When I was told of this place called LAT’s Place in Johor, I did what anyone who is internet savvy would do, google it. There were not many results, and most links doesn’t give away much. And so I hop on the bus to Johor with a group of media from KL, all the while wondering what could be so unique about this “theme restaurant” and hoping that it’s worth the 5 hours journey.
Besides Lat’s Place, our media trip covers Hello Kitty Land as well but that was scheduled for the next day. Our dinner upon arrival was at Lat’s Place so my curiously was almost instantly satisfied.
Lat’s Place is an animated themed restaurant which brings the world of legendary local cartoonist, Dato’ Mohd Nor Khalid or Dato’ LAT’s famed Kampung Boy (Village Boy) character to life. And to life here means live animations – not exactly humans dressed up as Lat characters.
Amazingly enough, this dining experience with a live animation screening is actually the 1st of its kind in the world. For 80 minutes, LAT’s Place provides diners an engaging and interactive animated experience from LAT’s storybook, with a story-line driven content revolving around the preparation of a feast and community activities in a village.
|Monday – Sunday||12.30pm – 1.50pm (Lunch Session)**|
|6.00pm – 7.20pm (Dinner Session)|
Due to the nature of the performance, patrons must arrive on time and all must be seated before the performance begin. Late comers will not be allowed to enter into LAT’s Place once the performance has started. Those who are late must wait for the intermission before they are allowed in. Yes, this is almost like theater.
Performance aside, how did the food fare? This is a restaurant after all. Food here follows a set menu. There are an Adult Menu, Vegetarian Menu and a Children Menu.
Presentation of the food is suitably impressive while taste-wise it didn’t fare too badly either. I like “muhibbah-ness” of the menu; a smorgasbord of Malay, Chinese and Indian dishes commendably well prepared.
The welcome drink Rani’s Cooler Fizz is exactly as its name suggested; slightly gassy and refreshing. As we sat down, our appetiser was already on the table; covered with a very nostalgic albeit refined “tudung makanan” – which I do not have the direct translation in English in mind but I’ll just call it the “food cover”.
MEOR’s Celebration Combinations – Seafood Pudding “Otak-otak”, Mango Kerabu, Honeydew Prawns.
As we dig in, the show came to life. For the following 2 and a half hours, we devoured our delicious “muhibbah” set meal while being entertained by the large projector screens on the wall that shows live animations of the characters from Lat’s comics, while live entertainment by the staff of Lat’s place goes on in between.
But first let me introduce you to Lat’s family again should your memory been a little bit rusty.
And here they are on screen; witty and entertaining throughout the 2 hours duration of dinner. I won’t spoil the surprise but I’ll just let on that there were a lot of singing, jokes and a light story along with it.
Even the interior of our dining area matched the occasion. The sound system are loud and clear while the wall murals and hanging ornaments reflects the traditional village ambiance.
I have to say kudos to the service staff who are simply multi-talented individuals. They sang, danced and jovially went about their chores so try not not to get shocked if the whole group of them suddenly breaks the silence with boisterous and lively singing plus dancing. It’s all part of the show!
The whole dining area is also equipped with a good sound and lighting system. The atmosphere during the dinner changes from light to dark as dinner progressed and sounds of crickets occasional came through, truly transporting us back to the village ambiance.
In fact, at one point of the dinner it “rained”, complete with the sounds of thunder and raindrops and streaks of lighting. Our servers even start serving us holding umbrellas!
All in all, it was an interesting experience. Since set meals applies here, there’s very little room for mistakes. And the meal pays homage to our local cuisine, in accordance with the setting and concept of the place. I think it is also a good concept to be revealed at Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park since in the near future there would be busloads of tourists visiting from overseas and this does showcase our Malaysian heritage in a compelling way.
Then again, even as a local, I did enjoy my time here and so did the rest of the media group.
Main course: Pak Ali Delights – Lamb Cutlet Curry with Potatoes, Lat’s Place Signature Dish – Rolled Chicken with Lemongrass and Mild Percik Sauce, Mrs. Hew’s Favourite – Steamed Red Snapper with Ginger Soya Sauce, Tang’s Delicious Greens – Steamed Vegetables with Peanut Sauce, Rice – Steamed Fragrant Rice with Potato Chicken Dumpling.
We were all stuffed after the main. It may look small in portions but it was really filling!
Tastewise everything is good except for Mrs Hew’s steamed fish. It wasn’t fresh and was overcooked.
The chicken and the lamb was superbly flavourful and tender. Even the vegetables and the simple potato chicken dumpling was tasty.
Here are some snippets of the story of the evening. I find this particular part quite funny! :DD
Dessert was a platter of local fruits with sweet local glutinous rice plus chewy kuih koci which spurts liquid brown sugar on the first bite. A fitting local sweet ending.
Considering dining here? Prices and timing are as below:
Coming out of the restaurant we took the opportunity to snap some shots and then shop at Lat’s souvenir shop.
Prices for the memorabilias were actually pretty reasonable, with t-shirts from RM20-30 and notebooks from RM10.
So what do you think of Lat’s Place? Would you have enjoyed this experience? 🙂
For further information, please visit: www.latsplace.com.my