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Chiaro Tim Mälzer's darling at the Hotel de Rome

Tuesday, February 22 2022
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Daily: 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Monday to Friday: noon - 3:00pm

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Chiaro
Behrenstraße 37
im Hotel de Rome
10117 Berlin-Mitte
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+49 30 460 609 12 12
.www.roccofortehotels.com

Tim Mälzer claims a lot about himself: the famous TV chef actually has an Italian nonna slumbering inside him, for example. So it's no wonder that Chiaro is a classic Italian restaurant. But then again, not really: "Italian but not Italian" is the motto in the stylishly decorated Chiaro at Hotel de Rome.

Classic Italian delicacies are refined here with Japanese flavours - whatever tastes good is allowed - and this is also how the collaboration works: "A superior five-star hotel and Tim Mälzer? At first glance, you might think that's an unusual combination. But in fact, it is precisely the unexpected which creates excitement," claims the Hamburg restaurateur. "And if you look closely, we have a lot in common. We both love gastronomy, have a close connection to Italy and, after the past and nerve-racking time, simply want to inspire people with something new and unique." 

So, in the informal family atmosphere of Chiaro, they spend an enchanting evening where the whole family and friends can feel at home. We toast to friendship and togetherness during our visit. Mälzer gives Chiaro his own touch not only with his own selected dishes, in which he shares his personal touch, but also the dining room, which shines in a timeless urban look, with unusual art and a cosy lighting design. Here and there, details are a serving as reminders of one's childhood.

Those little winks plays a significant role at Chiaro - after all, humour suits everyone, even a traditional establishment like Hotel de Rome. But there is still exquisite cuisine. This is already demonstrated by the brioche-like focaccia with rosemary, wonderfully sticky from maple syrup, served with a blackcurrant mascarpone and basil oil. A little sweet, a little salty, very tasty, that's how the cuisine works at Chiaro.

Chiaro Hotel de Rome Berlin Mitte  (5)
Chiaro Hotel de Rome Berlin Mitte  (4)
Chiaro Hotel de Rome Berlin Mitte  (3)
Chiaro Hotel de Rome Berlin Mitte  (2)
Chiaro Hotel de Rome Berlin Mitte  (1)

And since Chiaro is all about feeling good, we choose one of our eternal favourites and Hotel de Rome classics as a starter: the Ceasar Salad is served at the table in the traditional manner. Mustard, egg yolk and olive oil combine as mayonnaise to form the basis for the world-famous dressing, a small shot of grappa, and of course, some Parmesan are added - after all, Chiaro is an Italian restaurant. Mälzer wanted a classic Ceasar salad, so there is no chicken, no croutons. The salad itself is crunchy enough.

We find croutons on the yellowfin mackerel sashimi with lardo bacon, green pepperoni and a citrus vinaigrette. We enjoy this after the Ceasar Salad, as the sashimi is somewhat superior in taste to the Ceasar Salad - delicious. It is accompanied by a stunning Riesling from the German Riesling export Markus Molitor, which has a great minerality and a lemony note that goes wonderfully with the prelude. 

The sole, the catch of the day, is also filleted at the table - even though some may claim that this is out of date, we really like the fact that the service at Chiaro is allowed to prove what they can do at the table. This brings much more interaction with the guest, we are told - and we are looked after wonderfully. The sole is fried to a golden brown and otherwise very clean, and we enjoy a wonderful lemon-butter sauce and cima de rapa, or wild broccoli.

The courgette and fennel ravioli with clams evoke a touch of Italian exhilaration and the dream of a terrace on Lake Como. This feeling is underlined by the strong as well as delicious and well-known Lugana Il Frati Brolettino: spicy, fruity and delicious. The wines, like the menu at Chiaro, are pleasingly accessible without lacking finesse, plus they conjure up a good portion of childhood memories - first and foremost, of course, the spaghetti ice cream. Yes, you read that right. It is indeed one of the absolute top sellers at Chiaro; no dish would be ordered more often.

But we wouldn't be at the Hotel de Rome if the spaghetti ice cream came with plastic strawberry sauce like at the ice cream parlour around the corner. So, there is strawberry popcorn at the bottom of the plate for a delicate tingle, meringue for a bit of bite and frozen cream, of course (the best part, in my opinion).

The plate is also brushed with salted miso caramel - which adds a nice salty note and makes the spaghetti ice cream feel culinarily grown-up. The strawberry sauce has been jazzed up with salted and pickled oshibori plum, which adds a sweet-salty umami note, also in keeping with the whole menu.

Of course, the spaghetti ice cream (a German invention, by the way) is also finished at the table. Although that may be a bit much fuss - it's fun enough and makes children's eyes light up, even for adults. Not quite classic Italian, perhaps, but delicious all the same!

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