Come on in…

FINALLY…after over two months, Payung Café decided to open its doors and resume business again. Come on in, everybody!

No, I did not rush there right away to enjoy all the dishes that I loved so well but I did have the intention of ordering some of them to takeaway and enjoy eating them at home even though I do feel everything is best eaten on the spot, piping hot from the stove.

As far as I know, they did carry out a thorough disinfecting process prior to reopening and as for social distancing, that place was never really crowded, anyway and the tables are few and far apart – their big tables for six would be just right for four, if you stick to the 2-metre rule and if you have more than four, you can always ask them to join the tables, no problem at all – plenty to go round.

I also heard that they now open at 8.30 a.m. (usually, 9.30-10.00 a.m.) and they do open on Sundays, formerly their off day. Like before, lei cha is served every Friday and they may have it on other days as well, depending on the demand but what caught my attention was their Facebook post last Friday regarding their chicken biryani. Varun, their authentic North Indian chef, did give us a tub when he dropped by our house during Chinese New Year and we loved it, my girl especially. Of course, we could not eat that on our no-meat day, Friday so I reserved sets for three (RM20.00 each) and collected them the next day, Saturday.

When I opened the tub with the rice…

Payung chicken biryani rice

…the overwhelming fragrances of the exotic spices used in the cooking blew me away!

It came with this chicken dish…

Chicken for the biryani rice

…which looked like curry but was not curry. It had its own taste and had a whole lot of cashew nuts in the gravy and yes, it was so very nice!

The chicken biryani came with these two accompaniments…

Shorba & mint chutney

…the shorba and the mint chutney. The former is a nutty vegetarian lentil soup and we all enjoyed it though I was of the feeling that the chicken dish was quite enough to go with the rice.

The ladies loved the mint chutney which was on the sourish side and actually, my missus says she prefers the biryani rice here. I would say they are different – both good in their own ways, my girl said and anytime nicer than those thus named at the Malay shops and stalls. Well, like I always say, to each his or her own!

Yes, all in all, we did enjoy our lunch and there was so much of everything that we had the same for dinner that evening! Of course, if we were to have it there, one look at it…

Payung Cafe's chicken biryani with shorba & mint chutney

…would sweep us off our feet already even before we start eating it. Somehow or other, a lovely presentation does help in making a dish a lot more enjoyable.

I did hear some talk about them having this as a weekend special and yes, that would be very nice – available on Saturdays and maybe, Sundays as well and leave Fridays to those lei cha lovers, present company not included, thank you very much! LOL!!!

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.

Author: suituapui

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

11 thoughts on “Come on in…”

  1. I just had briyani a few days ago, but is mutton curry, curry chicken is sold out. So satisfying.

    You and your family must hv enjoyed the briyani so much.

    Our circuit breaker will end on june 1st, thereafter we enter into phase one of reopening but no, dining in is still not allowed, probably have to wait until july, phase two.

    Oh? Dining is allowed here now but with conditions – looks like the public is not quite ready to go back to their past practices just yet, still wary and careful. We would go for mutton at the other Indian place here, love the one there too.

  2. Though eaten on the spot piping hot, I still prefer to tapao and eat at the comfort of my own home. But then again like kueh chap and tomato mee and those come with sauce or soup, no choice have to eat on the spot. The chicken dish looks like ayam masak merah.

    No, nothing like anything I’ve eaten before, lots of cashew nuts and those nuts don’t come cheap! Yes, most noodles would have soaked up the gravy – may not be nice but in some cases, may be nicer if tapao to eat at home. Kuching crispy tomato mee, of course, cannot – will not be crispy anymore once one reaches home.

  3. It is true to eat the food there, right from the stove. Warm and instant. But at this time, precaution is necessary. I also try not to go out breakfast that often. But been going to my usual coffee shop thrice this week. However hubby and I went very early, to avoid the crowds. And kids are to stay at home.

    That sense of security. Lol. Psychology is playing trick on our mind. Don’t know when we would be 101% feel secure and safe to dine out without mask and those social distancing again.

    THRICE??? So far I went once only and that too, it was because I was too early and the supermarket was not open. This one, I tapao-ed and I did tapao some fried noodles also the other day. Not comfortable eating out, not yet.

  4. Wah! Must be so nice to eat the nasi biryani after such a long time. I am longing for Indian curries. Must order that soon.

    Yes, my girl especially was thrilled! The other place was open for takeaway for around a week and then decided not to go on as business was discouraging. Dunno if they have resumed business – they usually open at noon and if I go and buy takeaway, we would not be able to eat till around 1.00 p.m. Timing’s not great!

  5. As the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry. Though it will be more ideal to dine in, then again for now eating at home will be equally good too. 😀

    Not much choice even though many things are not so nice if packed and taken home to eat. All those Chinese dishes where they coat the meat or seafood with flour and deep-fry first before cooking the sauce and pouring over it – those would not be nice at all if taken home to eat.

  6. I too went to a restaurant just the other day, social distanced seating arrangement, but it felt so good to be having japanese food again!

    Gosh!!! The last time I had Japanese was so very long ago that I cannot even remember when.

  7. The chicken might be some sort of korma based on your description. was it creamy?

    The sauce was quite thick, not really creamy. Not quite like korma, the ones that I know.

  8. Like you, I will also take-away and eat at home while watching TV! hahahaa…

    I would cook my own, not into takeaway so much if I have a choice, not nice anymore when taken home and eaten later.

  9. I’m not rushing to dine out either. Happy to stay home or order in.

    Ya, same here. I have not gone here myself but I did order something to take home.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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