Food + Drink

Team BURO Answers: Our favourite Malaysian drinks


By Ronn Tan

Team BURO Answers: Our favourite Malaysian drinks

It’s no secret that Malaysia is a blessed nation filled with a vast array of culinary offerings. Gastronomy is at the very core of who Malaysians are; dominating our conversations in school, at work, and even at the mamak.

In conjunction with Independence Month and Merdeka, we decided to  shine a well-deserved spotlight on iconic Malaysian drinks (check out our favourite Malaysian childhood snacks and Malaysian dishes). Here are Team BURO Malaysia’s favourite Malaysian thirst-quenchers.

RACHEL AU, editor

One of my favourite drinks is Milo (#notsponsored). Growing up, I had it every morning but nothing beats the small cup of Milo from the Milo truck that randomly appears in my schoolyard once in a while. Perhaps it’s the perfect balance of Milo meets water (yes, it’s most likely diluted). Or perhaps it meant we were allowed to skip classes (because teachers loved it too!). Perhaps it’s just the sweet memory of a Malaysian childhood.

LOH WEI YEEN, deputy editor

Weekends out when I was a kid always constituted indulgent lunches at my family’s go-to spots (read: chicken rice at the best hole-in-the-wall hawker spot), but as someone who perspires like I’ve just ran a marathon every time I’m out of the house, a refreshing glass of ambra juice (extra ice) is what keeps a heatstroke at bay. Made with ambra aka buah kedondong and sour dried plum (asam), this thirst-quenching drink is sour and sweet with a hint of saltiness all in one. Tip: if your juice doesn’t come in a startling shade of green, it’s probably not gonna be good.

JOAN KONG, fashion editor

Calling myself a tea lover would be an understatement. Be it Teh O Limau Ais, the plain ol’ black tea, fruit tea, or milk tea (in all shapes and forms, might I add), I love worship them all and I can’t imagine a life without them. That said, if I were to choose an ultimate favourite, it would be my kopitiam go-to—Three-Layer Tea. Originated from Sarawak, the drink is made up of palm sugar, evaporated milk, and black tea, and the combo definitely makes it (look and taste) miles better than Teh Ais (sorry, Sarah!). It’s a uniquely Malaysian drink, that’s for sure.

RONN TAN, lifestyle writer

This was never going to be easy. How do you even go about choosing just one Malaysian food or drink? After putting my heart, mind, soul, and everything I’ve got into making a decision, I’ll say that my favourite Malaysian drink is Air Sirap Bandung (I know it’s sweet, Red!). I don’t drink it as much as I used to (because of age and the fear of diabetes) but I remember my magnanimous affection for the pink rose syrup-filled drink very clearly. I actually really enjoy the drink in its sparkling variation too. So refreshing!

REDZHANNA JAZMIN, editorial assistant

Honestly, when it comes to the classic Malaysian beverages, you’re basically choosing between one cup of sugar and another. Ais Sirap Bandung is great but will make you sick from the sweetness, Milo Dinosaur is a tasty one-way ticket to diabetes and Teh Tarik is more of the same. They’re all delicious, but at some point, you’ve got to think of ye olde teeth. Barley, on the other hand, doesn’t leave you with that feeling of “this made my teeth sore and my tummy angry”—quite the contrary, actually.

It’s the kind of drink that makes you feel really healthy; invigorated, really. It’s a nice and creamy ever-so-slightly viscous drink that tastes great hot or cold, and it only has a lot of sugar in it! It’s actually fine, though—barley grain is healthy so it cancels out. Right?

CALLEIGH YAP, senior graphic designer

Whoever created Neslo is a genius. Milo not giving you the caffeine kick? Nescafe too strong for your liking? Mix both and you get the perfect morning drink. It’s my favourite drink whenever I go to a mamak. I highly recommend it if you have not tried it.

SARAH TAI, senior graphic designer

Honestly, I thought it’d be easy to answer this (and trust me, it’s a no brainer) but having to come up with a justification of why I think teh ais/teh tarik is my all-time favourite Malaysian drink is proving to be a struggle. When I told Ronn that I couldn’t think of an answer, he briefly suggested reasons that were far too deep and profound for a mere cup of tea with condensed milk and sugar. He mentioned something along the lines of memories of growing up in Malaysia (did he mention it in his own answersI’m curious?) but really, all my simple mind could think of at that point was, I just like it because it’s yummy.

ZAKWAN TAUFIQ, videographer

What is my favourite Malaysian drink? Limau Ais. Why? It’s actually really difficult for me to choose between Limau Ais and Teh Tarik, but I always order Limau Ais whenever I lepak with my friends at the mamak. I’m also on diet and I’m trying to consume less sugar. Limau Ais is like a common drink in Malaysia. To taste the sourness, it’s best if you drink it without sugar. Then, you can taste and feel the joy of drinking Limau Ais or Limau Panas.

There you go! How about you? Is your favourite Malaysian drink on the list?

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