“Air Mata Kucing” translated into English literally means “Water of the Cats Eyes”! But gory descriptions aside, “mata kucing” is the local name for the longan fruit, and the drink actually uses the dried version of the fruit.
Air Mata Kucing or Longan Drink, is made by boiling the “lo han guo” or Lo Han fruit, rock sugar and dried longans. It is a dark coloured drink that is sweet and supposed to help cool down the body heat.
This stall right in the center of Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur has made themselves famous by just selling this drink. In fact, they are so famous that they now have a franchise in Mid Valley Megamall!
I used to drink this when it was still served in little tin bowls with tin spoons for you to scoop up the drink and bits of longan and jelly in it. I liked it for the nostalgic feel it left me with because tin bowls and spoons remind me of my childhood. However, with progress, it has now become paper cups and straws. Most of the magic is thus, lost.
The drink however, remains the same – thick, sweet and icy cold. Perfect on a hot day, after walking through the crush of stalls in Petaling Street.
The stall is located in the heart of Petaling Street, at the cross roads just outside the Hong Leong Bank. You won’t miss it for the crowds. A cup of drink (hot or cold) costs RM1.20. If you don’t want ice it’ll cost RM1.50 for a large cup and RM1.20 for a small one.
The next time you are in Petaling Street, don’t forget to cool down with an Air Mata Kucing!