Ray’s Grill, the chic steakhouse on the 63rd floor of Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers is the latest global restaurant to host the adventures of Le Petit Chef.
Diners at the luxurious five-star hotel, Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers, now have the opportunity to follow the world’s smallest chef on a food-fuelled adventure as he prepares a five-course meal with often comedic results.
Arriving a little before our 9:30pm seating, we discover a restaurant full of excited diners, waiting in eager anticipation for the culinary adventure about to unfold. It’s important to arrive promptly as the 58mm chef waits for no one, and the show will start, with or without you!
Bright white table clothes are illuminated from above using cutting-edge 3D technology and digital mapping that transforms your plate and tabletop into an interactive culinary theatre, complete with visuals and striking sound effects.
Over the course of 90 fun-filled minutes, we are taken on a journey through different environments as the clumsy but endearing chef prepares a five-course menu that will delight even the most jaded of diners.
Things begin with a verdant garden scene where the thumb-sized chef wanders across our plate, taking ingredients from his greenhouse and flinging them into the air. It’s fun, whimsical and nostalgic as we immediately connect with the character and his determination to prepare a memorable meal, despite the adversities he faces in each interactive scene. The seamlessness in which the themed music, props and holograms combine are impressive, and within moments, we have a delightful tomato terrine with goat cheese curd, tomato vinaigrette, rosemary and sea salt melba toast in front of us.
We don’t want to spoil too much about the overall story arc of the meal, but we will say that each course results in strife for the tabletop chef. Whether it’s trouble with fire when preparing the confit duck leg with mushroom risotto or tackling a pesky octopus while trying to cook an aromatic crustacean bisque – we’re enamoured and invested throughout the culinary journey.
With unique optical techniques and length distortions employed with the likes of the cutlery and condiments, it’s exciting to see the interactivity with course after course of impeccably prepared food. The USDA prime beef fillet (our favourite course) is masterfully prepared and then miraculously transformed into physical form.
The interactive tabletop show increases in pace, audacity and excitement before culminating in a memorable dessert course in which snow and ice are used to prepare a peach melba with spices and elderflower. It’s safe to say that after an hour and a half of culinary escapism, we’re sad to see the chef depart.
Limited to just 32 covers per sitting, the technology-driven dining experience is intimate and eventful, with plenty of surprises in store for the entire family. Le Petit Chef takes place each week from Tuesday to Sunday with sittings at 7pm and 9:30pm.
Four menu options are available – Le Petit Chef Classic (AED 385), Le Petit Chef Grandioso (AED 545), Le Petit Chef Gardener (AED 385) for vegetarians, and Le Petit Chef Junior (AED 295), a menu specially created for children.
The action on the table is just as impressive as the views from the 63rd floor, where you can see the corniche, glittering skyscrapers and the Arabian Gulf. If dinner and a show is your thing, you’d better get those reservations in quick!