Food Truck Friday: East Side King

East Side King Austin-2


This week we are doing something a little bit different and are deviating from our Food Truck Challenge. When friends are in town, we like to really bring it up a notch and decided on hitting up Chef Paul Qui’s East Side King at Liberty Bar. In true Austin fashion, this is Asian fusion at it’s finest.

Unless you have been living under a rock, everyone in Austin knows who top dog Chef Paul Qui (pronounced “Key”) is. Top Chef winner and flavor profile guru, Qui has been opening up restaurants and food trucks all around town. While there have been several before him, Qui may have been the one to finally put Austin on the map as a legitimate foodie paradise. (I swear I am not a fangirl. *cough*) With the help of Moto Utsonomiya, they brought East Side King to the forefront of late night foodie snacking in East Austin. With buildings and foodtrucks painted by Peelander-Z’s Peelander Yellow, they are hard to miss.

We made our way to the truck at around 6:00PM. My suggestion is to get there as early as possible because the wait time for your food can get a little crazy. I’m not saying it isn’t worth it but on a weekend night, you can be going through a few pints before seeing your food.

East Side King Austin-1

This is what we ordered:

Tongue Buns: Roasted beef tongue in steamed bun, homemade peanut butter curry, basil, cilantro, mint, onion, jalapeno
Poor Qui’s Buns: Roasted pork belly in steamed bun, hoisin sauce, cucumber kimchee, green onion

East Side King Austin-5

East Side King Austin-6

This is what we stole from Steve:

Beet Home Fries: Deep-fried roasted beets, Kewpie mayo, Shichimi tougarashi, green onion
Thai Chicken Kara-age: Deep fried chicken thigh, sweet & spicy sauce, basil, cilantro, mint, onion, jalapeno

East Side King Austin-4

One thing to keep in mind is that this is more like a small plate affair. While Shaun and I were satisfied with our buns, it isn’t a meal for most people. Go with friends and order a bit of everything to share (which is what we did).

I have a small obsession with beef tongue and I was not disappointed with my tongue buns. Tender and flavorful, this has to be some of the best lengua I’ve had (and my mother is a master at making it). Shaun was a little weirded out at the consistency of the buns (as he had never had them before) but by the end he was stuffing his face and licking his fingers clean. The pork belly had a really great, almost crispy consistency which paired well with the soft and slightly chewy buns.

The beet home fries are one of my favorite things that East Side King makes. After repeated attempts to copy it in my own kitchen, I’ve resigned to just ordering them when I get the chance. The Kewpie mayo really drives the flavor home and I always blab about them for the next couple of days. The Thai Chicken Kara-age is what really threw me for a loop. I’m a fan of chicken thighs but I’ve never had something so flavorful and yummy. While I enjoyed my beef tongue, I’m totally ordering that next time (and making Shaun get the tongue so I can have both).

East Side King Austin-3

Score: 4/5 (Only because I like their Hole in the Wall Restaurant better due to their ramen.)
Cost: $14
Ordered: Tongue Buns and Poor Qui’s Buns (2 per each order)
Favorite thing: Beet Home Fries
Least favorite thing: A bit small.
Type of food: Asian Fusion

The truck we visited could be found here:

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While this may not be part of our official Food Truck Friday Challenge, you can view other food trucks here.


14 Responses to “Food Truck Friday: East Side King”

  1. Maria September 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    OMG – I have to go – MUST get the Poor Qui’s Buns.

    • Erica October 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

      I have a very scary obsession with pork belly. OH SO GOOD. Also, things are slowing down a bit and we should dinner soon.

  2. Alice September 30, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    Looks great!
    I would have ordered a couple of tongues;)
    And great exterior design. I like everything… ghmm… trashy =)

    • Erica October 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

      YES. Seriously, my tummy is grumblin’ for some tongue buns. NOMNOMNOM

  3. Jackie September 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Made my mouth water! Need to visit Austin ASAP!

    • Erica October 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

      …and when you do, let me know so I can grab some with you!

  4. Chad Klyne September 30, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    Oh my god does that ever look good! Definitely the tongue for me!

    • Erica October 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

      You know, I seriously thought people would be more squeamish about the tongue but I’ve gotten GREAT feedback!

  5. Alex | Partial Parallax September 30, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    The truck actually sounds awesome, some really great food. I would not of expected such interesting Asian fusion in Texas but I don’t really know anything about the state so maybe it is common!

    • Erica October 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

      My general advice about Texas is that every city is completely different. Austin is nothing like Dallas which is nothing like Houston… and so on and so on. 🙂

  6. Renuka October 6, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    Now this is making hungrier!

    • Erica October 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      Sorry! I think my intention is to make people come and visit us in Austin.

  7. Hogga October 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    mmmm foodfoodfoodfoodfood

    • Erica October 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm #


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