Me first…

My in-laws and families were all here for our nephew’s wedding bash here in Sibu and my sister-in-law and her hubby, her son and family and her daughter, all back from Penang, would all be going back to Kuching on the first day of Chinese New Year. Normally, every year, I would have my in-laws come over for dinner that night but that would be too late if I would want to get them to join in. That was why I hosted a pre-Reunion Dinner lunch that afternoon on Chinese New Year’s Eve and where else better than the award-winning Payung Cafe.

The boss was so very nice – he went and prepared his own version of the yee sang

Payung yee sang

…with his own dressing which was lightly sourish and spicy, something like the taste of those kerabu dishes, and there was even a hint of hay bee (dried prawns) in the dish.

So to start off our lunch, we had the yee sang tossing session…

Toss high high

…for good health, good luck and prosperity in the year ahead. Everybody loved it and we all thought it was nicer than those pickled stuff in the real yee sang.

I brought some freshwater prawns and asked them to help cook their very nice belimbing prawns…

Belimbing prawns 1

…and I so loved the dishes they used that I just had to take a photo of each…

Belimbing prawns 2

Ooooo….I’m in love!

Everyone loved the Bangladeshi lamb curry…

Bangladeshi lamb curry

…but the green curry stole the show…

Green curry

…right down to the terung pipit in the dish…until the kacang ma chicken was served…

Kacang ma chicken

…and they started singing its praises. Personally, I thought it was especially good that day – very strong on the kacang ma and the ginger and with the extra white wine added, it was simply awesome!

They also enjoyed the otak-otak

Otak-otak

…and the mushroom roll…

Mushroom roll

…plus the pomelo salad…

Pomelo salad

I also ordered the Payung fish, ikan keli (catfish) in soy sauce…

Payung fish

…for my Penang nephew’s kid to eat with rice but it was too strong on the ginger so he did not like it very much. In the end, the rest of us finished it off and yes, it was really very nice too.

My in-laws are not as familiar with kampung or ethnic cuisine so this traditional dish of tapioca leaves and sweet potatoes…

Tetek

…was something complete new to them – tapioca leaves with sweet potato and they loved it to bits!

For dessert, I ordered their dreamy nite pudding…

Dreamy Nite

…and also durian ice cream and mango ice cream to share.

The bill came up to around RM500, including all the extras that I ordered. Drinks, their pineapple ginger soda and another one, probably roselle with cucumber juice or something, and iced water were on the house… and rice was served “free flow” in a banana leaf in a rattan basket.

Considering that there were around 20 of us and we had such a delightful lunch – my in-laws were all so impressed, they enjoyed everything and were full of admiration of the extraordinary dishes, things that they had never had nor seen anywhere else – it really was worth it. I certainly would do it here again if ever I have any excuse or reason to do so.

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Author: suituapui

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

23 thoughts on “Me first…”

  1. Wow.. so nice of you to host the scrumptious meal at Payung… Drooling over the food.. yes, the loe sang looks so unique and different from the normal ones in the restaurant… Over here the price is at least RM600 over for a course of 8 dishes.. and I heard the restaurants are crowded for these few nights too!

    Yes, same as the wedding dinner at the Chinese restaurant the night before and it was not as great. I would enjoy this a lot more. Everything was so special – hopefully, that is symbolic of what lies ahead in the coming year.

  2. Everyone must be very satisfied with your treat! You are so generous. Good choice of selecting Payung and good selection of the dishes.

    Yes, they loved it so much they kept talking about it and everything they had. Bet they will be back the next time they’re in town.

  3. Always the smartest choice to choose Payung Cafe for any occasions. That was indeed a delightful pre-Reunion dinner lunch. Mostly times like this, restaurant food was not great cos they simply cook but this one is exceptional. Glad that everybody was impressed & enjoyed everything.

    Yes, especially with the crowd home for the festival, quantity up, quality down. Delighted that this is not the case here, they seemed to put in extra effort to make it a really enjoyable and unforgettable lunch.

  4. I’d love to try that Yee Sang dish!

    If you love those kerabu and Thai salad dishes, you’ll love this! Much nicer than the usual pickled, processed stuff – very fresh, refreshing and very nice. I certainly will make my own like this from now onwards, bye bye to those pricey ones sold in boxes at the supermarkets.

  5. Tetek!

    You like? In my case, the name reminds me of Titek Puspa…or Titek Sandhora. Ash Wednesday today, think clean.

    P.S.
    Ok, edited liao. Don’t want to get you all excited.

  6. I counted 11 items all together so there’s variety for everyone to taste. Can’t go wrong with Payung I suppose and they sure delivered wonderful spread.

    I did not count but there sure was a lot and everyone ate till very very full.

  7. I always wish to have own version of yee sang, for and my family we just wish to eat the biscuit only, not the rest >.<

    Those biscuits or crackers, can buy at the shops anytime of year. Ya, I can add those too if I ever try to make my own in future.

  8. wow, that’s a really unique yee sang … quite malaysian-ised, in a clever and delicious-sounding way, with that thick dressing! 😀 hope your CNY has been going great so far … it’s only the 3rd day and we still have nearly two weeks left to go to celebrate, heh 😀

    Yes, all good. Everything on hold today – Ash Wednesday, will resume tomorrow till Saturday, I guess, then, close shop. Sunday, we’ll be sending my girl back to her school…and the next thing would be the Chap Goh Meh dinner. Maybe I can make my own yee sang for that one but we usually will just have steamboat, not so much of a hassle.

  9. Yee Sang looks very nice – but so do all the other dishes.

    Yes, everything was good – my in-laws were praising to the skies. Glad that they enjoyed the lunch so much.

  10. I always look forward to the CNY gathering…

    I look forward to all happy gatherings, so much joy and good vibes.

  11. That’s a really interesting implementation of yee sang.

    Yup, Payung consistently comes up with good food. I like almost everything they put out. We had the catfish last time my better half’s parents came but her mom wasn’t fond of it due to the fishiness. I liked it though but their best stuff is the curries.

    I guess that depends on the fish – some may have a stronger fishy smell, others are quite ok – and how long it has been cooked and anyway, I am ok with that fishy smell as long as the fish is fresh, not frozen till bland, completely tasteless – like those fish fillet…and not those farmed ones with the horrible mud smell. I can’t understand why people want to eat fish but they do not want the fishy smell…or lamb but without the lamb smell – then it is just some unrecognisable piece of meat.

    The one we had that day was really very good, the sauce had gone into the fish and it was extra strong in the ginger – that was why the kid did not like it.

    1. Yeah, it might have been that particular fish…it was quite oily and fishy.

      I also don’t mind the fishy smell, I quite like it actually. I love the mud smell too, I don’t find it off-putting or offensive. I love it when people at wedding banquets complain about the steamed fish being “chor” (muddy smell). I’ll just eat all of it then. HAHAHAH

      It’s just another characteristic of fish, some has the muddy smell, nothing wrong with it.

      I generally like all kinds of fish except for processed fish e.g. “dory fish fillets” and fish fingers. Also fish balls, unless it’s natural.

      It’s catfish or what we call ikan keli. My missus is not a fan too and usually, it is the farmed ones. Eyewwww…no mud smell for me, it’s not just the chor smell – that’s the strong fishy smell. I’m not too fond of that too but the mud smell is worse. You will find it in farmed fish from ponds where the water is stagnant, not flowing…is like mud, very strong smell of mud. Here, the Batang Ai ones are fine because the water is running all the time.

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