Friday, May 15, 2009

Hunt for Milo in London

miloMilo is one drink that so encompasses our life that we often take it for granted. It has always being hailed as the cure all comfort drink through the generations. Maybe that's an exaggeration but that was the impression that my mum has drilled into me. Whether I did badly in a test, picked on by the class bully or simply feeling drained after a long day at work, there's practically nothing a hot mug of Milo wouldn't solve.

Our love affair with Milo was so intense that a tube of the much powder was included in our army rations. I would gladly trade in my rifle for a dozen packs of Milo. Some of us are so reliant on Milo that some Singaporeans who relocated to London brought stockpiles of the energy drink with them. I know for a fact that a student lugged a number of Milo Instant 3 in 1 packs over in his suitcase. To give him some credit, he was rather generous with it when I visited.

Curiously, the Milo that is available is Sainsbury is manufactured in Kenya. A Ghanaian colleague of mine mentioned that besides Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana have their Milo factories as well. He agreed with me that Milo produced from different countries taste distinctly different. He is, of course, leaned towards the Ghanaian variety.

Having grown up drinking the Milo shipped from Malaysia, the Kenyan version was no substitute. After searching for quite some time, I manage to locate a provision store in London's Chinatown that stocks Milo from Malaysia. I can't recall the name but the store is at the junction between Gerrard Street and Macclesfield Street. Tins of Milo that comes in small, medium and large sizes would be the first items that you would see as you proceed down to the basement.

Now that I have my Milo, life's looking up again.

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Fëanor said...

I used to drink Milo as a small boy. Then for some reason my mum switched to Ovaltine, which we weren't too keen on. After that, Cadbury's Bournvita, which was rather good, more malt than chocolate. These days I'm into hot chocolate. Surveyed a few on offer in London's cafes. Top of the heap at the moment are Patisserie Paul and Caffe Nero's Milano. Any other suggestions?

nurinkhairi said...

The Milo picture source was from my University's Student Union Forum. Lol! Anyway, in Sheffield we got our stock of Milo from an Oriental grocery shop. Some said it doesnt taste the same as the one back home in Malaysia. Being me,I couldnt always tell the difference haha. But after several years, Milo from home has also been included in the list of things to be stocked back once coming to England. Have always loved my Milo. :)

Reeta said...

When I first came to the UK, I was so deprived of Milo that my parents had to ship a pack over. Over the years, I’ve started to not miss it too much. However, my British boyfriend can’t get enough of it! He has a glass of Milo every night. We recently got back from Singapore and he brought 3 huge packs back for himself.

I used to get the ones from Sainsburys when I ran out and I don’t taste any difference between the one from Sainsbury’s and the one from Singapore…but guess who can…my boyfriend! Haha How bizarre…

*lynne* said...

Ah Milo!! Fond memories of the drink! Nowadays I've "graduated" to coffee, but during my last trip back to Malaysia, I did find myself ordering Nes-Lo Ais a few times (poor man's version of Mocha coffee, LoL!).

Ovaltine was its rival - couldn't stand that stuff. I found out that in Europe (Switzerland, anyway) it was named Ovomaltine, thus acknowledging its ~malt~ contents. I guess I don't like malt? :p

yoongz said...

Oh yes MILO! i love it to bits! We bring a large pack back every time we return from Singapore & sometimes we get a second pack if we know someone coming over from Singapore ;) My little boy loves it too but he doesn't fuss if there is just chocolate milk instead of Milo.

Emm said...

We get Milo in South Africa too and you can find it in the South African shop. Do you get Milo chocolate bars in Singapore?

Little Miss Random said...

Emm: Yes, we do get Milo bars in Singapore. We also get Milo nuggets.

And you didn't grow up in South-East Asia if you didn't grow up eating Milo, butter and bread. Mmmm. Yummy!

yanjie said...

Nothing beats Milo peng from a good old kopitiam. That one can't be imported.

Dutchie said...

yanjie - what is milo peng ?

CK - I hv forgotten how milo taste bec I hv always preferred the malty Horlicks - oh yum yum :-)

Dutch households has only tea n coffee for adults n chocolate milk is thé popular drink for kids. I hv a tin of cacao powder for days when tea just dont taste like much on a cold day. Hubby is the coffee drinker, I seldom touch it.

In my childhood, my older sis would put condensed milk in my dad's very strong kuan yin tea as a comfort drink for me. That was almost daily bec I was struggling with mathematics n it involves lots of tears to get my schoolwork done.

