Food Tours In Singapore – The Best Teh Tarik
Our Singapore Food Tour is an exploration of both food and drinks across the geographies and cultures of Singapore. When designing the food tour we sampled a LOT of Teh Tarik and the Teh Tarik from the shop that technically has no name (but belongs to Mr Zamir Ahmad) came in top.
It is delicious and here it is!
What is Teh Tarik?
Tarik is the Malay word for ‘pulled’ so Teh Tarik is pulled tea. It is made from tea dust rather than tea leaves. The tea dust is boiled and condensed and evaporated milk is added. The tea is then pulled from one mug to another. The pulling action blends the milk into the tea giving it a very smooth, creamy flavour.
On our Singapore Food Tour we judge a Teh Tarik on the proportion of condensed milk used. Too much and it is considered too sweet, too little and it is not rich enough. We also look at the amount of foam in the cup. The more foam the more the teh has been pulled and the smoother it is. If you order it with extra foam they will pull it more giving you a smoother drink AND more time to snap your photographs!
Who is the man in the picture?
The lovely man in our main picture is Barker, Mr Zamir’s nephew. Barker has been working at the teh stall for 40 years and he is a master Tariker! If you would like to meet him you will find him in the shop from early morning until about 2pm in the afternoon.
Where did Teh Tarik come from?
The origins of this drink go back to South Indian- Muslim immigrants who arrived in the Malay Peninsula and Singapore and set up drinks stalls at the entrance to the rubber plantations to serve the workers.
They used the broken tea leaves and ground them into dust because it was cheaper and therefore affordable for the plantation workers. The Indians themselves were used to drinking Chai Tea which is tea flavoured with spices. That was a little bit strange for the Chinese and Malay workers and it didn’t sell well so the Indians took the spices out added a richer thicker milk, and in order to catch the attention of the plantation workers added some artistic flair and started pulling it! Hey presto Teh Tarik was born!
Mr Zamir Ahmad’s Teh Tarik is open everyday from 06:30am to 2am. Occasionally the stall closes for half an hour or so if the staff need to pop out. You can find it 21 Baghdad Street in Kampong Glam.
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