Years ago…

My cousin in Kota Kinabalu was born in Sibu and spent his early childhood here and was still small when the family moved to Sabah. He was here for my wedding but that was, of course, many many years ago and he was here on a working trip a few years later but he had never been back since. Well, he came over for the weekend to attend our niece’s wedding so I went to pick him and his son up upon arrival at the airport that evening and took them here for dinner

With Georgie & son

Unfortunately, owing to work commitments, he could not fly in earlier so they had to miss the traditional Melanau ceremony that I had featured in yesterday’s post.

I managed to get hold of some dabai and terbulus


…for him to enjoy. Needless to say, he enjoyed both…and the boss of the cafรฉ was so kind as to let us try his special dabai paste…

Dabai paste

…that was simply out of this world! I thought he used those salted/fermented dabai to make that but he told me that he used fresh ones and cooked them, seeds removed, with some other ingredients to come up with this winning combination and the kind and generous guy even gave me some to take home to enjoy.

I ordered some of our favourites here for my cousin and his son including the mushroom roll…

Payung Cafe Mushroom roll

…the Payung rojak

Payung rojak

…and the otak-otak

Payung Cafe otak otak

…their Bangladeshi lamb curry…

Payung Cafe Bangladeshi lamb curry

…and the kacang ma chicken…

Payung Cafe kacang ma chicken

…and also the ikan keli (catfish) cooked with ginger and soy sauce and so on – I think this is similar to one of the ways my mum used to cook it at home before but she would add brandy to hers. The photograph did not come out very clear and we also had the belimbing prawns and I did not manage to take a snapshot ย of that…but anyway, I have had them before in my earlier posts.

I ordered the Sibu specialty, the jelly pisang, for the son to try…

Payung Cafe jelly pisang
*Archive photo*

…and the durian ice cream for the dad…

Payung Cafe durian ice cream
*Archive photo*

…for dessert and the two loved the latter so much that they were fighting over it. (In fact, they went back on their own the very next day just for that!!!)

My cousin brought me this…

Fruitcake from Georgie

He told me that it was a special fruit cake made by his sister and no, I did not open it – instead, it went straight into the freezer to join the fruit pudding that I am saving for Christmas or Chinese New Year…but the fragrance, I must say, was absolutely overwhelming!

In the meantime, this came via poslaju…

From Kuching 1

…from another cousin in Kuching…

From Kuching 2

…and these two from another one…

From Kuching 3

…who sent them and also this lovely butter cake that I like a lot…

From Kuching 4

…through her mum who also flew in for the wedding.

Thank you so much – it certainly was so nice and sweet of all of you.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

35 thoughts on “Years ago…”

  1. Oh we can freeze fruit cake? I always thought we can only keep them chilled. Now I know, I’ll smuggle some good ones back next time I go visiting during Christmas ๐Ÿ˜€

    If you want to keep it longer…say, like half a year or longer.

  2. Except the otak-otak , I never tried all these food. What’s in the dabai and terbulus?

    They’re fruits. Click the links on the names to see the posts on them…and no, you have not tried the otak-otak – nothing like your Muar ones…or the steamed ones in Penang. I think Huai Bin had this in his post yesterday too.

  3. The dabai and terbulus look like they’re coated in some butter gravy.. Like those cooked in butter prawns or butter chicken..Ahhh Payung.. Can already straightaway think of the rojak, lamb curry, mushroom rolls and jelly pisang already.. Slurpppp..

    That’s the terbulus, no photo of the dabai…except for the special paste that the boss shared with us and gave some for me to take home….and that’s not butter gravy – it’s the creamy inside of the fruit, like ice cream! My missus put the fruit in a plastic bag and took it along to the airport that evening – not allowed to “choke” the fruits like that, they’ll get “cooked”. Thankfully, it was right at the edge, too long and the fruit would not be edible anymore.

    Yes, you know this place well now. Saw your comment in Huai Bin’s blog.

  4. Seems like rojak and popiah are the must-order items here…

    Yup, in fact, they went again on Sunday hoping to eat those before going back…but the place was closed. Closed, lunchtime on Sundays. Open on all other days. I would say those two are among my favourites – lots of must-order items here, I would say. Limited choices but mostly all good, dunno which to order.

    They did get a second round of the durian ice cream when they went Saturday afternoon, the following day after they arrived that night.

  5. I am sure they enjoyed the food there. So many goodies from your cousins.

    They did, went back for more…in the limited time that they had. Yes, so nice of them all.

  6. All looks so great and I have always like their popiah & rojak. I noticed that they are very generous with the rojak paste, not like here, so little for a big plate of rojak. Can’t even taste, cisss!!!!.. blessed with so much goodies.

