Payung mahkota…

Gee! I did not know that this, in fact, is the name of a song, an asli (traditional Malay) song…and that too is the name that the people  at the Payung Cafe have chosen for their new outlet on the ground floor of the Orchid Hotel along Brooke Drive right here in Sibu – the Payung Mahkota.

Payung Mahkota 1

It had its soft opening last week on the 24th of October and I did drop by a couple of days later to check it out.

This place is definitely a lot more spacious than the original – you can choose to sit outside…

Payung Mahkota 2

…or inside, in air-conditioned comfort…

Payung Mahkota 3

…or on a cool day or in the evening, perhaps, some may prefer to dine in the open air, under the payungs (umbrellas)…

Payung Mahkota 4

…beside the fan palm trees…

Payung Mahkota 5

I guess it is still not quite ready and they still have a lot of work to do on it. I was quite disappointed that the decor was quite minimal, to say the least. There is this payung (umbrella) picture on one of the walls…

Payung Mahkota 6

…and these frangipani ones on another…

Payung Mahkota 7

They have this quaint-looking triangular tower of drawers…

Payung Mahkota 8

…and I love the lampshades…

Payung Mahkota 9

…that look like birds’ nests to me. Maybe they can use those dried palm leaves, the ones they have at the old place…and they never failed to attract the attention of people that I brought there to eat, to cover the horrendous-looking metal awning above that really sticks out like a sore thumb. I missed those big water-filled pots with nicely-arranged flowers and also the bowls of fresh flowers on every table.

As it is, I would very much prefer the old place as the exotic decor that they have there gives a certain special feel to the place and contributes to the pleasant ambiance, making it a choice place to go and dine. But then again, this one has not been officially declared open so let’s give them a chance and wait and see if they would do anything to make the place a whole lot nicer than the way it is now.

As for the food, they have the Indonesian guy from the old place here and even when he was at the former location, he did a lot of the cooking there and even tried out some of his own original recipes sometimes…and since he is doing the cooking here, one can be assured that it would be just as nice, if not better.

That day when we dropped by, my missus had the tom yam prawns with rice (RM16.00), extra spicy…

Payung Mahkota tom yam prawns with rice

…and she loved it very much.

I had the tom yam prawn spaghetti (RM16.00)…

Payung Mahkota tom yam prawn spaghetti

…and I would say that it was simply perfect – sour enough, so fragrant with all the serai (lemon grass) and lengkuas (galangal) and very very spicy as we had requested.

I tried the soup that missus had but I think I prefer my concentrated one…

Payung Mahkota tom yam prawn spaghetti

My friend, Huai Bin, had the belimbing prawn version before…and he loved it a lot too then.

For one thing, parking here is a whole lot easier and it is nearer, being in the town centre, and it would be more convenient if you do not have any transport to get around. The menu and the food would be the same, more or less…but if it is the ambiance, the exotic surroundings, the soothing music and the pleasant feel to the place that you want while you dine, then perhaps you should just head on back to the old place…