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Chronicle Explores Austin's Food Truck Landscape With NaiNai and Don Japanese

No Statesman review this week


For this week's reviews, Chronicle's Brandon Watson checked out two food truck newcomers, the first being NaiNai, the Singaporean trailer on the east side with its two-item meny. He finds that owner Charles Hall’s renditions of his grandmother’s recipes for chicken and rice retain "home-cooked soul" with their simple preparations:

The soup comes in two versions (both $10). NaiNai chicken rice is served as a prepared soup, the way Hall ate it growing up, and Hainan chicken rice comes traditionally with the broth on the side [...] There's none of the excessive salinity of commercial broth or the dull simulacra of bouillon cubes.

Then, it’s on to Don Japanese Food Truck in north campus. Watson finds the nondescript matte-black food truck, that popped up in the parking lot next to Daito out of nowhere selling out often, is "just good," which is a positive assertion, with the best dish being the Veggie King donburi bowl. Don’s success, he argues, speaks to a much larger gap in Austin dining:

But the best thing about Don (and many of the latest crop of "it" trailers) is that it is a much-needed expansion of our culinary identity. The sameness of our culinary scene is our greatest roadblock to being a true world-class food city. By selling out on a nearly daily basis, Don proves that Austin is ready for more diversity (both in cuisine and price point).

THE BLOGS — It’s a Thai frenzy this week, with A Taste of Koko and Dine with Shayda both visiting the new Thai Kun brick and mortar. Meanwhile, Fed Man Walking’s 100 Austin Burgers series continues apace, with Dine at the Radisson most recently under his microscope.

Don Japanese Food Truck

, Austin, TX (281) 725-3686


1403 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702 (817) 800-7444