Le Petit Chef is a well-known gastronomic journey, bringing you flavours from around the world. This time, it finds its home at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur.
The days of stuffy, fine-dining meals are slowly becoming a thing of the past. As we crave something more visually stimulating, Le Petit Chef brings you on a gastronomic journey in just 90 minutes. This immersive journey uses 3D visuals to showcase its storytelling. The entire experience of the world’s smallest chef was done by none other than Skullmapping and first launched back in March 2015.
Five years on and Le Petit Chef is going strong, especially in Malaysia. After its previous stint at another location in town, it has found its new home at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur hotel. What was something you used to only see through social media is now within your grasp.
We were lucky enough to experience this 3D-visual delight on behalf of Grand Hyatt KL, bringing theatre and dining with harmonious results.
For starters, it’s worth noting that the entire dinner will last only 90 minutes for each session. Le Petit Chef also ensures that all diners and its event space follow the strict SOPs that are already set in place. With that said, it also does away with its two-seater tables and opted for seating four in one large table as well as big parties to create a more communal dining feel.
Le Petit Chef also keeps its ambience light and breezy, creating a narrative with its guests via the host, who will play an important role in your meal. Each diner will receive a large book at their seat and you will be instructed to open the book to the middle. This will be your canvas for the night as the world’s smallest chef takes you on an adventure, ranging from his humble beginnings to where the inspiration for the night’s meal came from, and much more.
The journey of the world’s smallest chef follows in the same footsteps as Marco Polo, who made numerous discoveries while travelling along the Silk Road in the continent of Asia. Le Petit Chef is offering two different menus at different price points, ensuring that everyone will enjoy what it has to offer in terms of value and quality. Marco Polo’s Journey is set at RM399 nett per person while Marco Polo’s Expedition goes for RM599 nett per person. Of course, the latter includes more luxuriant ingredients for certain dishes, which we’ll point out throughout this review.
The Expedition Begins
Starting in France, Le Petit Chef travels via the North Atlantic Ocean, which is also where you will experience your first dish — poached seafood bouillabaisse with a healthy serving of dill sour cream and topped with saffron foam. For the Expedition menu, it will feature a generous helping of caviar to go with its broth (the Journey menu doesn’t have any caviar). Given how caviar does require certain tastebuds, that doesn’t mean it’ll be horrible without it. The bouillabaisse was rich and hearty to the palate with plenty of flavours to go with every mouthful. Prawns, mussels, and squid made up the list of poached seafood while adding the caviar into the mix gave it a nice burst of brininess and kick to the broth.
During each interval, your serving trays in the shape of rectangular boxes will be replaced, which also indicates that the story will continue from where we last left off. After making its way through the North Atlantic Ocean, Le Petit Chef wound up in the streets of Arabia, which also brings forth our second course.
The mezze platter brings vibrant and exuberant tastes into a tray, featuring codfish kofta, beetroot and truffle hummus, tabbouleh, muhammara, and topped off with seaweed pita bread. While it may seem like a lot at first, you’ll soon realise how much element of the dish complements one another to create a smorgasbord of flavour profiles at once. The beetroot and truffle hummus, in particular, is exceptionally divine; the beetroot was fresh and earthy, which goes well with the more musky and powerful truffle. This created an umami flavour that is still hard to forget until this day. It also paired well with the other ingredients on the tray, making it an overall great dish.
Travelling towards India, you’ll be greeted with king prawn served alongside jhinga cafreal, coriander, grilled potatoes, pickled onions, and papadum. If you’re on the Journey menu, it’ll feature chicken with murgh cafreal instead. While the chicken was rather bland, the king prawn on the Expedition menu was sumptuous. Juicy, clean, and tender to the touch, it was made for a great meal alongside the curry and potatoes while the pickled onions provided a necessary burst of flavour.
After all that spice and savoury flavours, it was time to cool it down. This was also the perfect time to welcome back Le Petit Chef, who has somehow found himself atop the Himalayas. This is also the name of your palate cleanser in the form of a kaffir lime sorbet. Sweet, sour, and oh-so cold was something you’d be looking forward to after a trip to the spice capital of the world.
After taking a break atop the snowy mountains, it was time to traverse Eastwards with China in mind. Touching down, we’re greeted with Le Petit Chef in his usual antics, this time stealing food from a local market. However, he soon finds himself in trouble with a dragon and is sent on a merry chase. For the Journey menu, your dish will have steamed king grouper fish served with THIRTY8 signature XO sauce alongside preserved radish, chilli, and soy sauce. Delicately cooked with enough bite to give it a velvet-like texture, the fish was exceptional.
If you’re on the Expedition menu, you’ll tuck into 8 Head abalones and braised Black Angus short ribs, drenched in THIRT8 signature XO sauce alongside a large radish slice, mushrooms, and siew pak choy. While everything else served to complement the main elements of the dish, it’s hard to decide which was best. The abalone was juicy and succulent with a tender chew to each bite; the short ribs were braised, which sadly mulled the flavour of the beef but thankfully the sauce made it worthwhile.
After a worldwide journey spanning from Europe to Asia, we stop at dessert, which is a personal creation of Le Petit Chef. It incorporates inspirations from his travels, introducing ingredients into the dessert. The pahang chocolate mousse rests atop a vanilla cremeux to go with chilli, cardamom, and kumquat alongside raspberries to boot. It also featured a white chocolate biscuit with a small gold leaf to add levels of grandeur to your already bourgeois meal. Decadently sweet and delectable from the very first bite, it’s good to end dessert on a sweet and strong note.
For 90 minutes, you are taken on a whirlwind experience of Le Petit Chef and his travels, paying tribute to Marco Polo. The six-course meal is exuberant, fun, and entertaining while still maintaining a level of quality and taste to its food. What’s also great is that the entire le Petit Chef experience isn’t expensive per se, given the ingredients that Grand Hyatt KL are using.
The hotel is also offering ‘Stay & Dine‘ packages alongside the RM399 Marco Polo’s Journey menu and the RM599 Marco Polo’s Expedition menu. There is also a wine-pairing add-on menu at RM299 nett per person Marco Polo’s Little Voyager kids meal at RM199 nett.
It’s also worth noting that showtimes are from Tuesday to Thursdays at 6.30 pm; Fridays to Sundays (including Public Holidays) are at 6.30 and 8.30 pm.
To book your slot, click HERE.
All images courtesy of Le Petit Chef.