Ready or not…

First and foremost, I would like to thank my friend, Nick, for the lovely Chinese New Year card that he sent me…

CNY greeting card

…all the way from Sg Petani, Kedah. I did not send any this year – as they say, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. It sure looks like this is the only one I will get this year – generally people are not into sending greeting cards anymore. How sad!

Well, Chinese New Year is just around a week away. How are the preparations going? As for us, we are not celebrating this year as it has not been a year since my mum’s passing but my friend, Peter, the boss of Payung, asked me to drop by that day as he wanted to give me the very nice kueh bangkit

Payung kueh bangkit

…the homemade sago biscuits from somebody in Mukah. He has been stocking up on these and selling them for a few years now and I’ve noticed that despite the spiralling prices of things these days, he is still selling them at the same price as in previous years, RM22.00 a jar even as far back as in 2016!

Yes, the decorations are up for the festive season – all the trees are gaily decorated…

Payung CNY decor 1

…and there are more hanging from the ceiling…

Payung CNY decor 2

…to give the place that special feel of celebration…

Payung CNY decor 3

…around this time of year.

If you are not going to cook much for your reunion dinner or Chinese New Year open house, you can order some of the lovely dishes from here like what I would do every year – it sure saves a whole lot of trouble when you do not have to cook everything yourself.

The lamb dishes are RM68.00 a kilo so you can pick one of our favourites, their Bangladeshi lamb curry…

Payung Bangladeshi lamb curry

…or lamb masala or both.

The chicken dishes are cheaper, at RM58.00 a kilo and you can grab their butter chicken…

Payung butter chicken

…or their green curry or kacangma chicken or their Payung chicken, the one with the thick yogurt and green peppers sauce.

I hear they will be closed on the 1st day of Chinese New Year only – it will be business as usual on the eve and also on the 2nd day onwards.

Incidentally, somebody PM-ed me via Facebook asking me where to get the best traditional Foochow red wine in town and I told him/her to get it here at Payung. Peter’s sister makes it and once approved by the mum, the matriarch in the family, only then will they put it up for sale at only RM10.00 a bottle. They sell the unadulterated ones at that same price elsewhere and even though they claim that no water is added, theirs seem to pale in comparison.

I have been buying the ones made by Peter’s sis and it does seem that our chicken soup with traditional Foochow red wine is very much nicer, as good as what we would enjoy at Payung but of course, it is not on their regular menu! Why! I even bought two bottles home myself when I went to pick up the kueh bangkit…and I still have one more in the house. I hear they only have a few bottles left, 4, if I am not wrong but if anyone is interested, they can always order the number of bottles that they want and Peter’s sis can make a fresh batch to be collected after 4 or 5 days.

PAYUNG CAFÉ (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.