Monday, June 11, 2012

Lan Je - One Person One Fish

This restaurant has a rather unique and weird concept. They expect you to eat their only one specialty - fish. Not a great selection of fish - just the humble tilapia. Not cooked in a wide variety of ways - just one preparation - steamed. And not steamed to your preferred manner - only in their special sauce with ginger and garlic. And they expect each of their customer to eat a whole fish. Seems absolutely bizarre and boring. 

But this restaurant does a roaring business offering such a mundane menu. Lan Je (蘭姐清蒸非洲魚) Restaurant openly suggests 一人一魚 (one person one fish). And apparently the idea captures the fancy of its patrons. People flock there in spite of the limited menu selection. In fact the business is so successful that they now have several outlets. As far as I know, they have branches in Rawang, Kota Damansara and USJ 1 in Subang Jaya.

We ate at their USJ 1 branch at the suggestion of my brother-in-law PK. I was initially a little skeptical at the suggestion. But I was very willing to try. I had seen banners and signboards around Subang Jaya and I was curious about this "one person one fish" thingy. Their Subang Jaya branch is located at Jalan USJ 1/1B in the Regalia Business Centre - just about 2 km from the Mydin hypermarket. 

Like I mentioned, they only serve one type of fish - the tilapia. And it was steamed in a clear sauce with plenty of minced ginger and garlic. They don't prepare the fish in any other way. The dish was really very pleasant. Each fish was about the same big size. They were absolutely fresh. The soy sauce was simple and nice. The ginger and garlic complemented the fish excellently. As I dug into the fish, I could see why they have such a large following. The fish was delicious and was good to the last morsel, even the head because of its super freshness.

They did offer some "side dishes" to accompany the fish. But the selection was not plenty and the quality of these "side dishes" was not great. This like tofu dish which was mediocre.

And this omelet which was most unremarkable.

Even the green selection was limited and uninteresting.

Almost everybody came here for the fish. We followed the crowd and ordered a fish each. Our table that night looked like this...

Still it was a good meal. I enjoyed the satisfaction of having the whole fish to myself. My wife enjoyed her fish too. It was a simple and gratifying. By itself, the fish at RM17 was not that expensive. But when each diner eats a fish, it can amount to a sizable bill. 

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