Keep it quiet…

I mentioned in my previous post that I told my Trengganu friends to go on and have breakfast on their own as I had something on and I would only be picking them up a while later at 9.00 a.m. Well, the truth was that it was my girl‘s birthday that day and I had wanted to hold some kind of celebration for her but she did not want anything of the sort and said that she would prefer to just keep it quiet. Of course, we HAD to have the usual customary practice of eating our Foochow mee sua or longevity noodles…

Mee sua
*Archive photo*

…with eggs first thing in the morning before we went out.

That night, we went for dinner here together with my Trengganu friends and I asked the boss beforehand to prepare for us his very special made-to-order ulam

Payung ulam

…with the three kinds of sambal (dip). Needless to say, we enjoyed that so so much – I think my missus was the one who loved it the most especially as the dips were a little on the spicy side. The fried ikan bilis (dried anchovies) that came with it was really very good too – this is available on their menu but I think I only had that once before simply because there are too many nice things here that I would want to order and this has always been sidelined.

Since it was my girl’s birthday, I had to order her favourite – the Bangladeshi lamb curry (RM17.00)…

Payung Bangladeshi lamb curry

…and yes, it was absolutely superb as always.

My friends were impressed by the Payung rojak

Payung rojak

…and taken by surprise to learn that the leaves of the buah kedondong (umbra) were, in fact, edible. Like everyone else before them, they tried…and they loved it too!

They liked the otak-otak

Payung otak-otak

– anytime better than the fish-cake textured Muar (or the Singapore nyonya) version, they said but it seemed that they had not tried Penang’s so they were not in any position to compare. They did insist, however, that we should visit them in Trengganu someday so we would be able to try their version with whole fish inside and they were pretty sure we would love theirs too.

We also had the Kuching Hakka specialty, a must for Chinese ladies in confinement, the kacang ma chicken (RM16.00)…

Payung kacang ma chicken

…with a special request for extra white wine. I don’t think they were overwhelmed by it – in fact, when I first tried the dish, I did not think it was all that great either but eventually, I grew to love it more and more and now, I truly enjoy it a lot! I suppose it is some kind of an acquired taste which probably explains why it is not all that popular in the predominantly-Foochow town of Sibu.

This was what they loved the most that night – the one and only Payung mushroom roll (RM8.00)…

Payung mushroom roll

…and while they were enjoying every bite of it and singing its praises, they were already making plans to try and make their own once they got back home to Trengganu. Yes, it IS that good!

We did get a cake for my girl for her birthday…

Melissa's birthday cake

…and we brought it along that night. I asked the staff to cut a slice for each of us for dessert and to enjoy the rest of it themselves.

Then, when I went to settle the bill for the delightful dinner, the boss told me that the ulam was on the house. Gee!!! Don’t you think that was so very nice of him? He said he enjoyed doing it and did not mind it one bit preparing that for us that evening.

Well, my only hope was that my friends, on their last night in Sibu, enjoyed that exotically-unique dinner that one would not be able to find anywhere else…and from the look of it, I do think I can safely say that they most certainly did and at the same time, we did get to celebrate my girl’s birthday as well…in a quiet kind of way, just as she had wanted it.