Balzano, young and talented bartenders who have created a cocktail list that’s both complex and emotive: a ‘Dream List’ combining twelve blended products that represent the visionary soul of Kubla Khan. Each cocktail, a twist between a classic with exotic influences, is inspired by a different place in the world, and a meaningful term from a foreign language has been chosen for each creation. An example is the gin with truffles in the cocktail Le Terre del Conte where there is a maximum expression of the natural flavors of nature.
In addition, Kubla Khan has a rich program alternating between DJ sets on weekends (from 18:00 to 22:00) and prestigious guests from both the mixology and food world, every Thursday evening.
Piazza di Ponte Lungo, 1
00183 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 06 83921197
Whatsapp (Booking): +39 3450026467
Open daily from 18:00 to 2:00