Tian Tian Li: Lu Rou Fan in Ximending neighborhood of Taipei, Taiwan

Tian Tian Li in Taipei, Taiwan
Tian Tian Li in Taipei, Taiwan

If you’re visiting Taipei, you can’t leave without trying one of the most simple yet delicious Taiwanese comfort dishes, lu rou fan. This beloved dish is braised pork over rice.

You can find the dish at restaurants and street food stalls all across Taipei and Taiwan. One of my favorite places to try lu rou fan is at Tian Tian Li, an affordable and local restaurant in the Ximending neighborhood of Taipei.

If you are looking for more information about Taipei and Taiwan, I highly recommend picking up a guidebook such as Lonely Planet Taiwan. This comprehensive guide provides invaluable insights into Taipei and the entire country, making it an essential companion for travelers seeking a deeper understanding of Taiwan's culture, attractions, and hidden gems.

Kitchen in front of the restaurant
Kitchen in front of the restaurant

Tian Tian Li was situated just off Hanzhong Street, the main street of Ximending. The place was hard to miss. Out front of the restaurant was an open-air kitchen. Watching the staff tending to the boiling pots of stews, rice cookers, and the circular flat-top grill complete with a hood was quite a scene.

Interior of Tian Tian Li

Interior of the restaurant
Interior of the restaurant

Just past the open-air kitchen was a small cramped dining room packed with locals and tourists. The room was basic and bright, with white tile walls.

The interior had long, counter-style tables with small circular stools. While the restaurant could have been cleaner, I kept telling myself it was all part of the experience.

Tian Tian Li is a popular restaurant. You might need to wait for a seat to open as I did, but the wait was never long as people seemed to eat quickly and move on.

Lu Rou Fan

Lu Rou Fan, Taiwanese braised minced pork over a bowl of rice, Tian Tian Li, Taipei, Taiwan
Lu Rou Fan, Taiwanese braised minced pork over a bowl of rice

As soon as I ordered the Lu Rou Fan (25 TWD or about $0.81), the bowl was in front of me. It was the fastest I have ever received food after placing an order.

For something so simple and cheap, the braised pork was unexpectedly delicious.

The generous amount of dark brown pork was incredibly tender. The fatty pieces of meat, which melted in my mouth, seemed to melt into the rice below.

The pork had a sweet flavor, likely from star anise or Chinese Five Spice.

Mixed in with the pork was a salty sauce, which might have been just soy sauce. The combination of the braised pork and sauce was a perfect balance of sweet and savory.

I enjoyed mixing each grain of white rice with the fatty pork and sauce. It was so simple yet delicious without breaking the bank.

Lu Rou Fan with Fried Egg

Lu Rou Fan topped with a fried egg, Tian Tian Li, Taipei, Taiwan
Lu Rou Fan topped with a fried egg

You can also order Lu Rou Fan topped with a Fried Egg (35 TWD or about $1.13).

The fried egg took the already delicious dish to a new level of flavor.

The runny yolk at the center of the egg added richness to each bite. When the yolk mixed with the pork, sauce, and rice, it was just an explosion of flavors in my mouth.

Service at Tian Tian Li

While there was a slight language barrier, the workers at Tian Tian Li seemed experienced with visitors from other countries. They knew enough English to allow me to order successfully.

I also have to comment once again on how fast my food arrived. Immediately after paying, a bowl of lu rou fan sat before me.

My only complaint was with the cleanliness of the restaurant. It could have been a little cleaner.


While traveling around the world, I’ve realized that some of the simplest dishes often taste the best. Lu rou fan was one of those dishes.

This dish of braised pork, a sweet and salty sauce, rice, and a fried egg, was delicious. This simple combination of ingredients led to an explosion of flavors. Nothing had to be changed.

Does Tian Tian Li serve the best lu rou fan in Taipei? You will have to try it out and decide for yourself. The braised pork rice served here was what I wanted: simple, delicious, and cheap.


Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Sunday: 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM


No.1, Lane 32, Hanzhong Street, Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan
GPS Coordinates: 25.045011,121.507568


Last Updated on April 17, 2024

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My name is Anthony and I am addicted to traveling all around the world experiencing new people, cultures, and foods. These are some of my stories.