I first heard of Le Petit Chef sometime last year. It was all the rage then, as it was a new dining concept. It was only running for a limited time though and hence we missed it. After I saw social media posts recently about Le Petit Chef having a second run here in KL, I was very keen to go for it.
When Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur invited us to try out three menus, I thought it would be a great experience for our family. I did have a few reservations about it though. The set-up looked like it was fine dining, so would it really be child friendly? My son is a picky eater and the menu is pre-determined. How much would my son eat, if any? Nevertheless, I decided to take the plunge and went ahead.
Family friendly sessions
We booked in for the family friendly session, on a Sunday at 12.30pm. We arrived at Grand Hyatt KL at noon (as per the booking confirmation instructions). There’s a lounge to the side that has colouring pages and crafts for children to do while waiting. We had drinks and also took the opportunity to take pictures in front of the Le Petit Chef backdrop before going to our table.
Going from a brightly lit area to the dining room, it takes a few seconds to adjust to the dimness of the room. The room is spacious and the tables are spread out, which is perfect for social distancing! Each table was provided with its own hand sanitiser placed on a separate table. Seating arrangements are determined by the hotel and you might have to share a table with other guests. This shouldn’t be an issue as even on our own table, the seats were pretty far apart.
Season 2: all about Marco Polo
Season 2 of Le Petit Chef follows in the footsteps of Marco Polo, traversing the Silk Road, through Asia. Three different menus are available: Marco Polo’s Journey, Marco Polo’s Expedition and Marco Polo’s Little Voyager (this is a kids’ menu). The hotel treated us to one of each menu, as there were three of us. If you book different menus, you just need to look for the place card with the appropriate menu and that’d be your seat.
An interactive dining experience
We were guided all along our journey, from beginning to end. The hosts were witty, engaging and informative. For the family friendly session, the hosts ran mini quizzes in between courses (with prizes to go with the right answers) while introducing the next country and course. After each course, our hosts taught us how to say ‘cheers’ in that country’s native language and this is where the hosts shone. The way they broke down each syllable to a form which we could pronounce was fun.
Let’s go on a journey!
We journeyed from France to Arabia, to India, to Himalayas, to China and finally back to France. The animation was amazing. Le Petit Chef fit exactly where he should fit – on your book, tray or plate. He did stray off for certain courses but you never lose sight of him. The dialogue was easy to follow and understand (even for children, as I could hear them in the room laughing and giggling away at the right moments). When the whole table is lit up by the projections (themed accordingly to the respective country), it offers a truly magnificent sight. Both adults and children were mesmerised.
I must admit, going to Le Petit Chef, I had a preconceived notion that if the show’s superb, the food would not be. Oh, how wrong I was, as the food was outstanding! As I found out later, each Le Petit Chef ‘appearance’ around the world is slightly different, as the dishes and menu is decided upon by the culinary experts at the locale. This is great, as it allows the chefs to showcase their knowledge of the best local ingredients in that location.
The magic of Le Petit Chef
Needless to say, both my husband and myself cleared all our plates. Our son, the picky eater, actually tried everything that was presented and even managed to finish some of the courses! I’m pretty sure Le Petit Chef had something to do with it. For how can he go on such an amazing journey with Le Petit Chef and not be inspired to try each dish?! I was certainly impressed with Le Petit Chef and wondered if I could bring him home with me. Perhaps I’ll start throwing his name around during meals – ha!
Marco Polo’s Expedition is truly decadent. It’s basically the same as Marco Polo’s Journey, but with the addition of caviar in the first course, king prawn instead of chicken for Arabia and abalone and braised Black Angus short rib instead of steamed king garoupa for China. My husband had this menu and from the way he was savouring each bite, I could tell he was in foodie heaven.
Meanwhile, I was enjoying Marco Polo’s Journey with wine pairing. It was my first experience with wine pairing and I must say, it was fabulous! The food and the wine were perfect combinations.
It was nice to notice that Marco Polo’s Little Voyager menu did not consist of the usual children’s staple of nuggets, fries or pizza. This pushed our son to try something new, which ultimately, he enjoyed and even said so himself.
And our favourite course is…?
We were all in agreement though, that our absolute favourite course was the dessert. For this is where Le Petit Chef ‘cooked’ for us. We couldn’t take our eyes off him at all.
As the hosts said at the very beginning, the Le Petit Chef experience isn’t fine dining but FUN dining and we couldn’t agree more. Even though the tables were definitely set for fine dining, the whole atmosphere was actually very relaxed. We even overstayed the allocated time frame (1.5 hours) as it was a family friendly session. Grand Hyatt KL understands that with children, you can’t rush.
For an hour and a half, we escaped on a journey throughout Asia and dined on gourmet food. At the end of the show, we left reluctantly, which tells you that both us, the parents, and our son truly enjoyed the whole experience.
If you think that the prices are steep, just remind yourself that it IS a show and a meal. It is akin to going to see a live performance but with Le Petit Chef, you’re also eating fine food and getting top notch service. Theatrical dining seems to be the new Sunday brunch with our new normal, which isn’t a bad thing at all. They expect to run Le Petit Chef at the Grand Hyatt till 31 December 2020.
Tip: it can get chilly in the dining room, so do bring along a sweater.
Reservations and information
You need to make reservations to experience Le Petit Chef, as they only cater to 28 pax per session. Family friendly sessions run every Saturday and Sunday at 12.30pm. For more information and reservations, please have a look here.
The Grand Hyatt hotel sponsored our three menus. We paid for the wine pairing ourselves. As always, our opinions are honest and our own.