Platinum functionalized carbon materials such as carbon fibres, graphene, MWNTs (multiwalled carbon nanotubes) and activated carbon were used as heterogeneous catalytic systems for asymmetric hydrogenation of α-ketoester i.e. methyl pyruvate using cinchonidine (CD) as a chiral modifier. Interestingly, the MWNTs exhibited excellent enantioselectivity (>99% ee) and conversion (99%) in comparison to other Pt/C systems due to their high surface area. Furthermore, in the case of Pt/MWNTs, Pt nanoparticles are found to be uniformly dispersed and bound to the MWNTs acting like a single atom catalyst. Time-dependent nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies, cyclic voltammetry (CV) and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) have been carried out to study substrate-modifier-catalyst interactions. Recyclability of the catalyst was also tested up to ten cycles without losing any significant catalytic activity. © 2015 The Royal Society of Chemistry.