We tried Le Petit Chef, and this is what we thought…

You might have seen photos and videos of Le Petit Chef, but nothing beats what unfolds before your very eyes at this two-hour immersive dining experience. If you’re like us and appreciate creativity, innovation and a good story, you will enjoy this true feast for the senses.

Housed in Kazo at the chic Le Meridian Riyadh, the space lets on a cosy and almost mysterious façade. The premise is perfect as it transports diners to an entirely different place – one that doesn’t seem like you’re having dinner in a hotel.

The visuals are stimulating at best, pulling you in as you fixate your attention on the 58mm chef. Mind you; his stature’s no indication of his talent.

After a welcome introduction from our host, we’re whisked away on a gastronomical journey, where the tiny chef himself came to life via a brilliant mix of overhead projection, a state-of-the-art 3D technology and visual storytelling by Skullmapping.

Each scene is paired with stunning visuals, themed music, and delish dishes. Impressive, to say the least. We watch the tiny chef scramble, climb, jet-ski, and even snorkel across a plethora of ever-changing landscapes, as he prepares an equally diverse five-course menu.

We love that they pace the timing between entertainment and actual eating well enough, making us enjoy both thoroughly.

Our adventure starts with the tables transforming into a vegetable garden, bringing farm-to-table dining to a different level. It makes for an interesting first course, featuring king scallops and a tasty Asian salad with tamarind-sesame vinaigrette.

The second course sees the chef battling a giant octopus to serve us a velvety coconut-chilli broth with cod, calamari and shrimp. You’d better be appreciating that velouté!

For the next act, the tiny chef climbed out of a submarine, deep-dived into the reefs, and wrestled a lobster, where we indulged in heavenly Kataifi-crusted lobster medallions with yuzu sauce and mango salsa.

The crispy shredded phyllo and the irresistibly sweet and tangy combination of the salsa give this overall dish a whole different texture. It’s amazing how the flavours in each component of the dish work together.

For the main course, watch as the chef prepares a sous-vide miso-glazed Black Onyx tenderloin, alongside sautéed asparagus and shimeji mushrooms, topped with crispy togarashi enoki. The steak is juicy and tender, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

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The tale concludes on a rather saccharine note. Whipping up one final sweet treat, the chef uses ingredients like saffron, cardamom and rice, from his travels in India, the Middle East and China.

Just as we watch him putting the finishing touches, we’re then served the actual dish – a luscious crème brûlée. Such a classic dessert, but a meaningful one, as it represents the best spices and ingredients of the regions.

Our verdict? Try as we did to stay cynical, it’s difficult not to be enthralled by the magic of it all. Don’t expect a gastronomic epiphany but Le Meridian’s culinary team has executed this demanding dining experience with a service level exceptionally well – the projection mapping itself is a visual feast worth a visit.

Le Petit Chef, Kazo, Le Meridian Riyadh, dinner 6pm or 9pm seating. Guests can choose between two different set menus: Le Petit Chef Classic and Le Grand Chef Premium. Tel: 011-826-6666 @kazo_riyadh

Images: Supplied