There’s a reason…

Yes, we were here

Payung Cafe Chinese New Year lanterns

…again but there was a reason for that. In my blogpost yesterday, I mentioned that I had to go to the hotel at the back to collect the bak kua that Mandy gave me and since we were there, I thought we would just stop by for lunch before going home.

It was Friday, their lei cha day and I was amazed by the number of people there specially for this Hakka delight (RM6.00)…

Payung Cafe lei cha
*Archive photo*

No, I did not have that – I can take the bitterness and I am fine with the taste but no, it is not something I particularly enjoy and never mind that it is good for health – I’d much sooner give it a pass and go for something else.

It being our no-meat Friday, we had their otak-otak (RM13.00, with rice)…

Payung Cafe otak-otak 1

…and were served one huge cylindrical one packed with the fish flakes…

Payung Cafe otak otak 2

…that were bursting with the flavours of all the ingredients used in the cooking/preparation.

However, that day, it was overshadowed by the absolutely out-of-this-world tom yam prawns (RM17.00, with rice)…

Payung Cafe tom yam prawns

…which, upon our special request, was so so so spicy I was blowing out fire with every breath I took! Good grief!!! There were so many prawns in that huge bowl of awesome goodness – normally, there will only be 3 in one serving but that day, we counted 15, five servings and we were only charged for one. *face palm*

I told my missus that we could always pack what was left to take home for dinner but she was enjoying it so much that when she was done, there wasn’t very much left so we just finished it all up there and then. Now, if you still don’t see why we keep going back here again and again, this special treatment alone is reason enough for us to do that.

My missus said that the gravy was creamy like they added milk or santan but what I found out was that they cook everything from scratch using fresh ingredients and the creamy appearance is the result of the use of fresh tomatoes, no milk and no santan and unlike other places where the tom yam tastes like it all came out of a bottle of tom yam paste, theirs is nothing like it – a class of its own, a cut above the rest.

[Incidentally, to whom it may concern, Payung Café will be closed on the 1st Day of Chinese New Year – Friday, the 16th of February and will resume business in the evening of the 2nd Day, dinner only, on Saturday, the 17th.]

The following day, Saturday, we went here again and yes, there was a reason for that as well. My girl saw on Facebook the photo that I shared of the nasi kerabu with ayam percik that my missus had that day…

Warong Cafe nasi kerabu ayam percik, drunstick
*Archive photo*

…and said she would like to go for that and of course, whatever she wants, she gets!

I had the nasi ayam (chicken rice)…

Warong Cafe nasi ayam 1
*Archive photo*

…once and it was really very good and my missus wanted to have a go at it for a change (RM5.50)…

Warong Cafe nasi ayam 2

…but what came out of the kitchen eventually did not look half as nice. Thankfully, it tasted all right but I am quite sure she will go back to her favourite, their nasi kerabu with ayam percik, drumstick the next time we come here.

I ordered their nasi goreng ayam penyet (RM8.00)…

Warong Cafe nasi goreng ayam penyet 1

…to see if it was any good as I had  seen a lot of people having their fried rice and it did look kinda nice.

The rice was all right – I did not think there was anything that would make it stand out a head above the rest (including my own fried rice that I would dish out myself at home)…

Warong Cafe nasi goreng ayam penyet 2

…and I did not quite like the texture of the chicken. I was told by someone that it was due to the original Indonesian way of cooking the chicken – they actually boil it first before frying!

The sambal (dip) was great and I liked the complimentary soup too…

Warong Cafe nasi goreng ayam penyet 3

…but all things considered, especially the somewhat high price tag, I would definitely go for some of the nicer stuff, or to me at least, that they have here instead of this.

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 and WARONG CAFE (2.318841, 111.831732), formerly Sri Tanjung Cafe, is located among the shops in between Jalan Tapang and Jalan Tapang Timur towards the end of Jalan Kampung Nangka on the left – RTM Sibu is located right across the road on the right