Are you bored with the same old restaurants? Tired of staring at your phone or trying to keep polite conversation going while eating a meal? Time to shake up your mealtimes by checking out KL's most unique dining experience — Le Petit Chef. The Grand Hyatt, Kuala Lumpur, is home to the "World's Smallest Chef", an ingenious blend of great food, theatre and cinema. This truly interactive experience is not only fun, but the food is top quality.
Fellow City Lister Ribuha came along with me to see what all the fuss was about as Le Petit Chef launched their new show, "The World's Greatest Chef". We were not disappointed!
The event begins with the lights dimming, instructions appearing on your plate, and your in-person guide for the evening introducing Le Petit Chef to your table. With humour and 3D projections, you are taken to culinary school to learn how to become "the World's Greatest Chef''. The first "lesson" concerns the importance of knowing your ingredients and food history, featuring the humble tomato.
The brief but fascinating history lesson is presented in full colour on your table and heralds the arrival of the first course of food, a trio of tomato delights. A small but delicious bruschetta is presented on a spoon shaped like a shovel and is accompanied by a tomato and mozzarella terrine with an olive oil dropper on a bed of black olive soil. The third element was a cute little Creuset-style lidded pot holding a delicious gazpacho made with tomatoes and watermelon. For the non-vegetarian, there was a poached lobster claw (Le Master Chef menu) or a tiger prawn (Le Grand Chef menu). The combination of the tomato and watermelon was divine, and I saved a few spoonfuls to help cleanse the more robust flavours of the terrine from my palate before I finished the course.
The next step on our journey to becoming a chef was understanding the concept of plating. Our tiny food guru brought us on a trip through art as he explained how he creates his masterpieces, much like the artists of yore. Our table lit up with famous works such as Van Gogh's Starry Night and Pollock's Convergence before settling on a Kandinsky style of food design. This course was served on an artist's palette-style plate with paint brushes provided so that we could play with our food and add colour in the form of the three sauces: Percik, blue butterfly aioli and mint coriander chutney.
The vegetarian version was a mouthwatering potato served on black charcoal glutinous rice with a pineapple, mango, and pomegranate side.
Meanwhile, meat-eaters were served similarly plated seared Hokkaido scallops with Oscietra caviar on squid ink glutinous rice. We were encouraged to let our inner artists emerge and add splashes or dashes of colourful sauces to our food to create a unique feast for our eyes and tummies.
In the next lesson towards becoming excellent cooks, the little chef took us back to his childhood and the comfort foods he enjoyed. A whimsical table display told how he started cooking with his grandmother and showed us the joy that simple, well-cooked ingredients can bring. Our human host for the night transformed into the grandmother, getting laughs and more theatre to the course.
Vegetarians were served beautifully presented meals of a substantial wild mushroom arancini ball on a bed of ratatouille and a rosemary reduction with spinach foam, helping to elevate it to a new level. The Grand and Master Chef menus offered succulent chicken roulade plated with potato, mushrooms, a morel mushroom sauce and spinach foam.
When we thought we couldn't eat anything more, our miniature host broke into song, explaining some skills required to become a chef and presented us with yet another plate of stunning food. The meat option was an oven-baked golden snapper with abalone, asparagus, buttermilk, homemade XO sauce, coriander, and red chilli.
The veggie option was braised egg tofu served with asparagus, black fungus, Goji berry and matsutake mushroom sauce.
To finish the meal, the theme of being hands-on and involved in creating our food continued with an interactive dessert experience. A platter arrived in front of us with a selection of elements we could use to tweak our final course to our unique tastes. The plate's main star was the glass of Valrhona 64% Manjari Chocolate mousse with fudge pieces, topped with a disk of chocolate. On the dish was a little wooden hammer, and we were instructed to break the chocolate disc in unison so that the room would ring out with the sound of cracking.
Then, following the instruction card on the board, we could add as much or as little of the other goodies available. These were cubes of Earl Grey jelly, a selection of berries, and a bowl of salted cookie crunch. Once added to our glass of chocolate, we were encouraged to use the plant-based meringue lollipop to stir our creation before eating.
Despite all the delicious courses we had already indulged in, we were salivating as we dug into the dessert. And boy, was it good! The fudge pieces and the meringue may have been the best I have ever had.
While some might think the tasting menus ranging in price from 598 MYR to 248 MYR for children (excluding drinks) are a little pricey, the quality of food, the entertainment and the joy of the overall experience make it value for money. Where else can you enjoy cinema, theatre, art and great food that you can play with? To make a special night even more unique, you can add cakes and flowers to your menus, and if wine is your thing, add beautifully curated wine pairings to your meal.
You may not leave the Grand Hyatt as the greatest chef, but the graduation scrolls you receive at the end at least act as a memento of a truly entertaining night. With performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights booking up fast for the coming months, contact them ASAP to guarantee a table for a great night foodie night out.