Friday, April 3, 2009

Taipei Golden Pork Chop (台北金園排骨): Does it have the taste of "home?" (Rowland Heights)

Outside Taipei Golden Pork Chop

Growing up in Taipei and subsequently, during my yearly visits back to Taiwan, I've had my share of good Taiwanese food. Pork chop rice, one of the staples of Taiwanese food, has always been my favorites. Where better to get pork chop rice than from Little Taipei (小台北).

Located at Diamond Plaza in Rowland Heights, Taipei Golden Pork Chop (let's call it TPC for this post) is located in a Japanese izakaya style restaurant that is only open for lunch (11am-2:30pm). While hidden, the lines at this places are usually out the door during the weekends and expect stare down from the patrons waiting in line for a spot at your table. I met up with Tony from (, along with 2 other foodies met up for a quick lunch and for me to see what the fuss about this place was all about.


Without looking at the menu, I already know what I was going to order, but TPC offers a choice of 2 rice dishes, 2 noodle dishes, 7-8 different types of appetizers. A truly no frills type of restaurant, but since this is a Pork Chop place, most of us ended up getting the pork chop rice set. To start though, we ordered two starters.

Bamboo Salad ($2.80)
Tofu salad with Thousand Year Egg ($3.70)

What we got were pretty standard Taiwanese style starters. The bamboo salad was warm, crunchy, and flavorful. I think I ended munching on most of the bamboo salad during the course of the meal. The tofu salad with 1000 year egg is one of my favorite TW style dishes and it's well made here. Silken tofu + preserved eggs, topped with bonito flakes, green onions, and soy sauce paste. This is one dish I often make for myself for lunch/dinner during the Summer. Again, a solid effort of this dish (but again, how the F can you screw up this if I can make it??)

Chicken Leg Rice ($6.50)
Pork Chop Rice ($6.50)

A standard rice set comes with (Pork Chops or Chicken Leg), rice with stewed pork (魯肉) on top, stewed egg (魯蛋), and two types of stir fried vegetable. A pretty standard fare that you'd find with any rice dish in the area (ie: Won Won, Sin Ba La, etc). I can't comment on the chicken leg rice, but I enjoyed the pork chop rice. The pork chop was fried well, and topped with their house sauce. We also asked for some extra stewed pork sauce (魯肉), damn, I love that stuff! The stir fried vegetables were pretty standard, along with the rest of the dish.

Now, while it's a solid example of the dish served back at home for me, I wasn't exactly blown away by the version. I think the rest of my dining companions can concur with me on that. The restaurant was manned by a few older ladies, and while the service was not rushed, you can definitely see the other patrons waiting for your spot (as I said earlier). While I would make a return visit, I didn't fall in love with the place as I had hoped. Diamond Plaza is a fun place to go on a weekend, and Taipei Golden Pork Chop is a place to check out if you're in the area.

My 2 cents though, I'm more than happy to eat Pork Chop Rice @ Won Won (旺旺)in Temple City (a different version, but good nevertheless) and spend about $2 less while at it. So to answer the title of this post, it was some of the tastes from back home, but it's still not the same.

For more info about Taipei Golden Pork Chop Rice (台北金園排骨飯) found elsewhere, here are a few links I've found:

Final Grade
  • Taste: 3.5 out of 5
  • Decor: 3 out of 5 (Again, it's in a Japanese izakaya, not very TW at all....)
  • Service: 3 out of 5
Taipei Golden Pork Chop Noodle and Rice
1380 Fullerton Rd.
Suite 106
Rowland Heights, CA 91748


Kat said...

YAY a new post finally ^_- lol... the portion looks kind of small for the Pork Chop =*(

Right Way to Eat said...

Damn, I remembered you told me about this place. Shoot, sucks to hear about the disappointment on this place. Agreed with you about Pork chop rice.. how can you mess that up? LOL

Kat said...

where's the new post? O=)

Anonymous said...

my tw friends from the westside rave about old country cafe's pork chop rice and talk about venturing "all the way" to mpk like it's a mecca just to get it. lol. it was good but I wasn't blown away (only bc they hyped it up SO much and in the end it was just pork chop rice lol) they say its the best it comes though and I can totally understand the childhood comfort food love thing for it.

Kung Food Panda said...

Kat: New post is up, and yes, it wasn't a big serving, but filling.

Pepsi: Slightly disappointed with it, but I'd still go back. If you want to check it out, let me know.

Choi: I still need to check out Old Country Cafe actually....

Right Way to Eat said...

Bro, I agreed with your rating about the place. My co-workers and I got some lunch from this place. I wouldn't make my way to come here everyday and your rating is spot on.

*sigh* Lao Ban Niang needs to lighten up. LOL

Kung Food Panda said...

Pepsi Monster: It's not bad, but unless you're going there, I don't think I'd trek another 15miles for this. What happened with the LBN?

juma said...

Old Country is good, I haven't been back since the early millenium, so as Choisauce says, it's 'pork chop rice', fried pork, it's good, but not incredible