Its not an everyday affair that one gets invited for tea with a CEO of a flourishing airline like Air Asia.
The afternoon tea session with CEO of Air Asia, Aireen Omar took place in Majestic Hotel. The Orchid Room Tea Lounge, to be precise. Vintage lamps hung above, bright sunlight streamed though the glass panes while cool water flowed down from the roof, effectively cooling this “greenhouse”, where romantic orchids blooms.
It was really a whimsical setting for an English Afternoon tea.
With such an ambiance, I had no difficulties imaging this place as the perfect backdrop for romantic Korean dramas, or even a romantic sketch inspiration for a budding artist. Yes, definitely a great place for dates, a social affair with girlfriends, and definitely ideal for the hopeless romantic at heart.
If you haven’t already guessed it, the Orchid Room is actually a conservatory turned tea-room, showcasing a lovely orchid garden within a glass atrium.
I must say that the entire place is a botanical wonder. The conservatory features a seasonal range of rare orchids. And as the seasons changes, so does the variety of orchids on display.
There are a lot of rare and beautiful orchids that day, but the rarest orchid of all that day had to be Aireen Omar.
Aireen Omar could certainly easily stood out among the crowd, and she’s definitely not a wallflower. She graduated with a B.Sc in Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science and an MA in Economics from New York University. She moved back to Malaysia in 2001 to join the Maybank Group where she originated, structured and executed debt securities, including Islamic Securities, worth over RM8 billion.
Aireen Omar joined Air Asia in 2006 and served as the Regional Head of Corporate Finance & Treasury of Air Asia Bhd. She has been Chief Executive Officer of Air Asia Berhad since July 1, 2012 and is in charge of corporate finance, treasury, investor relations and fuel procurement.
One would have thought that with such an impressive career portfolio, she would be one of those distant and unapproachable high socialite type. But Aireen Omar is anything but that.
This inspirational woman is not only modest to a fault and down-to-earth, but lively, energetic, expressive and not to mention fun to be with. Aireen Omar grew up in a family of boys, which probably ‘toughen’ her up somehow since in her younger years.
While chatting with her we found out that she loves tennis and running for her healthy dose of adrenaline fix. From observations on social sites (Instagram, FB, online sites) Aireen Omar is quite a stylish lady and ever smiling. I can’t imagine her scolding anyone, but I’ m sure underneath that cheery exterior an iron lady lurks within.
To be able to sit with her, sip tea and pick her brains on why, what, how she had achieved and climbed to the top of the corporate ladder of one of the most watched companies in Malaysian history, a feat not many women can boast of, is indeed an honour. The witty lady is definitely a role-model material and an icon of women power.
But let’s not forget about the tea itself.
Presentation-wise the Majestic Hotel’s Afternoon tea offering is quite impressive.
The set was served in a uniquely high tea moon shaped tier and is inclusive of a pot of Majestic Tea and six food items that comes in pairs.
As much as I’d love to say all the good things about the scones, it’s disappointingly below decent. It was dry and bland on its own. I think some additional butter in the recipe would definitely do no harm to the sad scones.
Salvage the scones by eating it together with the fresh cream and jam provided. It helps. A lot.
The middle tier consists of assorted pastries; fruit tart, pandan cake and éclairs. I took a bite each, and I must say that they are equally disappointing.
It’s really a sad thing that the gorgeous pastries didn’t match in both flavour and taste.
The fruitcake did not look appealing at all so I ditched it.
But surprise surprise, the sandwiches on the bottom tier was actually adequately edible, all things considered and in comparison to the dismay pastries.
The salmon, cucumber with cream cheese, beef and chicken sandwiches had substantial fillings, and without a doubt a saving grace for the entire afternoon tea offering.
A unique feature of Majestic’s afternoon tea is the inclusion of Malay/local kuih. We were served chicken rendang tarts, curry puffs, and some fried potato balls. While I love to recommend these I find them rather greasy and definitely not for those who are on a cholesterol watch.
But this macaron tower with such cheery colours would probably make the deceased artist Picasso proud.
Overall, the afternoon tea offerings by Majestic Hotel were mediocre. I seriously thought the pastries and cakes could do with a lot of improvements. It’s sad as a marvelous tea would have complemented the romantic setting of the Orchid Room perfectly. But then again, what do I know? Perhaps some lovebirds could easily be satisfied with the romantically beautiful environment alone.
Here’s the details for the Majestic Hotel Orchid Room Tea Lounge should you be interested in making a reservation.
Tea time is from 3pm – 6:30pm daily
RM88++ per pax (if you choose to be seated in the Orchid Room)
RM48++ per pax (tea lounge area)
The Orchid Room, Tea Lounge
The Majestic Hotel
5 Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin
Tel: +603 2785 8000