He is back again…

Needless to say, Andy of Payung Café needs no introduction. After all, he is a stranger no more around here, having worked here for around 10 years already.

His younger brother, Karan, was working here too at one time and while he was here, he was trained as a hair stylist by Peter, the proprietor himself, who once ran a hairdressing school here. He has gone back to India and is currently working at a salon there but the other day, he had a few days off and he came back all the way to Sibu on a holiday…for old times’ sake. In fact, he did come back once in 2019.

I guess everyone knows from my recent posts that I have not been well so I did not manage to drop by to see him until his final night here. He was leaving on Sunday morning and the two brothers were hosting a vegetarian banana leaf dinner that night. Of course, we had to go to church and were only able to make it at around 8.00 p.m. but no, they insisted on waiting for us…

They also invited my sister to come along and Andy’s very sweet and pretty West Malaysian Indian girlfriend who is presently working here in Sibu.

What we had were all 100% vegetarian and the two brothers served us a bit of everything bit by bit, all laid out nicely on a banana leaf…

According to Andy’s girlfriend, if you go and eat at an Indian banana leaf restaurant, they would not give you so many things, maybe just a few but a bit more of each. The two brothers had gone out of their way to prepare a whole lot of stuff so we would be able to try first hand for ourselves.

I remember there was something with chick peas and also kidney beans – I guess these would be two of the main sources of protein in the vegetarian diet. My girl enjoyed both of them while I was more into some pumpkin dhal and something sweet potato. My missus enjoyed their mint chutney and everyone loved the pakora (Indian vegetable fritters). We were served a little bit of rice to eat eveything with and we also had this Indian puri/poori

…as well.

Each of us was served a glass of raita

…too by the side.

My missus and I were invited to a banana leaf dinner once in 2020 when Andy and Varun, the Indian chef at Payung at the time, prepared a special and an elaborate thali (a set Indian meal) to celebrate the Maha Shivaratri, Hindu festival. That sure was an unforgettable experience and we really enjoyed the evening to the max.

I think my girl was stuck in her school in the jungle at the time so she was not able to join us. Of course, she would not miss it for the world this time around and yes, she enjoyed very moment of it, using her hand/fingers to eat every little bit of whatever was served to her on her leaf…

*Payungcafesibu photo*

Thank you so much, Andy and Karan, for the invitation. We sure enjoyed the exquisite dinner and the company. It sure was nice to see you again, Karan! Have a safe and pleasant trip back to India, take care there and hopefully, we will get to meet one another again sometime soon. Cheers!

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.