By the numbers

Austin's unexpected restaurant row gets lucky with new pan-Asian eatery

Unexpected Austin restaurant row gets lucky with new pan-Asian eatery

1618 Asian Fusion
1618's menu is inspired by the owners' travels in Asia. Courtesy photo
1618 Asian Fusion
A sculptural wood ceiling provides drama overhead. Courtesy photo
1618 Asian Fusion
The owners promise more menu items will debut in the weeks to come. Courtesy photo
1618 Asian Fusion
A large patio will soon increase 1618's dining options. Courtesy photo
1618 Asian Fusion
1618 boasts a trio of light cocktails. Courtesy photo
1618 Asian Fusion
1618 Asian Fusion
1618 Asian Fusion
1618 Asian Fusion
1618 Asian Fusion

The East Riverside Drive dining scene has a new lucky number. On October 23, the family owned 1618 Asian Fusion announced it is now open on the bustling strip.

The name nods to the restaurant’s 1618 E. Riverside Dr. address and the Golden Ratio, a number that historically has religious, aesthetic, and mathematical significance. According to the release, the individual numbers also have resonance in Asian culture, representing “new beginnings and people, balance and living a harmonious life, and growth and infinity.”

Fittingly, the cuisine was inspired by owners Kevin and Lynn Tran’s extensive travels. Though “fusion” is in the restaurant’s name, the menu is devoid of culinary mash-ups. Instead, it takes a pan-Asian approach with flavors from Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Singaporean, and Southeast Asian traditions.

Popular dishes like pad Thai, pho, and green chicken curry are served alongside entree options like Saigon grilled lamb chop, spicy banana leaf-steamed salmon, and lobster in Singaporean chili sauce. Kids can opt for one of four meals featuring choices like fried rice and sesame chicken.

In addition to the food, 1618 also boasts a full bar. Cocktails include light sippers like the Pink Coco (gin, coconut, raspberry, and lime juice); Secreteni (vodka, lychee, and cucumber juice); and Tropical Asian (tequila, triple sec, mango, and chili salt). Non-imbibers can choose complex beverages such as egg yolk coffee or a lemongrass tangerine refresher.

Though the minimalist interior has some upscale gloss, the restaurant aims to be approachable and comfortable for families. A fireplace and small gift shop at the entrance creates a cozy feel and a spacious patio will be opening in the upcoming weeks.

The pricing follows suit. Most entrees hover around the $14-$16 range, while the kids meal is only $8. Cocktails are sold at $6 apiece.

Currently, 1618 opens Monday through Thursday, 11 am-3 pm and 5-10p m; Friday and Saturday, 11 am-11 pm; and Sunday, 11 am-10 pm. The release promises expanded hours and more additions to the cocktail and food menus as the eatery settles into business.