Finally, I got to try the famous Lan Je steamed tilapia fish in Rawang, north of Kuala Lumpur. Lan Je's steamed tilapia shop was founded here in Rawang in 1978. On the popularity of just one dish - steamed tilapia - Lan Je now has 13 branches all over Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh.
Lan Je's small Rawang shop is brightly lit, clean and buzzing with a full house of customers.
Customers spill over onto the five foot way, which is typical of popular eateries in Malaysia.
We were full after a whole day of food exploring, so we just ordered one fish to share. Otherwise, it is the custom at Lan Je for each customer to order one fish 一人一鱼. We waited about 15 minutes for our fish as it was full house.
(Lan Je also serves other dishes like fried omelette, fried vegetables, tofu, fried wanton etc but their claim to fame is the steamed black tilapia.)
The nearly foot long steamed fresh black tilapia was set in a shallow pool of watery soy sauce blend. The whole fish is smothered by a thick blanket of chopped garlic, ginger, cut chili and spring onion.
The fresh black tilapia thick with flesh.
The warm white flesh is soft and juicy. It is sweet with a slight earthly taste.
The taste bud numbing spicy ginger, garlic and chili with savoury soy sauce masked the tilapia's earthiness completely yet leaves the fish's natural sweetness intact.
Do be careful when enjoying tilapia fish as it has many long and sharp bones like needles.
Our total bill came to RM27.45.
Unique popular way of eating this once staple fish. It's a good experience to taste this at the original shop that popularised Lan Je's steamed tilapia. Worth a try if you are near Rawang.
Restaurant name: Restoran Lan Je 兰姐清蒸非洲鱼
Address: 45, Setia Rawang 1, Taman Setia Rawang, Selangor, Malaysia
GPS: 3°18'13.9"N 101°35'52.5"E | 3.303873, 101.597920
Tel: 017 619 1599 & 012 339 7800
Hours: 11:30 - 3:00pm | 3:00p - 10:30pm (Tues off)
Date visited: 12 Nov 2016
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