New Straits Times: Khoon Hooi x Mandarin Oriental present Dondang Sayang Afternoon Tea
AS a fashion designer who has been in the industry for 20 years, Khoon Hooi is meticulous but down-to-Earth, simple as a person but articulate in his designs. His latest project is MOKL's Afternoon Tea set called Dondang Sayang that revolves around his Peranakan collection.
"I initially proposed to MOKL, a mooncake collaboration. I did once with KL Hilton and the response was great, so I thought, why not do it with MOKL?"
"But when they got back to me, they said they are looking into a bigger and longer project, so here I am," he says.
Taking inspiration from Khoon Hooi's passion for the Straits Chinese culture, pastry chef Suzana Anuar and her team play with creativity and skills to translate the intricate details of Peranakan designs into dainty edibles.
The Dondang Sayang Afternoon Tea encompasses vibrant flavours of local ingredients and recipes. The menu is paired with Khoon Hooi's favourite teas – lemon and ginger and pu erh Mandarin. Other tea options are available.
"We also have a small pop-up at the lobby for the Lounge Collection so guests can come by and browse," he says.
The Afternoon Tea, meanwhile, is dainty and delightful, a mixture of British tradition with local flavours. Worth a special mention is the strawberry and kantan flower that's an interesting mix. Bunga kantan is often found in spicy dishes like laksa and asam pedas, so this is something unique.
There's plain and apricot scones, and aside from clotted cream and jam, Khoon Hooi had asked for kaya. "They go well, so why not?"
Also on my yay list are the vanilla yoghurt with raspberry gelee chocolate in popsicle cake and Mandarin orange praline with financier.
I like all of the savoury selections; sambal gravlax salmon with coconut yoghurt, roasted chicken with percik mayonnaise and cress, poached egg with turmeric lemon cream and ratatouille rendang style with zucchini carpaccio. I wish it had more savoury selection, to be honest.
Priced at RM158 per person, with free flow of hot beverages up to two hours, 10 per cent of the proceeds will be channelled to the Malaysian Institute of Arts. It is available daily from 2.30 to 6pm (Monday to Saturday) and 3 to 6pm (Sunday).
For reservations, please call 03-2330 8798 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.