Umbrella…

He was a hair stylist by profession in the early 80′s. I went to him that time when I was getting married…in order that I could, at least, look a bit presentable on my big day. LOL!!! Then, I heard that he had ventured into other business endeavours as well and right now, he’s also in the food business.  I read about his eatery – Payung Cafe, in the papers a few days earlier and decided to drop by and check it out…

Payung Cafe, Sibu 1

Well, I went there on Saturday night with ah^kam_koko’ whom I had not seen for a while now, the last time being the occasion when I, together with my daughter and missus, went out for dinner with him and Nicholas…prior to my daughter’s departure for Wellington, New Zealand.

I was quite impressed by the somewhat ethnic decor…

Payung Cafe, Sibu 2

Though not air-conditioned, it was open and very airy and on the whole, a very nice and cosy place to have a quiet and delightful dinner. The flowers certainly helped add a pleasant touch to it all…

Payung Cafe, Sibu 3

I had the otak-otak rice…

Payung Cafe's otak otak

and though it was not really otak-otak per se because the fish had not been blended till firm like fish cake but it was so very delicious. I absolutely loved it and should I drop by the place again, that would be the first thing I would order, no second thoughts about it! If I remember correctly, that was RM12.00 with the rice.

ah^kam_koko’ had the Bangladeshi lamb curry…

Payung Cafe's Bangladeshi lamb curry

…with rice which was similarly priced but curry being curry, I did not think it was any different from any other curry at any other place. As Shakespeare would say, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

For our side dishes, we ordered this mushroom roll (RM7.00)…

Payung Cafe's mushroom roll

…which was also very nice. My daughter, being a fan of mushrooms, would love this, I’m sure….but I think I may be able to make that myself. Hmmmm…I may just give it a try one of these days.

We also had the guava salad (RM7.00)…

Payung Cafe's guava salad

…and though I’m not a fan of guava, I thought it was very nice and had the lion share of it.

Both of us had the jelly pisang

Payung Cafe's jelly pisang

…but with the vanilla ice cream in place of the shaved ice that we had in the Ban Chuan original, it was not exactly the same. Still, it was quite nice with its cherry-flavoured jelly, slices of bananas and milk…and with the vanilla ice cream, there was no way it could go wrong.

To top it up, we were served this, compliments of the proprietor, Peter…

Payung Cafe's Dreamy Nights

It was called “Dreamy Nights” and though it looked like some kind of cake, if I’m not mistaken, it was made from sago pearls with santan (coconut milk) or at least, that was what it tasted like.  My verdict? Not bad, quite nice…and not sweet.

So far, it did not seem to have received very good overall reviews as you can see here and here (except for a sprinkling of good words for this and that) and obviously, the prices have gone up since the place initially opened sometime in 2008 but then again, what hasn’t? All in all, I honestly think it was a delightful dinner – total damage came up to RM55.00 but considering that the food was exceptionally great and we enjoyed sitting there, chatting and basking in the conducive ambience, I would say that it certainly was worth it…and I wouldn’t mind going there again sometime.

And talking about “Umbrella” reminds me of this Hokkien version of Rihanna’s hit song…

I was so tickled when I first saw it, so I thought I would share it here with all of you hoping that it may bring a smile to your faces and give you a great start to a wonderful week. Cheers, everybody!

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45 thoughts on “Umbrella…

  1. :( Otak otak makes me vomit… I dunno why. Must be the fish they use? The smell? I dono. Repelled at the thought of eating otak otak. :(

    The good ones, they use tenggiri – really nice. Maybe, they blend till rubbery so you geli-geli, don’t like? This one not like that – bits of fish basked in all kinds of fragrant spices and herbs, wrapped in banana leaf and panggang. Ooooo…really out of this world. I must try and cook it that way too. Never made otak-otak (or fish ball/cake) as no patience to pound till firm and rubbery.

  2. The food looks good, i think only a bit pricey.. but as long as they tasted good, a bit more expensive is worth it.. i like the dessert they gave.. anything sweet, I am in.. :)

    Ya…it was worth it. Wouldn’t mind going again…

  3. I went there once and I ordered some drink (forgot the name). they added lemongrass into it and I was totally disgusted.

