You will not find this unassuming, but cozy and tidy, Taichung vegetarian restaurant on the guidebooks for foreign tourists.
In fact, Li Lai Ju does not need advertisements, since long time ago it has established a reputation as one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Xitun District.
Li Lai Ju signature dish are Udon Noodles, a kind of japanese wheat thick noodles. Set menus range from 250 to 290 ntd and include:
- Udon Noodles of your choice (soup noodles, curry noodles, japanese cold noodles and more)
- Drink (Coffee, tea, almond milk etc…)
Some additional dishes that we also like and often order are Hot Spring Egg – a japanese delicacy, it is actually an egg boiled at temperature lower than 100C so that it keeps soft and creamy – and Vegetarian Buddha Jumping Soup, a really good vegetarian version of the famous Fujianese soup.
This vegetarian restaurants also offers some good starters inspired by italian cuisine, such as fried eggplants with raw tomato.
Quite often tasty green and white rice buns, filled with dried radish, called “tsavagui” or “hakka banshi”, are prepared and ready to be ordered. The best are probably the green ones, which color and fragrance is given by mugwort leaves, dried and powdered, mixed in the dough.
Last but not least, Li Lai Ju also serves a selection of magnificent Belgian beers.
What we like most in this restaurant are:
- the warm and cozy premises (by the way the restaurant is spotlessly clean)
- the smiling and hard-working staff
- that year after year Li Lai Ju has been able to deliver a not so high number of dishes at a consistent very high quality (and freshness of the ingredients)
For these reasons a lot of patrons at Li Lai Ju are recurring customers – it is better if you book, if not I suggest you to come early to find a table.
An English menu is available.
Li Lai Ju is located in Fulin Rd, just 30 meters away from Taiwan Blvd. (Taichung Harbour Rd), close to Taisuco Department Store and Tunghai University.
In this Taiwanese blog you can find more pictures of the restaurant.
If you like vegetarian noodles in a Japanese style, this is one of the great places in Taichung.