One thing I’ve always wanted to do is celebrate Chinese New Year. The holiday is all about food and family. It’s not just a one day thing but for about 15 days.
In Malaysia, it’s only a public holiday for three of those days, including the first day of Chinese New Year. On my trip to Malaysia during Chinese New Year, I learned about the culture and that one of the most important gatherings is on Chinese New Year eve, when families gather for lunch.
I always thought everyone would celebrate on the actual day of Chinese New Year. But since I learned that isn’t really the case, I celebrated my first Chinese New Year day ever by having afternoon tea at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.
Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur is located in Kuala Lumpur City Centre, right by the iconic Petronas Towers and next to the KLCC park. If you’re in Kuala Lumpur for leisure, this is the center of the city which you can’t leave without visiting.
The Lounge on the Park is the place to have tea at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur. Because the hotel is right next to KLCC park, the lounge looks out onto lots of greenery and trees. There’s also a terrace, but no one was sitting outside when I was there. Plus, it’s so humid in Kuala Lumpur, I wouldn’t have picked to sit outside anyway.
I had a seat by the window, overlooking the terrace and the park farther behind. Since it was public holiday in Malaysia for Chinese New Year when I visited, all of the tables were occupied with diners. I booked this table about a month in advance.
Usual teas that are offered at afternoon teas were offered. I went with an earl grey. Thinking back I probably should’ve ordered a Chinese tea, as you will see, this was a Chinese New Year inspired afternoon tea.
As mentioned a few times, I was in Kuala Lumpur during Chinese New Year. It only makes sense that the Mandarin Oriental would have a Chinese New Year afternoon tea. They frequently change their afternoon tea menu and there isn’t one classic set that they serve year round. It seems like they tend to partner with luxury fashion brands to create a brand inspired menu.
The Savory – (five varieties per person)
There was a Chinese take on classic tea sandwiches, with meats like eel and pork and sweet buns.
Having a Chinese New Year afternoon tea is a way to get an introduction to several traditional flavors and foods eaten during the celebration.
The Scone – (two scones per person)
Two plain scones topped with sesame seeds were served warm with a selection of jams, lemon curd and cream. The look of this scone is typical of many hotels I’ve been to for afternoon tea in Asia.
The Sweet – (six varieties per person)
Unlike the savories, there were some Chinese New Year and Asian inspired and flavored desserts, in addition to two desserts you’ll find in a classic afternoon tea set.
My favorite was the green tea flavored cream puff on the top row.
This was an interesting coconut and orange flavored dessert.
There were also some classic afternoon tea cakes like this macaron.
Typical of afternoon teas in Asia is the circular afternoon tea tray, which the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur uses. Meanwhile, tea cups, pots and plates are classic white and gold rimmed.
Service was good. Nothing special and no complaints.
I did not check if there was WiFi. As with most hotels, if you’re not a guest, it’s worth a shot asking your server for an access code. They’ll typically provide it.
Social Media Aspect
Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur is active on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and post updates about the hotel and upcoming events.
This is my seventh afternoon tea at a Mandarin Oriental hotel around the world and I always look forward to having afternoon tea at one of their hotels. Afternoon tea at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur was just ok. I enjoyed myself with great company, but the experience could’ve been been better if they had a classic menu in addition to their seasonal afternoon tea set.
I will say of the Mandarin Oriental hotels, the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok is still my favorite.
Cost: RM 148 (about USD $38) per person for Afternoon Tea (in this review)
Tea Time: Daily at Lounge on the Park at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur