Calories Favourite Drinks, Beverage and Desserts in Malaysia and Singapore

Below are both the graphic cards and a video consisting of the calories of Malaysia and Singapore’s favourite beverages and desserts.

Note: Calories may vary based on the volume of ingredients used, ie fruit, sugar, syrup, milk, creamer, etc.

VIDEO:

Teh Tarik | Pulled milk tea

Teh tarik is a staple in mamak stalls and restaurants around Malaysia. When friends hang out in mamak shops, some which are opened 24 hours a day, teh tarik is one of the most commonly ordered beverage.

3 Layered Tea

3 layered tea came out before the bubble tea trend. The first time I saw it was in a Chinese coffeeshop being promoted by F&N evaporated milk. There are three layers to the tea- the brown sugar layer, the evaporated milk layer, followed by the tea layer at the top with ice. It would be served as above and one would stir before drinking.

 

Ais kacang (mixed shaved ice)

The above is a delicious shaved ice dessert…. where ingredients such as red bean, corn, cendol, grass jelly are added at the base, then the shaved iced, and to top it off alongside with syrup (red or brown sugar syrup) and evaporated milk. Some would have additional items such as Nata de coco and roasted peanuts. I love iced kacang with roasted peanuts. One of a popular shop serving ice kacang is Kwong Wah in sect 17, Petaling Jaya.

Cendol

My memories of cendol during my childhood is my mom buying cendol for us whenever she sees it being sold…. usually along roadside drink stalls. There is one with non stop customers located in the Pudu wet market, Kuala Lumpur as well as few other wet markets that we frequented. The very famous cendol stalls are in Penang and Malacca.

 

Soya cincau | Soymilk with grass jelly

This is kind of an improvised hybrid started by some drinks stall and then spread to all around the country due to its popularity. Some stalls selling soy milk would provide the option to add cincau or grass jelly into the drink. Then either palm sugar syrup or normal syrup is used to sweeten the drink.

Sirap Bandung

Air bandung is a rose syrup drink. It is common in many Malay households to have rose syrup drink during meal times with family. When ordered in restaurants, additional to the rose syrup, evaporated milk would be added. However my favourite is the one that comes with cincau or grass jelly. Not all restaurants have it though so sometimes I would make my own at home.

Tau Fu Fah

Tau fu fah is a soyabean dessert that is eat with plain sugar syrup or brown sugar syrup. It is best eaten hot. Sometimes, customers would request to mix the tau fu fah with soybean milk, however I find that this would lessen the taste of the tau fu fah. The tau fu fah is best enhanced with brown sugar syrup.

Bubur Cha Cha

Bubur cha cha is coconut milk dessert with various ingredients such as sweet potato, sago, tapioca jellies, etc. It is a dessert that can be served both hot and cold depending on one’s preferance.

 

Calamansi lime with sour plum | Limau asam boi

(kat chai suen mui in Cantonese)

This is an excellent thirst quencher on a hot day. Blended with lime with syrup added (to reduce the sour taste) with the taste further enhanced with sour plum- it is absolutely delicious.

Longan drink | Air mata kucing

Longan drink is made from the longan fruit. Locally in Malaysia, we call as mata kucing, even though some would say that mata kucing is a slightly different. I do find however that yes, there is a difference between the longan in Thailand and the mata kucing in Malaysia. The longan is more thick and fleshy while the mata kucing has a thinner layer of flesh. Most of the time, after blending and adding syrup, both would taste similar. From young, there is a famous air mata kucing stall in Kuala Lumpur Chinatown (Petaling Street) that my mom would always buy for us whenever we stopped by that area. The stall had been taken over by the younger generations and have been around for decades.

Watermelon Juice | Air tembikai

Absolutely delicious thirst quencher that one can make in one’s own home.

Sugarcane juice | air tebu

Sugarcane juice is a very delicious thirst quencher on a hot day. When you go to stalls in the markets around Malaysia, you would see how the sugar cane juice is extracted….. using a machine where the sugar cane had to be crushed to extract the juice out.

Soup sop Juice | Air durian Belanda

In recent years soursop has been promoted to be a very healthy and nutritious fruit hence you would be able to find some restaurants serving the soursop juice.

Lassi | Indian yogurt drink

Lassi is a healthy yogurt drink that can be found in Indian restaurants. Usually the local favourite would be the mango lassi. I would order these drinks when I am in Chat Masala (Indian vegetarian restaurant in Bricksfield, Kuala Lumpur) or Indian food stores together with my masala thosai..

Lemongrass juice | Jus serai

Corn juice | air jagung

 

Coconut drink | Air kelapa

 

Sometimes when you drive around, you may find stalls selling green coconut drinks. You would literally see green coconuts and they would only crack it open to extract the water and flesh during purchase. There are many health benefits of drinking coconut water but it also depends on the person’s health – for example due to the cooling nature of coconut water, a person with problems such as dizziness and vertigo- condition would get worse with this drink. However, a tip is coconut water is effective for someone who is having UTI (uninary track infection) or find it painful to pass urine– this is what my mom used to recommend to friends/relatives who have that issue and when they tried to drink the fresh coconut water (must be from the green coconut), they would feel immediately better. Of course if the issue is recurring, one would also need to see the doctor and a course of antibiotics would usually be prescribed.

 

Nescafe (coffee)

Nescafe is a household brand of instant coffee powder. It is however different from ‘kopi’ which usually consisted of locally grinded coffee. Usually when we go to a local restaurant and order ‘kopi’, they would use the locally grind coffee. Some would prefer the locally grind coffee but personally, I would prefer Nescafe.

Hot milo | Milo panas

Milo is a chocolate malt drink. Like Nescafe, Milo is actually a brand from Nestle that has become a household name. Most kids in Malaysia would grow up drinking Milo. Milo drink can be made by itself, or by adding a little sugar and/or condensed milk/ milk powder/ evaporated milk. When a kid comes back exhausted from a football game or playing outside, or being caught in the rain, a warm cup of Milo made by mummy would be most welcoming especially added with a dash of warm or condensed milk.  And as one grows up, Milo becomes like a comfort drink on a cold day.

Horlicks (malt drink)

Masala Tea | Teh Masala

I first tried Masala tea in Chat Masala and really love it. Hence when I visit Indian restaurants, it is either Masala tea or mango lassi that is my go to drink. It is spice tea and more fragrant compared to normal milk tea. Sometimes, if I am spending time with a dear friend, ie hours in the restaurant, I would end up ordering both drinks, one after the other.

Ginger tea | Teh halia

Ginger tea in local restaurant usually consist of tea with ginger powder or blended ginger added to it.

Chinese tea

Chinese tea is taken by itself without adding anything else hence it literally does not contain any calories. Chinese tea had been a staple in our home since we grow up where each morning my late dad, and later my brother would make a pot of Chinese tea. It is always good to take a hot cup of Chinese tea alongside with an oily meal or heavy meals like bak kut teh.

 

The above are estimation only. Often real calories would vary.

If making tea or coffee, the calories is dependant on the volume of sugar, creamer and milk we put inside. For example in a cup of coffee/tea of 200ml,

  • If we use 1 teaspoon of sugar plus 1 sachet of creamer, it is 45 kcals.
  • If we use 1 teaspoon of sugar plus quarter of a cup of low fat milk, it is 50kcal.
    But if we use 2 tablespoons of condensed milk, the calories is 136kcal

Usually when we are getting the drink outside, I would see that they use much more sugar and condensed and/or evaporated milk to achieve the delicious taste. Once, I bought hot milk tea (teh panas) from a restaurant and the guy added at least 2 tablespoons of sugar and at least 4 tablespoons of condensed milk, plus he top it with evaporated milk. One can only imagine the calorie that came alone from the tah pau drink alone.

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