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Le Petit Chef: In the Footsteps of Marco Polo

While it’s true to say that many ‘novelty’ dining themes come and go in Shoreditch, Le Petit Chef promises something rather more substantial. SEEN first learned of it in July when it was seeking a new location in London. Joy of joys, hot off its success in Dubai, the diminutive French cook has found a home at the glorious wood-panelled TT Liquor on Kingsland Road. Step into the shop and you find yourself amid a bewildering selection of wines in a slice of old-school London. SEEN and guest felt instantly at home.

Soon the guests for the 9pm sitting were ushered upstairs to sit at a long refectory table, hidden behind a thick curtain. SEEN liked this at once, as this is an experience to enjoy in convivial company. Above the table are state-of-the-art projectors that beam amazingly three-dimensional images of the tiny chef as he follows Marco Polo’s route across the Middle East and China to bring us our courses. It’s fair to say we were all mesmerised as the Chef flew on a bird and was chased by a dragon…

The food was delicious: smoked aubergine, chicken curry, amuse bouches, a spectacularly theatrical sorbet that we all activated at the same moment, rice pudding, and the cod! Deliciously melt-in-the-mouth. All presented on trays and in containers that reflected the cuisine of the route. A sea-bound treasure chest for the first course, a box of delights, Mughal-glittering containers and in one stunning experience, hot water poured onto ice which produced the most dramatic effect of a snowy blizzards (that was the sorbet).

The light was concentrated on the table (rather like a stage), so you were almost unaware of the waiting staff who deftly presented and removed all the ‘props’. There were also little books in which we were encouraged to write with each course, which provoked much laughter and chat with fellow guests. All in all, great fun, and a welcome antidote to the stuffiness that can be induced by fine dining. SEEN confesses to feeling a tad delicate the following morning due to the cocktails and wine that accompanied all six courses. There was a delicious rosé and the final cocktail of prosecco and vodka with a delicious foam really packed a punch.

Le Petit Chef will doubtless be off on his culinary travels again soon. SEEN can’t wait to see what he gets up to next.

TT Liquor
17B Kingsland Road
E2 8AA