Last Friday, my girl had a wedding reception to attend so we dropped her off at the hotel where the event was held and went round the corner to have our dinner here

There was a girl there for the lei cha – they still serve that once a week, every Friday and it’s RM7.00 a set right now, so cheap!!!

It was around 6.00 p.m. and it wasn’t dark yet when we got there but it got darker and darker real quickly and it started pouring cats and dogs! Gosh!!! I was surprised that there were customers dropping by for dinner despite the raging storm and I don’t know if it was just me but I thought it wasn’t as dark before. Perhaps they feel the ambiance is nicer this way, more romantic and all but attempting to take great pictures under such conditions would be a real challenge!

Of course my missus wanted the kacang ma chicken…

…and of course, she loved it so much! Andy is getting to be quite an expert at cooking it these days, it seems. I saw somebody selling her homecooked version on Facebook but the kacangma (motherwort) leaves were very kasar, not well blended and on the whole, it looked so diluted – not that much kacangma leaves, not that much ginger either and I was quite sure unlike Andy’s, you would not be getting a lot of pek chiew thow (Chinese white wine) if you go for that one!

There were three huge chunks of chicken in it and my missus could only manage two so I helped her with the last one and the rest of the absolutely-out-of-this-world soup! Yes, it was good, very very good!

I had the Payung fish…

…myself. My girl and I love this a lot, the ikan keli but my missus would not touch it with a 10-foot pole.

Cleaning and preparing the fish for cooking is such a chore – my sister says it takes the whole morning just to do that, half an hour to cook and 5 minutes to eat it all up!!! For this reason alone, we never buy this fish ourselves to cook this way or in those other ways that my late mum used to cook it (e.g. masak kunyit) – we will just come here to eat or tapao home to enjoy.

One thing I’ve noticed is the fish skin is missing. Maybe it would be easier to clean it by just removing and getting rid of the skin, I wouldn’t know but I love the skin so so much! It simply isn’t quite the same without it. I must ask them one of these days.

We also had the one-of-a-kind Payung rojak

…and as always, we enjoyed it to the max. I particularly loved the bunga kantan (torch ginger flower) petals and the green kedondong leaves.

I say it is one of a kind because unlike all the rest, there is no prawn paste (hay kor) in theirs! Peter once told me that he visited a prawn paste factory in Penang a long long time ago and after what he saw there, he never had prawn paste in his rojak or any of his dishes ever again. What they serve with their rojak here is his original creation, suitable for vegetarians.

Andy served us these…

…that according to him, were given to him by somebody for Deepavali, some murukku and Indian kuih ros aka kuih goyang.

The total for our dinner that night came up to RM42.00 only altogether and considering how much we enjoyed it, I would say that was truly value for money. We certainly would be back 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.