The other day, we dropped by here and my missus had their kacangma chicken. It was so good and she enjoyed it to the max. I told Peter, the boss and he said that his sidekick, Andy, cooked it! That was amazing, I must say, Andy being Indian but of course, he has been here for so many years (He sure looked different way back in 2012!) and his favourite foods to date are kampua mee and mee sua in traditional Foochow red wine chicken soup.
In the past, Peter’s sister-in-law did most, if not all, of the cooking – the others would help to peel, cut and chop but eventually, she decided to call it a day and retired. After that, Peter had to do the cooking himself but Andy did help by cooking some of the dishes as well. Well, Peter is no spring chicken himself and it is good that Andy has picked up the skills and is able to replicate more and more of those lovely dishes at Payung including this traditional Chinese/Hakka post-natal confinement dish for convalescing ladies after child birth. You can read more about it here and here.
I did not get to eat much of it myself that day as I had my own pick for the day and seeing how my missus liked it, I went back there and tapaoed some…
…to eat at home. Gosh!!! It truly was so very good, very hiam (lots of ginger) and so very generous with the pek chiew thow (Chinese white wine). It has been raining quite a lot here lately, every morning, more or less, for around half the day so it is nice and cool – just perfect for kacang ma. I would not want to have that on very hot days as with all that ginger, it is very heaty, good for brand new mums to protect them from the “cold” that may lead to ailments in their old age.
Sibu, being a Foochow town, is not known for this. As a matter of fact, at this point in time, this is the only place in Sibu selling it. If you say this is an acquired taste, I would most certainly agree and my girl, for one, is not really into it. That was why I bought this Payung fish…
…specially for her, their ikan keli cooked with soy sauce, ginger, serai (lemon grass), chili and what not. She loves that!
This is in a way an all-in-the-family dish – my mum used to cook that and we loved it so much. My sister has stepped into her shoes and she will cook this sometimes. My missus can cook it too but she is no fan of ikan keli nor unagi so she would never bother to do it. My cousins from Kuching had not eaten it for so long and when they had it here, they were all head over heels in love with it!
I guess this will have to do for the time being but needless to say, we just can’t get enough and shall go back there soon enough for more.
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.