This isn’t fashion designer Lee Khoon Hooi’s first food-focused collaboration with a hotel, but it certainly is his most charming to date. From now until 3 December, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur will serve his Dongdong Sayang Afternoon Tea at Lounge on the Park every afternoon, with 10 percent of the proceeds going towards the Malaysian Institute of Arts.
Drawing on his grandmother’s Peranakan heritage, the tea set (priced at RM158 per person, including free flow of hot beverages for up to two hours) has reworked ingredients are traditionally found in Straits Chinese dishes. Scones are served not just with clotted cream but kaya too, a roast chicken sandwich gets an aromatic kick from percik mayonnaise, and delicate petal-pink macarons are flavoured with lychee and rose.
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Many of the sweet treats affectionately assembled by the hotel’s pastry chef, Suzana Anuar, are decorated with motifs inspired by kebaya ornaments and embroidery. “I wanted to do things the local way, but modern,” Lee explains. “These are simply perfect for afternoon ‘sembang’ sessions.” Two of his favourite teas—lemon and ginger, and puerh mandarin—complete the Dongdong Sayang set, along with a pop-up boutique in the lobby of The Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, which fans of the Malaysian designer will undoubtedly want to visit while they’re there.