Teatro at Downtown Rotana offers a dining experience for all senses with Le Petit Chef immersive adventure. Fernanda Langhammer went along to check it out!
Going out for dinner is always exciting, mainly when you have something to commemorate. Our party of four went to Teatro at Downtown Rotana to celebrate my son’s birthday. However, what Teatro is offering is an unparalleled experience that will transform any night into a special occasion.
The fun Le Petit Chef is a dinner show available in more than 61 locations worldwide, and it has just arrived in Bahrain. Teatro is found on the fourth floor, and right after stepping out of the lift, we were welcomed with a big backdrop display where we took fun pictures with food-related props. It was such a great way to put us in the mood for what was going to happen next. The beautiful mezzanine restaurant now has six unique tables where the dining journey happens. A high-quality projector placed on the ceiling transforms the tables into a big screen where the animation is played. Our entourage had two curious little eight-year-olds who couldn’t wait for the spectacle to start.
We were asked to arrive 30 minutes before to get ourselves prepared. We received a few instructions, such as keeping the plate perfectly centralised in the light and the white tablecloth as flat as possible. The lovely Loubna, our waitress for the night, introduced herself and took our drinks orders. In no time, the music started and it was showtime!
The entertaining performance began with a quick presentation from Le Petit Chef, the smallest chef in the world measuring only six centimetres. The duration of the four-course meal journey is approximately two hours and there is a unique film for each dish. As soon as the animation featuring the adventures of Le Petit Chef to prepare the dish – suffering hilarious misfortune at times – finishes, the actual plate with the wonderfully cooked food appears on the table, what an amusing way of eating!
The little chef started working on our first course of the night, Bouillabaisse, a traditional Provençal fish soup originating from the port city of Marseille. As you can imagine, the entertaining short movie takes place on the ocean, where he deals with sea creatures in a fantastic animation.
Made with prawns, crab, fish, octopus, clams and mussels, this dish is a classic staple in French cuisine. My dining companion said it had a spot-on ocean flavour, not overpowering, and the bisque itself was creamy, with the seafood cooked to perfection. A slice of a crunchy baguette with saffron aioli accompanied the soup.
I opted for the vegetarian menu (even though the animation shows Le Petit Chef preparing iconic French dishes, you can choose a menu according to your diet). I had the cream of mushroom soup made with wild types of funghi; it had a distinct earthy tone and perfect creamy consistency. There is also a kids’ menu, and they were served a smooth sweet potato soup with coconut foam, a great option to please their young palates.
This was everyone’s favourite – most definitely the funniest one! Poor Le Petit Chef is carefully harvesting the ingredients for our salad in his garden when he needs to handle an intrusive mole… I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I have to say that it doesn’t end that well. Our burrata with gazpacho dressing was a bit all over the place as a result of this disturbance.
The refreshing salad was composed of tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, olives and arugula, with a burrata as the main character. When we cut it, the white, chewy ball leaked a perfect creamy filling. The sweet, rich interior was runny, yet it had the expected distinctive curds, an absolute winner with its fresh and delicate flavour. The kids enjoyed a comforting mac and cheese that they absolutely loved.
It was time for the main course and, if the previous animation was the funniest, this was the one that really played with all our senses.
While Le Petit Chef was grilling Le Boeuf, a USDA tenderloin beef cut, to the guests’ preferences, a smoky scent invaded the room. It was as if we could literally smell what was being cooked in the show playing in front of our eyes. But the experience didn’t end there; an alarm blasted, and plates with glass domes entered the room. When they were lifted, a cloud of smoke escaped, giving us a sense of magic.
Not only did a medium-rare piece of meat appear on the plate, but also delightfully grilled vegetables. My companion couldn’t stop complimenting the steak. It had a warm red centre oozing with juiciness and tenderness with great natural flavour, slightly charred on the outside. He tried the accompanying demi-glace sauce, but the meat had such an excellent quality that it was unnecessary to add anything else.
The vegetables included baby potatoes, asparagus, mixed carrots, broccoli and cherry tomatoes, all grilled to a distinct charred flavour. Mine and the kids’ plates came with a vegetarian burger (originally chicken for the kids, but these are non-meat eaters) that truly embraced the grilling experience.
After having our appetites taken care of, Le Petit Chef embarked on a journey to prepare our dessert: Crème Brûlée. The creamy custard has traditional burnt sugar on top that Ajay, one of the maestros of the night, created with his cooking torch at our table to add its iconic crunchy top layer.
The beautiful vanilla dessert was paired with strawberry ice cream and fresh berries. It was one of the best we ever had – everyone’s favourite dish of this incredible night.
The dining experience ended with fireworks on our tables, but as we were there for a special occasion, the screening changed into a cupcake celebration and a special Happy Birthday message from the little chef. I have to say that the kids’ reactions to each misadventure of Le Petit Chef were the best part – such a memorable night that will be remembered for years to come!
Now you know where to head if you are looking for a dining experience that will transport you to a universe of storytelling and great food. Teatro is playing Le Petit Chef daily at 7pm, so don’t miss the chance to book your table!