    Oh? You’re not into those exotic tastes. I think it’s the Thai and Myamarese influences – they put lemon grass in everything…and peanuts too. Good for health though…

  4. the otak-otak looks good! hehe eh i never heard of guava salad. so special one? dunno here got or not. :/ n the mushroom roll, the mushroom is cooked with cheese ?? heee

    They have papaya salad, pomelo salad…all kinds – all sourish, Thai-style…no mayo! Dunno if there’s any cheese in the mushroom roll – but it was nice. The otak otak was the best!

  5. Ah.. otak otak.. haven’t had it in ages!! Didn’t like it last time.. but getting used to the flavour now. :P

    There’s this Muar Restaurant – I hear the otak otak there is really good. Jalan Tong Shin, paralell to Jalan Alor…

  6. I like that name Payung, and i bet this ex hair stylist of yours must be a stylish person as well,good decor and good presentation,

    have a great week ahead cikgu and god bless

    Nice – I like the place even though it’s not air-conditioned. You too, have a great week and God bless.

  7. So didn’t eat otak otak liao! RM55 for dinner in such a nice place is reasonable price. Notice there is and oil & gas inspection company on top of the restaurant! LOL!

    Oh? Is that what they do? Dunno anything about that company? Wah! You’re so observant… Lucky thing not some hotel like Lisa de Inn. Hahahahaha!!!!! :D

  8. very impressive – where is this place?
    the guava salad – is that peanut they sprinkle on top?

    Lanang Road…on the right. Have to go up to the roundabout and come down again. The block right in front of the construction of the Kingwood extension. To the left of that block…and on the right of that same block is Fat Mum which is also quite popular. Food not bad… Thai-style, they sprinkle peanuts on a lot of things.

  9. Hello, am back after 2 weeks break! ^-^ I love the spread of food, specially the otak otak and the sago dessert!

    Have a lovely day!

    You too. Ya…loved the food. Besides, it’s something different from the usual and most importantly, it’s nice. I like!!!

  10. Yes, that place have very nice deco and the food is a bit unusual but nice. For salad, you could try the one at the top of the menu. I think that’s the house specialty and the most expensive salad. And I do agree with your comment about the lamb curry and mushroom roll.

    Ya, at least we are in agreement on this. Hahahahaha!!!! The top one – the Payung salad? That’s the only one that’s not Thai-style, I think. Will take a look, should I drop by the place again.

  11. Otak otak, some otak otak taste nice some are not, so long i never had otak otak already.

    That mushroom roll look interesting, i thought that is poppiah. Guava salad? Something new!

    Where is this place?

    Yes, the food’s different from elsewhere…and to my liking. They have papaya salad, pomelo salad…whatever salad. It’s along Lanang Road, on the right – a bit further up from the traffic lights junction where you turn to go to Li Hua or Kingwood Hotel. Come, come back to Sibu again and I’ll take you there… ;)

  12. looks very good. Not that pricey also. The guava salad looks a bit like acar. Still drooling from Cyn’s acar

    Wah…her acar must be great! Can’t wait to go to KL, hope to get a chance to sample hers. Ya…the place and food are ok and the price is ok too. Don’t mind going there.

  13. hmm. i thought they have a lot of umbrella in the cafe. hehe. Rihana hit songs should suit this cafe.

    I think they have at least two…for the tables outside – nice old school waxed paper umbrellas. Good decor…

  14. I think the approximate GPS co-ordinate is 2.283424,111.833407

    Thanks. Was too lazy to go and check that out. Connection not so good these days, so movement restricted. ;)

  15. wah…change of profession.

    I love otak otak. Hmm…must call my mum and get her to order some for me from Johor. haha..

    They say Muar’s the best…

  16. Wow! Umbrella in your country is Payung. Here in our place, it is payong. ^_^

    It is good that you found a really nice place to eat. I am a fan of mushroom too. That is why I will order that Mushroom Roll if I ever visit that place.

    It used to be “payong” too…but then they changed the spelling and used “payung instead. Like “tidor” (sleep) became “tidur”. Oh? You like mushrooms too? Just like my daughter. She’s enjoying herself in NZ as they have all the nice, fresh mushrooms there.

