The Santan Restaurant and T&CO Cafe at Mid Valley is now open to the public from 10am to 10pm. Image: Rafidah Hamit

Now everyone can have a taste of AirAsia’s airplane meals as the low-cost airline launched its first ASEAN fast food restaurant under its in-flight menu brand, Santan and T&CO on Monday.

The opening of the flagship eatery at Mid Valley Megamall was a result of significant requests of AirAsia’s in-flight menu offerings beyond flights across the region, said its General Manager Catherine Goh in her welcoming remarks.

“This is our answer to that demand. Last year alone, over 24 million Santan hot meals were served and often sparked positive conversations on social media especially where to get the Pak Nasser Nasi Lemak without flying. Now, everyone can have it and more right here at our flagship restaurant,” she said.

(L-R) Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Malaysia YB Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, AirAsia Group Executive Chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, AirAsia Board of Director Dato’ Aziz Bakar, CEO of AirAsia Group Tony Fernandes and General Manager of Santan Restaurant and T&CO Cafe Catherine Goh during the launch of the the Santan and T&CO flagship restaurant in Mid Valley, Kuala Lumpur. Image: Rafidah Hamit

The brand hopes to expand its wings across Malaysia and regionally by opening another five owned restaurants by the end of 2020 and 100 franchisee-operated eateries within the next three to five years.

“The expansion in global markets will offer close to 2000 job opportunities… we are very proud to extend what started out as an in-flight menu into new markets and reiterate our support for local and ASEAN producers and suppliers,” she said.

Get a variety of light bites, coffee, tea and cakes at T&CO cafe. Image: Rafidah Hamit

Franchising opportunity, added Goh, is aimed to support budding entrepreneurs, particularly in the ASEAN region to venture into the food and beverage industry.

Talking about opening a Bruneian branch, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Group Tony Fernandes in a press conference expressed his desire and purpose of having a Santan and T&CO branch in the sultanate, promoting Malaysian food internationally.

“We are (also) ready to open in Brunei. Any parties interested can contact me… in terms of expansion, we want to be very aggressive – we’d like to be all over the world. We have so many enquiries already,” he said, adding that the brand is keen to have a presence in London, New York and of course, ASEAN countries.

A variety of ASEAN meals and drinks are available at Santan Restaurant. Image: Rafidah Hamit
Some of the delicious Santan meals available include Mee Goreng with Ayam Berempah. Image: Rafidah Hamit

For Fernandes, the establishment aspires to be in the same league with American fast food brands as many have dominated the local markets.

“With Tealive and other Asian brands, we can maybe dominate their fast-food world (instead),” he said.

Moreover, the restaurant is looking to roll out healthy meal options in the near future such as Keto due to popular demands as well as plans to include the Santan meals on food delivery services.

Some of the delicious Santan meals available include Fried Chicken with Nam Prik Mayo. Image: Rafidah Hamit
Some of the delicious Santan meals available include Vietnamese Pho. Image: Rafidah Hamit

“We may do our own delivery app in the short term but (at the moment) we will definitely work with Grab, Foodpanda and other parties interested,” he said.

The ceo also said that the airline is looking to move towards becoming a lifestyle brand as it ventures into music and film in the coming weeks.

AirAsia.com is going to be doing much more than just selling airline tickets. We now have 60 million visitors coming to (the website) every month. That’s just to buy airline tickets and that’s going to change,” added Fernandes.

One of the foods served during the launch of the Santan and T&CO flagship restaurant include the Nasi Padang Beef Rendang. Image: Rafidah Hamit

For him, opening the restaurant was timely as food is an important element in the Malaysian community.

“I believe this is a world record. I think this is the first airline ever to commercialise its food. Most people complain about airline food and here we are opening a restaurant. It shows what Malaysians can do,” said the ceo.

The restaurant offers delights and popular favourites such as Uncle Chin’s Chicken Rice, Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce and Fried Chicken with Nam Prik Mayo at just RM12 per meal.

The Santan meals are made from ASEAN with love. Image: Rafidah Hamit

Other ASEAN inspired dishes are also available including Vietnamese Chicken Pho, Pineapple Fish Noodle from Cambodia and Chicken Inasal with Garlic Rice from the Philippines.

Those looking to have light bites can try the variety of ASEAN-sourced coffee and tea as well as snacks inspired by local flavours such as the Nasi Lemak Quinoa Wrap, Vietnamese Chicken Wrap and Onde-Onde Cake.

To further enhance the customer’s dining experience, orders can be made through the self-ordering kiosk for both dine-in or takeaway requests.

Orders can be made through the self-ordering kiosks. Image: Rafidah Hamit

For a limited-time offer, customers can enjoy a promotion of Pak Nasser’s Nasi Lemak with Chicken Rendang at RM5 each exclusively available through online booking at santan.com.my with one order per checkout.

BIG Members can use the promo code SANTANRM5.

Get free coffee from T&CO with every T&CO mobile app download through the Apple store and Google Play.

(L-R) General Manager of Santan Restaurant and T&CO Cafe Catherine Goh and CEO of AirAsia Group Tony Fernandes in a group photo with baristas of T&CO Cafe. Image: Rafidah Hamit

One order is allowed per BIG Member ID through the promo code: TCOFREECOFFEE.

Enjoy a variety of ASEAN cuisine and coffee at affordable prices from 10am to 10pm daily.

Present to launch the restaurant were Minister of Domestic Trade & Consumer Affairs of Malaysia YB Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail; AirAsia Group Executive Chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun; and AirAsia Group President (RedBeat Ventures) Aireen Omar.

One of the signages at the Santan Restaurant. Image: Rafidah Hamit

The Bruneian | KUALA LUMPUR

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