Top 10 Cold Drinks You Can’t Miss in KK

Somewhere in between drinking chlorinated tap water and swallowing syrup that can put you in a diabetic coma are some really delicious beverages that you can have in Kota Kinabalu. We’ve downed thousands of gallons of heat-busting drinks over the years to bring you this ultimate beverage list for 2011. Here they are:-

1.Kit Chai Ping/ Iced Kasturi Ping with Sour Plums, Everywhere in KK

There’s nothing more spellbinding to tourists and overseas Sabahans than the humble Kit Chai Ping. Made simply with Kalamansi limes, sugar syrup, water and Chinese salted sour plums the locals call ham moi, this sweet, sour and salty drink is arguably the most popular local thirst-quencher. You can find this flagship Sabahan cooler at coffee shops in town everywhere. Just remember to ask for “Kit Chai Ping,” and if you don’t like it too sweet, say “kurang manis.”
Typical price: RM 1.80/ per glass
Where to get: Any coffee shop in KK

2. Leong Fun Susu/ Grass Jelly with Milk, Sakura Kampung Air

Leong fun (Hakka) or Cincau (Indonesian) is a jelly-like dessert made with a type of herb from the mint family. It is known to have Yin properties so it is a great to cool the body if you’ve been eating lots of Yang foods like meat, friend and spicy foods. Sakura coffee shop in Kampung Air serves a mean glass, but be forewarned that the environment is a pretty shabby experience. If you can get past that, you’ll be rewarded with a glass of yummy jelly! P/S: You can have it black if you prefer it without milk!
Typical price: RM 1.80/ per glass
Where to get: Sakura Kampung Air

3. Iced Cold Coconut Juice/ Air Kelapa Muda

We love Air Kelapa Muda around here! In fact, in a Business Week article labeled “Nature’s Gatorade,” even celebrity athletes are turning to all-natural coconut water as a sports drink alternative. In Borneo, where it is hot and humid 365 days a year, we drink this as a refreshment on hot days. Guess nature knows what nutrients to give us so that we won’t pass out while playing on the beach eh?
Typical price: RM3.50 at some Malay mamaks, RM 4.50/ per coconut at Tanjung Aru
Where to get: Likas Indian Mamak, Tanjung Aru Beach

4. Green Tea with Red Bean Smoothie, De Patio

Do you love the green tea Frap Smoothie at Starbucks or Green Tea Ice Blended at Coffee Bean? Well, this is very similar, except that KKMOI likes this better because the milk is light and doesn’t have the strong dairy smell. It’s also not as sweet, which means you feel less guilty about it if you’re watching your waistline. We also love the bits of soft Adzuki beans in it, which we think will delight the pickiest of Asians. De Patio is located next to Zara’s Boutique Hotel…
Typical price: Over RM6.
Where to get: De Patio, Harbour City

5. Lychee Blackcurrant Drink, Up2U Cafe Damai

This mocktail-like Lychee-Blackcurrant drink is one of Up2U’s house specialties. Blackcurrant is high in vitamin C and has lots of antioxidants, which is said to make your skin radiant. The fleshy lychee has a lovely South East Asian touch and a floral scent. We love this because it’s really quite refreshing and the whole lychee fruits are irresistibly juicy. Have that with their grilled chops and burgers and it’ll neutralize the heavy meal for you.
Typical price: Over RM4.50
Where to get: Up2U Cafe, Damai

6. Mango Lassi, Sri Latha Curry House

Yogurt drink mmm. This Lassi is great because they use real mango in there! It isn’t too sour, it’s got the creaminess without the rich or fatty aftertaste, and the sweetness is just right for those who are particular about sugar-ratio perfection. According to Mika, who has lived in KL for a period, this is the best mango lassi you can have hands down in Malaysia.
Typical price: N/A
Where to get: Sri Latha Curry House, Bandaran Berjaya

7. Cucumber with Salted Plum Juice

Some people find the idea of cucumber juice icky, but this is really something KKMOI enjoys for the refreshing and cooling properties. If you like wheatgrass boosters in vegetable juices, this will be a walk in the park. We’re just surprised something so healthy can be so delicious. The salted plums go very well with it. Go try it and let us know what you think!
Typical price: Over RM6
Where to get: Hong Kong Recipe, Warisan Square

8. Iced Lemon Tea, Bella

What’s better than Iced lemon tea? Fragrant iced lemon tea of course! We love this tea because fresh Pandan leaves have been added to the syrup, making it the loveliest iced tea you can get in town. This preparation is made by an old Uncle who has been there since the early Jesselton hotel days. Go say hi to him (he wears a hearing aid) and have his lovely iced tea!
Typical price: N/A
Where to get: Bella, Jesselton Hotel

9. Avocado Milk Shake, Everywhere in KK

In Sabah, we have plenty of avocados but there’s not one famous traditional dish featuring the creamy avocado like the Mexicans do with their guacamoles. However, Sabahans do enjoy them as a form of milkshake. Avocados contain “oleic acid”, a monounsaturated fat that may help lower cholesterol. It is also a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. This creamy and nutritious drink can be had at most food courts and juice counters in KK. Look for it! Otherwise, A’Roma Ristorante in Damai has a good one with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Mmmm.
Typical price: N/A
Where to get: A’Roma Ristorante, Damai

10. Bubble Tea, Yoyo Cafe

AmericanGirl tells us Bubble tea was a big part of her student days at Harvard. In KK, bubble tea is just as popular, except that they call it Pearl tea here (translated from Zhen Zhu Nai). You could get some of these at either Lintas, Damai or Centrepoint. Go on. Bite into these pearly goodness!
Typical price: N/A
Where to get: YOYO CAFE – Lintas Shop 32-0 & 32-1, Lot 92-GF & 92-FF, Lorong Lintas Plaza, Phase 2C Lintas Plaza 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia


4 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. should also try yoyo’s orange green tea *thumbs up*…

    • Thanks for the tip! We’ll definitely try that the next time we go. Do share any ideas you may have with us on other drinks that we may have missed :)

  2. do try out this shave ice drink from sailors…
    it’s under shave ice (RM5), called “lemon, calamansi, lime, preserved plumand mint leaves”

    • Ah, will do that the next time we head there!

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