Let's be honest: 2020 hasn't gone the way we hoped it would.
The pandemic has grounded every thing we had planned, and if you go out and ask any Malaysian what they miss doing the most, 10/10 would probably say they miss travelling all around the world.
Who doesn't, right? Ahh, going to a foreign place, exploring all their famous (and hidden) landmarks and of course, trying out all their local delicacies.
Well, we do not know when we would be able to do that again, but if you miss sitting on an aeroplane seat and travelling to another country, well, Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur (GHKL) has just the thing for you.
Dine like a VIP
GHKL has decided to bring its guest on a globe-trotting fine dining experience with the launch of 'The Grand Getaway'.
According to GHKL, 'The Grand Getaway' is "a one of a kind dining journey that will lavishly transport guests around the world and let their senses take flight".
To achieve this, they turn their Grand Ballroom into a full-blown 'aeroplane', which comes complete with airplane seats, an immersive 360° LED technology and avant-garde audiovisual effects for what GHKL calls a "full-on in-flight experience that will have them seated not just in an aircraft-like atmosphere but embracing a real time airport ambiance too."
Sounds pretty interesting, right? Spoiler alert: it absolutely is, and we'll get into that part later.
Just like booking a flight to Bali, 'The Grand Getaway' also comes in different packages: Premium Economy Class
, Business Class
and Junior Class
No matter which package you opt for, you'll get a five-course meal prepared by GHKL's in-house chef.
First class experience
When we mentioned above that GHKL transformed its Grand Ballroom into a full blown aeroplane and its foyer into a busy airport, they really went all out to make that happen.
When we received our invitation from GHKL to dine at 'The Grand Getaway', it came in the form of - yup, you guessed it! - a flight ticket.
As you walk towards the foyer leading to the Grand Ballroom, you'll be surprised (we certainly were!) to find that GHKL has indeed transform the space into a busy airport-lookalike.
There were mock check-in counters, luggage drop-off counters, a flight information board, a mock travelator and the speakers were even blasting the sound effects of a busy airport, complete with the "Final call for flight..." announcements we are all familiar with.
To make the atmosphere even more convincing, GHKL's ground staff were dressed up in full airport personnel costumes, from the counter crew to airport security guards.
Once you've presented your 'boarding pass' and checked in your, uhh, face, you'll have to make your way to the boarding gate and wait for your Go Grand Airways 'flight'.
While waiting, you could also check out their high-tech photobooth called 360° Destination Simulator, where they'll capture a short, spinning video of you visiting all the famous landmarks around the world.
It's pretty fun, you should try it.
After about 10 minutes of waiting, you'll then be escorted to your boarding gate.
(There's only one, so you probably won't miss it)
Once the doors to your boarding gate are opened, you'll be ushered to your 'aeroplane' - and the first word that will come out of your mouth will most likely be "WOW!".
When you step foot into the Grand Ballroom, you'll find dining tables placed all around the floor (with sufficient physical distancing, of course), a giant LED panel in the center of the ballroom and smaller LED panels enveloping the room to give you that immersive, 360-degree feel.
True to the theme, you will be seated on airplane seats during the entire meal - and they are not just any airplane seats, mind you.
According to GHKL, the seats were the original seats from the Boeing 777 aircraft that broke two world records and made history in 1997.
The flight, which travelled on the Seattle-Kuala Lumpur-Seattle route, set the 'Great Circle Distance Without Landing' record, having flown 20,044.20km without landing.
It also broke the 'Speed Around the World, Eastbound' record on its return flight, clocking in at 889kmh.
So, do take note that the entire time you're enjoying your meal, your butt is seated on a piece of aviation history.
Throughout the entire dinner course, you will be immersed in displays of sound, light and special effects used to simulate the rumbling engines of the aeroplane taking off and even some turbulence when the plane flies through a storm (no wine was spilled, thankfully).
When your plane lands in a destination, the screens will then switch to other forms of entertainment, like a a mini magic show or a scene simulating what it's like to be inside a night club in Moscow (because apparently, Moscow is famous for its night clubs).
On top of that, before they introduce the next course, you'll also be treated to a multi-sensory display of special effects and music from the country of origin the dish was inspired by.
For example, during our Tokyo-inspired dish, we were treated to "Tokyo Drift" by the Teriyaki Boyz (name a better song to represent Tokyo), as a red Nissan GTR flashes on the big LED screen before drifting through the smaller LED screens all around the ballroom.
Our favourite has got to be the Moscow-inspired dish because GHKL went so far as to rain down some snow all over the Grand Ballroom, accompanied by the catchy "Rasputin" song by Boney M.!
If you like your sorbet with a pinch of artificial snow, you're in luck.
Yummy in our tummy
Like mentioned, you'll be getting a five-course meal (different packages have different menus), with dishes inspired by five cities around the world: Tokyo
, San Francisco
and of course, Kuala Lumpur
We were checked into the Premium Economy class, so this was the menu we got:
Cold appetiser (Tokyo)
Japanese scallop, wakame, raddish, sesame and shoyu dressing
. The Japanese scallops were seasoned really well and cooked to perfection. We love how the wakame (Japanese seaweed), drenched in the sesame shoyu dressing, brings out a slight sweet and salty note to the dish, which did a pretty good job in preparing your tummy for the dishes to come.
Hot appetiser (San Francisco)
California clam chowder
. The clam chowder was absolutely yummy and the perfect remedy to the cold weather, and we appreciate the fact that they dumped a reasonable amount of clam into the soup. The clam chowder was served in a bread bowl, which is exactly the way they do it in San Francisco. Talk about the attention to details.
Palate cleanser (Moscow)
Forest berry sorbet
. After having two appetisers, it is time to cleanse your palate with a forest berry sorbet. The sorbet was light and refreshing, with no sweetener added.
Main course (Venice)
Oven-baked lamb with truffle mashed potatoes
. We love the seasoning on the lamb. The meat was really tender, and it falls off the moment you slice it. The thyme jus gives the dish a very light yet tasty zing. The tuffle mashed potatoes were pretty amazing too.
Dessert (Kuala Lumpur)
Dessert platter consisting of mochi, chocolate sundae, pavlova, tiramisu and Sago Gula Melaka
. If you have a sweet tooth, you'll love the dessert platter. However, we do need to note that while the assortment is good, it gets pretty sweet really fast. Even for a dessert lover like this writer, we've only managed to taste three of the five desserts before we threw in the towel. Also, we were slightly disappointed that out of the five, only the Sago Gula Melaka can be considered as a truly Malaysian offering. What happened to ais kacang
or goreng pisang
Overall, we would say that 'The Grand Getaway' is a pretty aweseome experience.
'The Grand Getaway' may not be the first visual dining experience in Kuala Lumpur, but it is definitely one of the more unique ones.
The presentation of the entire flight experience, the atmosphere of the Grand ballroom and the audio and visual cues make 'The Grand Getaway' the perfect getaway for those who yearn to travel after being stuck at home for so long.
The use of airplane seats was a great touch, and the yummy food made it even better.
Hey, if you can't go travel, might as well let the travel come to you, right?
'The Grand Getaway' starts from RM350 nett per person (excluding alcohol). You can head on over to Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur's website here for more information or to make a reservation. Key in the code 'FLY20' upon check-out to enjoy 20 per cent off when you make a reservation between 1 January to 31 March.