the little bowl

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The Expat’s Guide to Ordering ‘Kopi’ December 18, 2009

Filed under: Local Bowl — thelittlebowl @ 8:40 am
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I had an interesting conversation with my Korean colleague, Jee, today. She has been living in Singapore for two years and always had problems ordering coffee at a local coffee shop. Since the uncle at the coffee shop can’t understand her, she ends up ordering Kopi O every single time!


“Why Kopi C, and not A or B?” she asks.

The terms used in our beverage names are not English. For instance, “O” in Kopi O is not part of the alphabet; it is the Hokkien word for “Black”. Another example is ‘Kosong’, the Malay word for ‘zero’, which refers to coffee or tea without sugar or milk. That’s why there’s no Kopi A and B! 😛


Order Coffee like a Singaporean

Good terms to know and add to your order:

O – Black with Sugar (pronounced as a short version of “Awe”)

C – With Evaporated Milk; like a latte – a lot more milk than regular coffee

Kosong – Without Sugar or Milk

Gah Dai – With Extra Condensed Milk (pronounced as Ga – Die)

Xiu Dai – With Less Sugar (pronounced as Seeyou-Die) HAHA!!

Po – Thinner/Weaker

Gau – Stronger (pronounced like ‘Cow’ with a G in front)

Peng – Iced



Kopi – Coffee with Sweetened Condensed Milk

Kopi Gau – Stronger Coffee with Milk

Kopi ‘O’ – Black Coffee with Sugar

Kopi ‘O’ Kosong – Black Coffee without Sugar, similar to Americano

Kopi ‘O’ Po –  Weaker/Thinner Black Coffee

Kopi Peng – Iced Coffee

Kopi C – Coffee with Evaporated Milk and a little Condensed Milk; lots of milk like a latte

If you want thinner iced black coffee with sugar, you’ll say:

Coffee + Black + Thinner + Ice = Kopi O Po Peng


For tea, substitute Kopi with Teh (like “tai” in “tailor”). Try it and see how you fare! 🙂


Found: Dairy-free desserts December 16, 2009

Filed under: Cool Sites,Recipes — thelittlebowl @ 7:12 am
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You must be wondering why I’m so happy to find dairy-free desserts. So it seems the years of food tasting, as a writer and PR person, has caught up with me and I may have developed a mild allergy to a couple of ingredients – most sadly, that means I can’t enjoy milk, cream and butter as much as I want. People with lactose intolerance know my pain.

Nonetheless, as a die-hard foodie, I’ve got to make things right for myself. I MUST have desserts!

I chanced upon TasteSpotting – a collection of beautiful recipes from different blogs and websites. And man, the food photography is pretty drool-worthy!