I am going to admit right now and unabashedly that I am a first generation and die hard fan of Lat, the Kampung Boy. That's because I can see myself in Lat's antics and in Lat's world. So I was really excited about the preview of LAT's Place at Puteri Harbour in Nusajaya. LAT's Place opens to the public starting from 9 Feb 2013, in time for the Chinese New Year holidays.
Walking into LAT's Place, I was greeted by Lat, the cheerful and cheeky Chef. I had that warm fuzzy feeling of meeting an old friend. (Remember, I am a first generation vintage Lat fan :P )
Stepping further into LAT's Place, there were mock ups of fruit trees like banana, durian, rambutan, mango and then we found ourselves in a kampung.
The warm wooden tables and comfortable chairs were set in typical Malaysian kampung surroundings, ringed by fully laden fruit trees, and attap kampung houses on stilts.
At the table, waiting for us was this welcome drink named "Ranni's Cooler Fizz". Made with fresh fruits, there was plenty of pulpy sediment, so we were politely advised by the friendly staff to give the drink a stir before sucking on the straw. I liked this sweet fruity drink and emptied a couple of glasses, which wasn't any problem as the attentive staff kept our glasses filled.
Our chunky fish Otak Otak appetitzer. Meaty, lemak, flavourful and just mildly spicy.
The honey dew prawn appetizer.
As we enjoyed our appetizer, I began to realise that this was going to be a fun, total sensory experience. LAT's Place was going to take us to Lat's kampung to meet Lat characters and to enjoy a kenduri (an eat together).
We were treated to a rousing welcome song and dance by the staff accompanied by animated Lat characters presented on large High Definition screens. It has been a couple days since my dinner at LAT's Place and I still catch myself unconsciously humming out loud the catchy welcome tune from LAT's place. My amused (hopefully) family and friends have been asking me what tune am I humming.
The main course was served next. It was a well balanced set meal with all the major culinary traditions of Malaysia represented.
I especially love this ayam percik. The chicken was tender and the percik sauce was a mildly spicy, flavourful blend of spices and herbs. I heard it mentioned a few times that this dish is Dato' Lat's favourite.
The steamed red snapper in ginger soya sauce.
While having our dinner, we were entertained by animated Lat characters on the large HD screens. I was asked by "Pak Ali" the Village Chief what was my favourite dish of the evening. I replied that I like this steamed vegetable in peanut sauce. I have always liked nutty, mildly spicy sauces and I also liked deep fried hard boiled eggs. The wrinkled fried outer skin of hard boiled eggs had that texture that always trigger happy feelings in me.
The potato cutlet and steamed rice.
Throughout our dinner, we were entertained and amused by animated Lat characters like Pak Ali, Mrs. Hew, Tong and their lovable, funny friends. We were even engaged in chit chat with the Lat characters through state-of-the-art interactive animation technology and an impressive sound system. Pak Ali, the Village Chief, was the consummate host.
Our banter with computer generated animated Lat characters were interspersed with interactions with the well rehearsed staff, so we enjoyed a unique fusion of warm human touch and virtual reality. Here, we were served hot coffee on a thundery, rainy night with lightning flashing. Our hot coffee was accompanied by the clapping of thunder and the music of rain drops striking the attap roofs and the canopy of leafy trees.
We even had dinner with fire flies blinking above our heads. Hmmm... Valentine Day 2013 idea... wink wink.
By the end of the hour long show and dinner, guests were so immersed in the total experience that some spontaneously joined the staff as they performed the good bye song and dance.
As I was at the official opening, I had the opportunity to take a few pictures of the occasion.
Themed Attractions and Resorts Managing Director and CEO, Tunku Dato' Ahmad Burhanuddin inviting Dato' Lat to sign on the memento of the official opening.
Dato' Lat, my idol, drew his signature Kampung Boy on the spot, drawing audible gasps of delight from Lat fans (me included).
LAT's Place is a themed attraction featuring Lat, the iconic cartoon character. LAT's Place is more than a restaurant, food is just one aspect of the total sensory experience. The RM120 adult and RM75 child admission price was for the total experience of an interactive hour long show featuring Lat in a virtual traditional kampung with a nice kenduri style restaurant meal included.
As a Lat fan, I enjoyed myself thoroughly and fellow Lat fans may like the unique and fun experience with their family and friends too.
LAT's Place (Themed Attraction)
Address: Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park, Nusajaya, Johor
Hours: Lunch show starts 12:30pm; Dinner show starts 6:00pm (advanced booking required on www Dot latsplace Dot com Dot my or telephone 1-300-88-LATS-(5287)
Halal and vegetarian set meal served
Date visited: 5 Feb 2013. 6 Feb 2013
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