    You’ve been here before? Been in Sibu and you never contacted me. Aiyorrrrrr!!!!!

    They make their own sauce. I went one afternoon and I saw the old lady – the boss’ auntie, I think, cooking one big pot of it! I did not know people cook rojak sauce one, so special. Too bad by the time I got there, she had almost finished – I should have gone earlier, then I would have been able to watch and learn. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  7. Terbulus? Is that what u called? I know it as buah engkala, or in my Bidayuh language ‘tekara’. My fav childhood fruit! Still is till this day. ๐Ÿ™‚ Some people don’t like it tho.

    That’s in Melanau, terbulus. I love it too, skin and all!!!

  8. Your cousin looks very young..or perhaps I was expecting someone older since he attended your wedding which you said was many many years ago… Hahhahaa….
    Hey the food in Payung never goes wrong… Your choices are my choices… Really the best!!

    He’s definitely younger than me – his eldest brother and sister would be around my time – we spent our primary school days together before they left for KK. This one was in KL for a number of years – used to appear in tv commercials, so we used to see him all the time then – Electrolux and Singer, you know the guy who comes knocking on your door to promote the products. He does look young…still. Some people are so blessed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. The fermented dabais… awesome!! It must be hard to find now. Not a dabai season. huhu.

    It is the dabai season! They’re out again!!! The paste was cooked fresh dabai, not fermented.

  10. Did the butter cake go into the freezer as well or already enjoyed?

    It went in for a couple of days – wrapped in foil and heated up a bit in the oven before eating, now all gone!

  11. i like the butter cake too…i can eat a few pieces at once and finish it in one day (*for dinner & lunch too!)

    Gosh!!! Took us a couple of days, three of us. ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. I am eyeing on that butter cake, look very good. And the wrapper that wrap the fruit cake look nice too.

    Farley Bakery here is very very nice too, maybe half the price. Do not buy the ones with almond slices or whatever, just plain butter cake – that’s the nice one.

  13. khadijah’s sauces? i’m quite curious about whether they taste good (i hope they do!). chicken kapitan and peanut satay both sound delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

    My cousin in Kuching tried the chicken kapitan…but with pork and he said it was really very good. Have you been to her restaurant? Khadijah’s Kitchen, 21, Jalan 11/2, Petaling Jaya 46200, Malaysia? Have you ever blogged about it? After her singing career, she migrated to NZ and was running her Malaysian restaurant there for a number of years before she came back to open one here. Been around for a number of years here too so should be ok, I guess, since it has lasted this long.

  14. Everything looks wonderful and so nice spending time with loved ones. I’ll have to research salted/fermented dabai and see if it is something I can prepare at home. I love making fermented foods. I really love the wrapping for the fruitcake, it’s lovely.

    Yes, the fruitcake certainly was indeed very beautifully wrapped. The dabai is what we consider as our local olives and you do have pickled olives – not a fan of those…nor am I into fermented dabai. Would prefer them fresh.

    Yes, it was lovely – family members from all over coming together for this very happy occasion – I sure loved that very much.

  15. Mushroom rolls? Interesting! Is it like popiah?

    Yup, with a different kind of filling and lots of cheese. Many have tried to replicate…but failed.

  16. I like their kacangma chicken too! Very nice. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I personally like the Bangladeshi lamb curry but I know my dad doesn’t – I brought him here to buy him dinner during his birthday when my mom was still here and he thought it was too spicy so I never ordered it when I was with him for dinner again.

    The packs of Khadijahโ€™s Kitchen sauces looks very promising, I shall see if I can find it in KL! Or is it a Kuching only product?

    It’s available in KL, one of my two cousins got hers from there – dunno where else in the peninsula. The other cousin got hers from Ting & Ting in Kuching – they brings some over but they’re not sure if it is on a regular basis. Yes, the lamb is on the spicy side…and the otak-otak too – we always ask for these to be extra spicy. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Yeah, unfortunately, my dad can’t take spicy food. I’m fine with it myself, love spicy food so I’ll only eat it when I’m not with him.

      Nice! I’ll go and see if I can find the sauces! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, some of the dishes are spicy…and we would usually ask for extra spicy unless we have friends with us and they’re not it so much.

  17. This time I get to try the kacang ma chicken and also the sour chicken. Not fancy the fish because of the bones, nevertheless the gravy is delicious to go with steamed white rice.

    Thank your lucky stars Huai Bin did not insist that you went for ikan terubok with him. He seemed very keen on having that last night but I did not want it as usually, the fish would be too big for two persons…and we would be having a lot of other dishes as well. That fish has so so so many bones, such a hassle to eat if compared to ikan keli. Yes, the gravy is really nice. We add brandy when we cook it at home, even nicer!

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