High tea at the Orchid Conservatory within the Magestic Hotel
Here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia we bullied our way into the orchid room at the Majestic Hotel. Apparently enjoying a service here is so coveted that reservations during the weekday require a month in advance wait and a reservation during the weekend is three months in advance notice. And here we were strolling in just before the 3pm seating and being given a seat right away.
My host had made a reservation the day before and was greeted with a “yes”. However when we arrived today we were told we would not be seated and that their staff had made a mistake. That reservations could not be taken over the phone, but instead are only available to be made online. A seat for the same tea service was then offered to us in any of their other areas: the lounge, dining room, or parlour. I refused and stood firm on our first choice and they were able to accommodate us with a no show reservation. We were very lucky.
Wanting to be surrounded by orchids was the only reason why we were out here today. The orchid conservatory is the hotel’s green house. A climate controlled room set to a brisk chill, ideal for the growth of all their orchid plants. The room is set up to showcase the hanging garden and orchidscape within this glass atrium. It’s claim to fame includes being the only botanical wonder in the country, featuring a seasonal range of phalaenopsis orchids, and successfully housing thousands of stunning large-petaled blooms displayed in a re-creation of their natural habitat. As the seasons progress, so do the variety of orchids on display. They also have several tropical carnivorous plants, including the pitcher plant that traps insects in its petals, shaped like a pitcher. The benefits to dining here is not only the aesthetics, but for the scent all the flowers provide as well.
To experience the beauty of the orchid conservatory for yourself, click the link below to watch as our experience unfolds.
Our service began by choosing which type of tea we wanted. Then there is the show of removing it from its wrapper and setting it to steep, all completed as an exhibition before our eyes. A specific procedure performed carefully by the hands of one of their prim and proper staff. They wore uniforms and preformed with grace and ease.
A sand timer was turned upside down, and the amount that spilled from top to bottom indicated the completion of the tea brewing process. The bags were then removed ceremoniously with tongs and side plates. And then the tea pot filled with perfectly steeped tea is poured into our decorative porcelain cups. The rest is kept warm over the light of a heated pedestal.
Our tea for two came on a round display unit, instead of the tiered towers I am more familiar with from tea services in Vancouver. This was three tiers of shelves, and on each flat surface a glass dish or a shot glass. There were enough of the savoury items to give us one of each, but for the desserts we were meant to share.
And interestingly, our tower included a copper bento box of warm items to start. Two of each of the following fried items. Fried rice and mushroom croquette, scotch eggs, and a chicken drum with its end wrapped in tinfoil for your eating consideration. They were served with a side of creamy mayo and tangy plum sauce for dipping into.
The finger sandwiches included a cucumber and cream on white bread, chicken salad and lettuce on focaccia, and shrimp with alfalfa sprouts on a seeded bun.
The middle layer featured three scones, two plain and one with raisins, each buttery and light. They also made a serving of blueberry jam and clotted cream available as a spread for them.
The dessert course crowned the presentation unit. A roti-like bun topped with a creamy peanut butter whip and tart raspberry chocolate disc, and filled with luscious custard. A fresh fruit tart with zesty cream and a buttery crust. And a New York style cheese cake bite with a strawberry jam topping, accented by a pink leopard printed chocolate square. I liked the raspberry jam panna cotta with fresh blueberries and crunchy meringue bits the best. And appreciated the texture of the chocolate mousse over flaky pastry.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
When else can you enjoy a tranquil tea, set in such unique surroundings? Don’t deny your cravings.