    • Owww…I envy your daughter. Hmmm…that’s it! I am flying to NZ!

      Haha…just kidding.

      You do? Why? I’m sure you have your own blessings, big and small, to count. Always be thankful and give praise. Hehehehehehe!!!!

  17. i am a otak otak fan….like urs otak otak … but not easy to find a good otak otak … even the famous muar otak otak. … i find it normal nia….

    Oh? It’s not that great, after all? Go and try the one at Muar Restaurant, Jalan Tong Shin – they say it’s nice…but I did not get to try when I was in KL. This one that I had that night was really good – never had better! Yum! Can’t wait to go back there and have some more…

  18. from the lighting.. I expected it to be air- conditioned.. lol.. I love how they arrange the flowers.. :D

    They’ve aircon upstairs but only for private functions. It’s ok…airy, windy…and cool but I guess I went on a good nite. And too much aircon not good – gives me body aches…and bad for the environment too! LOL!!!

  19. Otak-otak rocks. I can have otak-otak any time. :)

    Yum yum! These are really very nice…not like those that I bought at the Ramadan stalls once. Ewek! Or those that I bought in KL – some roadside stall around Pearl Point – not great at all.

  20. Yeah! The flowers really add a lot of touch to the whole feeling. Perhaps it was because they make the ambiance cosier?

    Ya…little things mean a lot. Simple and yet brightens up the place.

  21. this is my first time to hear that otak otak… i wonder how does it taste… i see a mixed reactions here about otak otak which makes it more intriguing to me hehe
    haha i enjoy the video ahehehe
    thanks for sharing my friend have a great day and happy blogging

    It’s the same with everything else. Some people make good ones, others suck big time…and some people cannot stand the taste of the ingredients used – the tumeric, the lemon grass and what not. I love the fragrance of these stuff… Same to you, my friend.

  22. That jelly pisang looks really good. Is it the same as what they used to make, back in the bad old days, in that coffee shop by the old Cathay? Forgot the name, starts with a ‘B’ I think.

    Ya, I mentioned that in the post – Ban Chuan. This was nice but not the same as the original. The original had shaved ice with sugar syrup and evaporated milk – this one had vanilla ice cream. It was nice…just not the same as the jelly pisang I used to know and loved…..

  23. The boutique dining concept was well-embodied in that little corner shop.
    I liked it.
    Though I might not return due to the higher than usual price tag (for Sibu standards though slightly lower than KL).

    Thanks for a wonderful dinner + chat!
    =)

    No problem…the least I can do after all the help you gave, the useful information that I needed to get Melissa ready to go over to Wellington. We can always go again sometime when you’re in town…

  24. I personally find it too close to the main road with all those dust and car exhaust and Lanang road is a busy road. Would have preferred it to be located somewhere further off the main road.

    It was o.k. that night. The road was not at all busy (despite being a Saturday night) and the wind was blowing from the back…so we did not get to experience all those discomforts that you mentioned… But I never like the area – usually so congested and have to drive all the way up to the roundabout and down again. However, I think I heard somewhere that it’s the owner’s own shop…his family’s.

  25. this post also reminded me about the Rihanna Umbrella. What’s jelly pisang?

    A kind of drink that was very popular at one particular coffee shop here in Sibu – Ban Chuan. Only Sibu people from the 60′s and 70′s would know of the drink… No more now, not even the coffee shop…

  26. Uahhh… take me there. I want something like that.
    Pretty cheap for NZ standard too!!

    Definitely cheaper. That’s about NZ$20 for all that…Where to find in NZ? I saw the menu of an Auckland Malaysian restaurant…NZ$15 plus for just a plate of nasi bryani! *faints!!! LOL!!! Come, come to Sibu and I’ll take you to eat all you want! ;)

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  42. Hi Arthur, how’s the food quality in Payung Mahkota? Is it the same as their main branch? Am thinking of checking out the place one of these days after seeing you rave about it in your blog. I am an avid reader of your blog by the way, always enjoyed reading your food reviews. :)

    The same…but Mahkota, the atmosphere, ambience…not as nice. Bigger and not so many people, seems rather empty… Food the same, both nice!!!

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