Maria Boyle takes her family to Le Petit Chef London to enjoy a meal with the world’s smallest chef which was of the highest standard.

As a mum-of-three daughters aged 14, 18 and 20, I could write a whole book about family dining – the good, the bad and the ugly!

So, when I heard the buzz around Le Petit Chef I had high hopes. Was this the dining experience I had been searching for? One which delivers on food – for both children and adults – and creates a magical immersive experience that we would all enjoy?

Hot on the heels of its success in Le Petit Chef Brighton, Singapore, Dubai, Prague and Berlin restaurants, Le Petit Chef’s London home is located inside Victoria House at The London Cabaret Club, on the corner of Bloomsbury Square, just minutes’ walk from Holborn tube station.

Le Petit Chef London Review

Le Petit ChefIts concept is ingenious – a fusion of state-of-the-art tech, gastronomic storytelling, together with palate-pleasing dishes to bring a complete immersive dining experience to the table.

The 44-seater venue gets booked up fast – so much so, they have introduced a second daily service to cope with the demand. Tables are precisely set for groups of two or four people, a 3D projector hangs from the ceiling directly above each table (discreetly hidden in what looks like a light shade), with a surround-sound system installed throughout the restaurant.

As soon as all guests are seated, the lights dim and an animated cinematic film beams onto each tabletop in glorious technicolour, and diners ‘meet’ Le Petit Chef, measuring just 6cm tall. Legend has it that he was ‘born’ in 2015 in Marseille and is already world-renowned for his exceptional French cuisine.

Le Petit Chef quickly swings into action and starts to prepare dinner in a klutzily and comic way. He goes from digging up radishes in a kitchen garden and battling pesky moles, to fishing in the ocean and going head on with a giant octopus. He masters cooking fillet steaks over hot coals and pulls off a brilliant crème brûlée with a touch of flambé. After each interactive and highly entertaining animation, guests are served food, course by course, by a well-choreographed team of waiters.

Le Petit Chef Menus

My only reservation when booking Le Petit Chef was would the experience be all about the animation and the food an afterthought. This was not the case thankfully. The food was excellent, each course was delicious and our table all agreed it was a big hit, including our daughter who opted for the vegetarian menu.

Diners can choose from a selection of menus – Le Grand Chef (£149 per person plus service charge), Le Petit Chef Classic (£119 per person plus service charge), Junior Chef (age six-twelve, £59 per person plus service charge) and Vegetarian menu (£119 per person plus service charge). We opted for the Le Petit Chef Classic five-course menu, which included a burrata, tomato and rocket salad, followed by a seafood bouillabaisse. Then came the lobster, shrimp, and green peas risotto (my favourite), followed by a tender beef fillet with peppercorn sauce, truffled potato puree, honey glazed carrots and broccoli (my husband’s favourite) and, after a little rest, a silky vanilla crème brûlée with berry sorbet.

My husband and myself thought we would make a night of it and go for the wine pairing (bespoke wine pairing £59; premium wine pairing £79 for five 125ml glasses) while the teens enjoyed delicious mocktails and cocktails – all beautifully served.

The Verdict

While it is not a cheap dinner out, the two-hour immersive dining experience makes for a memorable evening and appeals to all ages and groups. When we were dining, the restaurant was filled with a mix of couples on first dates; families celebrating special moments, groups of friends enjoying a Saturday night in the capital, and older diners intrigued by the whole experience.

At the end of the meal, we left on a real high after an evening of great food and entertainment – we were mesmerised by the animations, charmed by Le Petit Chef’s antics, and rated the quality of the food and wine. It really was the perfect family dining experience.

London Cabaret Club

For those who want to extend the night, the adjoining London Cabaret Club has a series of themed shows to enjoy. Located on the same floor as the restaurant, we were ushered into the Bloomsbury Club’s magnificent Art Deco ballroom which features a central stage, with tables arranged all around it, and enjoyed a classic cabaret show called ‘London Never Dies’, a full-scale Bond theme extravaganza with live music, dancing and acrobatics.

It was a fun end to a perfect evening and “not another boring dinner” according to my 14-year-old who also said on the way home that it was one of the best night outs we’ve had as a family. Praise indeed!

The Basics

Book in advance – tables are in demand. Children aged six and above are very welcome to dine. Children aged twelve and older are allowed to attend The London Cabaret Club Show, then those under eighteen are required to leave before the after-show starts at around 10:30pm.

Le Petit Chef

For more information about the restaurant or to reserve a table, click here.