At the Grand Hyatt Singapore, we recently got acquainted with the world’s smallest connoisseur – a three-inch reproduction of Marco Polo, canonically known as Le Petit Chef. Held in mezza9’s La Cave, the intimate wine cellar sets the scene for a seamless virtual adventure so real, you’ll need a reality check after.
Taste, texture, and smell – some say good food is meant to be an experience in and of itself. That’s probably why the combinative idea of virtual reality and fine-dining can elicit polarising reactions. But when done right, adding a touch of the theatrical can elevate a dining experience, and boy, were we in for a treat.
In the two-hour adventure across the Silk Road, there’s a clever mix of overhead projection and live mapping that transforms the carefully-set plates and tables in front of us into shifting landscapes. We watched Chef scramble, climb, and even fly across a plethora of ever-changing landscapes, as he prepared an equally diverse six-course menu. Executed brilliantly by Sous Chef Steffan Heerdt and his team, the timing between entertainment and actual eating was balanced and paced well enough that we enjoyed both thoroughly.
We lunched on Bouillabaisse Terrine and Crab Salad while traversing the Arabian Sea, and scaled Mount Everest in the Himalayas with a fragrant Frozen Lemon Ginger and Chili Oil Sorbet. Because execution on the latter came with the perfect visual, aural, and aliphatic accompaniment, we begrudgingly fold to the concept of virtual dining. Try as I did to stay cynical, it was difficult not to be enthralled by the magic of it all.
On top of all that, there’s also an option to booze things up – you’re in a wine cellar, so why not? It’d be a shame not to further blur the lines of virtual reality with their generous Wine and Champagne Packages (starting from S$88++), which cram in a curated glass for every course, including big names like Dom Perignon and Stags Leap. (if you’re still sober enough to count by the end of it, that’d be six glasses).
Running now till 30 December 2019, Le Petit Chef limits service to 16 diners per session. There are four exclusive six-course menus to choose from, including Marco Polo’s Kid’s Adventure for children under twelve (S$88++) and Marco Polo’s Vegan Voyage (S$188++), so if you’re wondering if the scamps can come along for lunch (12pm) or dinner (6pm-8.30pm), yes they can.
Make a reservation with Le Petit Chef here. Grand Hyatt Singapore is located at 10 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228211, p. +65 6738 1234.