Old Thousand Offers Spin on Traditional Chinese Food

Old Thousand, a new restaurant in Austin offering what they call “dope Chinese food” officially opened its doors to the public yesterday. Sugarface and I had the pleasure of previewing their menu during their media night last week. An exciting addition to East Austin, Old Thousand will fill the void of Chinese food in the neighborhood. Their concept is a fun one, they offer traditional Chinese dishes with a modern twist.

Old Thousand

Mapo Dofu, $12

For instance, I ordered the Mapo Dofo because I love Mapo Tofu, Mapo Tofu is classically a dish with soft tofu and an abundant thick and spicy minced pork and bean sauce. Old Thousand’s adaptation of this classic dish uses fried tofu instead of soft tofu, and also comes smothered in a sauce instead of swimming in sauce. I didn’t waste a drop of their bean pork sauce and kept sopping up its unami notes with the accompanying steamed rice.

Old Thousand

Crispy Wontons, $6

I always joke one of my favorite food groups is fried. Crispy Wontons were filled with shrimp and pork. The pineapple chilli sauce was indeed “dope”. I hope they think about bottling that sauce!

Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli), $9

My body has been aching for more vegetables in my diet and their Gai Lan with crispy mushrooms were a sight for my sore eyes. Solid dish with whole cloves of roasted garlic punctuating this flavorful dish with, well, more flavor!

Old Thousand Chinese Food
Crispy Noodle Nest, $23

Sugarface picked this dish and I was glad he did. The squid was tender to the bite and baby scallops were hidden treasures. In case you haven’t experienced this dish yet, be sure to mix it up with the sauce at the bottom to soften the noodles a bit. They’re fun to crunch on!

Egg Custard, $5

I could make an entire dinner of three of these custards in one go. One of my all-time favorite desserts is the egg custard a la dim sum offerings. I think Old Thousand has ruined the traditional egg custards for me because all I want now is their version, which is made with Vital Farm eggs and Meyer Lemon.

All in all, their menu was a playful straddling of nostalgia and novelty. I’d come back to try more dishes and order the egg custards again!

Notes for your visit: There’s ample parking behind the building and along the street. Also, if you are hoping for a quiet dining experience, please know that they strive to make music a part of the dining experience. Their press release states that they want the dining experience to feel like the “ultimate house party.” You can see nods to music on their cocktail menu!

It’s a fun and hip date night spot!

Old Thousand
1000 East 11th Street, Suite #150, Austin, Texas