Another try…

I tried it once, a long long time ago in Kuching and no, I did not like it so since that first and last time, I never ever wanted to go for it again. It was something new around here at the time – I was still working, much younger at the time and my very good friend took me to a place in Kuching. There were so many people there enjoying it…but no, unfortunately, it did not tickle my fancy.

Well, if you’re wondering, I’m talking about this Hakka favourite called lei cha (ground tea)

Payung Cafe lei cha 1

…also known as thunder tea. When we were here not too long ago

Payung Cafe new table decor

…the boss was busy making it – somebody had placed a special order for it and he asked me to go back and get some to try when it was ready or he could send it to my house. I had to decline then as with my mum in the medical centre at the time, I was not sure when that would be nor where I would be so it might not be convenient. Of course, when I saw on Facebook the other day that they would be serving it lunchtime every Friday from 11.30 a.m. onwards, I could not wait to  go there…

Payung Cafe new centrepiece

…and give it a second try.

I got this…

Payung Cafe lei cha rice and condiments

…and the soup…

Payung Cafe lei cha, soup

– the boss did tell me that previous time when we were there that seven types of herbs went into the making but I did hear too that there were ten altogether. It did not look as green as some that I have seen in photographs – those were bright apple green in colour! I tried a bit and found that it was bitter but that would not be a problem for me as every day, I would drink a mug of tea brewed using these so-called “king of bitters”.

To eat it, one would have to pour the soup over everything in the plate and mix it thoroughly…

Payung Cafe lei cha, mixed

…and dive right in. This way, it did not seem so bitter anymore but on the whole, I did not think there was very much taste to it if not for the crushed peanuts and preserved lobak (radish/daikon). I’ve seen some served with ikan bilis (dried anchovies) which, I’m sure, would further enhance the taste, but with that added, it would no longer be suitable for vegetarians, I guess.

Going for RM6.00 per set at this point in time – the boss said that this was the introductory price seeing that it was something quite new in Sibu so he wanted to see whether it would be well-received or not – it would be served with unpolished/red rice…

Payung Cafe lei cha with unpolished rice

I saw this being served to another customer who came later and when I asked, I found out that the rice was not cooked yet when we got there a little after 11.00. They had planned everything to be ready by 11.30 on the dot…and that was why I got the plain white rice instead.

My missus did not want the lei cha and asked for the tom yam prawns with rice (RM17.00)…

Payung Cafe tom yam prawns

…and that very nice boss went out of his way to cook for us a very special bowl with a whole lot of prawns in it (not the usual serving of 3 only) at the regular price. I tried a bit and yes, it  was so very very nice that I asked for another plate of rice and helped my missus with it. I sure would not mind going for this again next time.

As for the lei cha, well, I’ve tried it a second time…and it did go down a bit better than the first time but if you asked me whether I would go for it again, I’d just say…we’ll see! Hehehehehehe!!!!

PAYUNG CAFE (2.284049, 111.833014) is located at No.20F, Lanang Road, Sibu, Malaysia, back to back with the multi-storey car park of the Kingwood Hotel which faces the majestic Rejang River.