Food Friday – Top 10 All Time Favourite Drinks at Sabah Kopitiam


So, this is your first time round in Sabah and you’ve read all about the famous ngiu chap (beef noodle) and grilled fish behind then KK Handicraft Market.

“But what about the Sabahan drinks?” you may ask.

To answer your questions, here is a list of drinks to order when in Sabah.

1. Milo  Ping

Milo ping

This quintessential Sabahan drink is basically made using a mixture of Milo (powdered chocolate drink) and sweetened condensed milk.

Perfect for a sweltering hot day, or whenever you need a sugar boost, the Milo ping tastes like hot chocolate served with ice cubes. It represents the Sabahan people’s affinity for sweet and creamy drinks.

2. Teh C Cing

Teh c ping

Another coffee  shop favourite, the Teh C Ping is a traditional and cheaper version of the milky tea  (way before Taiwanese beverage companies discovered its magnificent lure) that is available in any coffee shops.

The secret of making a distinct-tasting glass of Teh C ping is in the using of loose leaf teas instead of instant ones – that and a generous amount of creamy evaporated milk.

3. Kopi Ping

Kopi ping

Kopi ping, or generically known to locals as Nescafe ping, is simply iced coffee. In some old-school kopitiams, you will get a glass of iced black coffee when you order Kopi ping – unless you say ‘kopi susu ping’(iced milk coffee) – but in general, Kopi ping refers to iced milk coffee.

For a dose of caffeine fix, save your money on Starbucks and have kopitiam coffee instead. Cheaper and just as fixing! For an extra oomph, ask for a Kopi ping kaw.

4. Kit Chai Ping

Kit Chai Ping

Refreshing and healthy, Kit chai ping is a quintessential drink for the hot and humid Sabahan weather.

A yummy mix of Calamansi juice and sour plum which is dissolved in water and topped with ice cubes, Kit chai ping is a good drink to wash down a deep fried meal.

You can also add honey and skip the ice if you’re looking for something to soothe a sore throat.

5. Ham Kit

Ham kit pingHam kit, or dry salted lime  drink, is mainly found in Chinese coffee shops and is somewhat a distant relative of the Kit chai. Ham kit is ideally served as a warm herbal drink for people who are nursing a bad cough or sore throat.

Like most medicinal drinks, it has an acquired taste which might not appeal to some.

6. Neslo Ping

Neslo ping

Love coffee and chocolate equally and can’t decide which drink to have? By all means, have both! A delicious mix of both Nescafe and Milo served with ice cubes on top, Neslo tastes like cold dark chocolate drink – the kopitiam’s answer to the fancy iced mocha latte.

You can also request to have a scoop of Milo heaped on top of the drink.

7. Leong Fun  Susu Ping

Leong fun susu ping

The leong fun drink is a drink consisting of pieces of black coloured grass jelly  (leong fun) – this drink is also known as the cincau drink in Malay. The Chinese believes that the grass jelly  possesses a ýin’ (cooling) properties which can help stave off fever and respiratory illnesses caused by the hot weather.

In recent years, it has also been discovered that evaporated milk and ice cubes also complement the taste of the leong fun drink – hence; the leong fun susu ping drink that is so popular on scorching hot days.

8. Nestum


This cereal mix drink is ideal to be consumed during breakfast or at teatime.

This drink is fairly filling and healthy. You can choose the consistency of the Nestum – either have it dilute or add a couple more tablespoons to make porridge.

9. Chinese Tea Ping

Chinese Tea ping

For the economy-minded, the Chinese tea ping is the next best drink to order after plain iced water. Going for as low as 50 sen a glass, Chinese tea ping is a cooling drink that also aids digestion.

From afar, a glass of Chinese tea ping looks like a cold glass of beer – only with less calories and no alcohol.

10. Lemon Tea Ping

Lemon tea ping

Lemon tea ping is iced black tea with slices of lemon added into it. Another cooling drink which is perfect for a hot day, the Lemon tea ping is a homemade version of the commercially made Nestea – and a better tasting one at that.

Some says that only in Sabah that you can get actual iced tea with lemon slices when you order for Lemon tea ping. Elsewhere, they only serve Nestea in a sachet.

What’s your favourite drink at kopitiam?

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