Austin has no shortness of unique dining experiences to choose from. We have nearly anything you could want or ask for, and if we don’t have it, it’s coming soon. Fusion is a format and experience that’s been in Austin for some time — restaurateurs and chefs have come to realize that their food doesn’t have to just be one thing.
North Austin’s Dang Kitchen is rooted in authentic Vietnamese cuisine which is mashed up with a few parts street taco, a part or two Japanese cuisine, and even a dash of American fare. This version of fusion hits several pleasure points. If you’re not familiar with Vietnamese cuisine, Dang is a really good jump off point.
I’m going to confront my bias head-on; Vietnamese cuisine is some of my favorite food. Pho, banh mi, and vermicelli bowls carry heavy weight in my dining repertoire. While perusing the menu, I wanted to get a wide enough variety to get the full spectrum of what Dang was trying to translate to their audience while still satiating my Vietnamese craving and sensibilities.
While trying to make life or death sandwich decisions, I sipped on a hot Vietnamese coffee, brewed in a kind of a pour-over mechanism that’s specific to the region. It’s mixed with sweetened condensed milk, and you’d be sore if you didn’t grab one of these, even if you’re there in the afternoon or evening. It comes with a bit of a kick, so consider yourself warned.
The first dishes that caught my eye were the brussels sprouts and the tuna poke. Both solid appetizers, these two weren’t reinventing the wheel but were very solid and not too expensive. The sprouts were flash fried in a really tasty Sriracha/soy based sauce and clock in at around $3. The tuna poke, dressed with fresh jalapeño, sesame seeds, and white rice rings up at $6.
TheMiso Guisada and Prawnto tacos also came out with the appetizers. I was a little apprehensive, but both tacos were pretty tasty. The Miso Guisada was also quite simple, but also really good-reminded me of a refined version of a taco you’d get at a place like Torchy’s, with pickled onion, cilantro, cabbage, and avocado. Throw some hoison sauce on it and you have yourself a fusion masterpiece. The Prawnto was a shrimp taco packed with flavor; we went with the grilled over the fried shrimp. The toppings were nearly identical to the Miso. Both came with a really tasty chimichurri sauce that really brought up the flavor of the tacos.