R the 3-in-1 milo just as rich as those made from a tin with condensed milk ?

Btw, my bro drives to JB for his favourite Nescafe with Hazelnut flavour. Very nice that ! They hv stopped stocking up in SG after a short promo.

yanjie said...

@Dutchie - Iced Milo.

It's milo with condensed milk poured over ice. Sinfully good.

There are other creative variations, lik Milo Dinosaur, where additional Milo powder is added on top of Milo Peng, Milo Godzilla, etc.

Vera said...

I grew up on Milo! Was even a member of Milo club. Love it hot and iced. Loved to put a lot of powder on my bread. Also used to add Milo to rice. The list is very long, Thanks for bringing back the memories :)

sixmats said...

The hard part about being an expat is finding what you need from home. In Japan it's roll-on deodorant.

Better Interpersonal Communication said...

I fully agree with your comments about our love affair with milo. I missed it too when i was in the studying in the states.

missy-j said...

Hi, this is totally off-topic, but I'm a Singaporean due to travel in London in a few weeks. Do you think the swine flu situation in the UK is a cause for concern for me?

C K said...

For some reason, I am still besotted with Milo and can't find a substitute in hot chocolate, and I blame my mum for that. :)

I guess it's the rich milky texture in hot chocolate, which don't go down too well for me. But will give Nero's Milano a try the next time round. Thanks for the heads up!

Haha, what a coincidence! Just wondering where is Sheffield's Milo imported from? I'm sure you'll agree that Milo does make a good drink for an evening gathering with your buddies and all.... reminds me of those kopitiams back home.

Funny how things turns out, isn't it? Do did you learn to like Marmite as well? lol

Like I said, nothing beats a hot mug of Milo in the morning. Any Milo sold over at Switzerland?

Interesting to note that Milo has a market in South Africa as well. I have always thought that it's a somewhat South East Asian drink. Guess I've underestimate the allure of Milo. :)

@Little Miss Random,
Oh yeah... er, and prata as well. LOL

Agreed! In that small white pocelain cup and a green plastic saucer below.

I would say that those 3-in-1 taste rather ok to me. The thing is, I like to have less sugar in my Milo so if given a choice, I would prefer to make mine from the plain power instead. I suspect the 3-in-1 has powdered milk added to it.

Somehow, Ovaltine doesn't quite agree with me. It's the malt I guess. But hey, tie kuan ying with condensed milk? That's new.

Adding Milo to rice and bread?!! Wow, that's really hardcore, isn't it? Then again, we used to swallow the power on its own in the army due to the lack of water. :)

I'm surprised. I would think that the Japanese come up with the roll-on deodorant, no?

So did you import some of your own then? Don't they have Milo in the States? I mean, they even have it in South Africa!

Hey, no worries at all. There are lesser than 100 cases in the UK (if I got my figures right) and there is no quarantine as yet. As the UK wasn't as affected by SARS (as in S'pore), there's no widespread panic as yet. Besides, the situation is deemed to be under control.

However, I'm not too sure whether you'll be quarantined on your way back to S'pore.

Hope that helps. Anyway, if you have further questions, do feel free to drop me an email at

Emm said...

I brought it into work once and discovered that it is actually popular across most of the world, except for Europe and USA. My Australian and Caribbean colleagues were super happy to find the milo in the kitchen!

nurinkhairi said...

Not really sure where the Sheffield's Milo drink is sourced from but it might be from Nigeria, since they are quite many made from Nigeria food products in Sheffield

Anonymous said...

I LOVE milo! I have one every day after school :P I live on it!!
You're looking for THE Aussie Milo in London?
There's an Australian shop in Covent Garden that sells Aussie, Kiwi, Canadian and South African food. When I was on exchange to an English boarding school, I bought some and attempted to teach them how to eat it...
Not good.
Enjoy :D

Pete from Kuching said...

You can buy milo all over england. You can normally find tins of MILO in big supermarkets like Tesco (best to go tesco imo)and they normally stock it in the foriegn/ethnic food section. I just made some Milo Peng 2mins ago.

My recipe:
5x Heaped teaspoons MILO
4x teaspoons condensed milk (you can buy squeezy versions)

Add a little hot water to dissolve the MILO powder in your pint glass or tall mug, add the condensed milk.


Add cold water to 1/2 fill the glass/mug

Add cold milk to fill, then stir, then add ICE CUBES

(You could also fill it up with cold water if desired)