HOUReview

photo credit: Michael Anthony

Dinette review image
8.0

Dinette

$$$$

1018 N Shepherd Dr, Houston
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

Eating at Dinette is the equivalent of putting on some retro French pop or an old Cambodian psych rock album. At first you think it’s something brand new, but really Dinette is just serving familiar and well-executed Vietnamese hits with a sly sense of humor. 

You can tell the folks at Dinette don't take themselves too seriously. Service can be inconsistent, the dining room’s a bit bare, and the music is loud. But they’re on the edge of something great, which starts with the food.

A lobster fried rice blanketed in salted egg gets the quintessential combo of peas and cubed carrots. Crisp Vietnamese rice paper pizza is piled high with cheese, pineapple, and spicy sate mayo. A rich and silky tofu and mushroom curry embraces you and doesn’t want to let go. Tiki cocktails arrive in ridiculous glassware, like a ceramic elephant or saguaro cactus, and the table settings, from the napkin rings to the plateware is very vintage 99 Ranch. Everything is slightly irreverent and playful, but grounded. It’s about having fun and making great food. So take a date or a group of friends for lunch or dinner and join in.

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Food Rundown

Dinette review image

photo credit: Michael Anthony

Pandan Fried Okra

These are fun, and not only because the pandan makes everything bright green. The coconut in the batter adds a creaminess, which at times slightly overpowers the okra, making it feel more like a vegetable vessel for fried batter and spicy mayo. We’re not complaining.

Dinette review image

photo credit: Michael Anthony

Vietnamese Grilled Pizza

Somehow the crisp rice paper covered in melted cheese, spicy mayo, and grilled shrimp just works, and we want another one. It’s so good and crunchy and spicy, this “pizza” is an electric shock straight into your lizard brain. It makes you feel a little wild and ravenous for more.

Dinette review image

photo credit: Michael Anthony

Tofu and Mushroom Curry

This herb-packed curry tastes earthy, a reprieve from a menu full of fried, spicy, and salted food.

Dinette review image

photo credit: Michael Anthony

Lobster and Salted Egg Fried Rice

Most of the fun of this dish comes from the spectacle of the empty bright red lobster tail garnish on top, but it’s also really tasty. The salted egg amps up the richness, the lobster is delicately breaded and fried, and the rice is lightly caramelized with a slightly crisp texture.

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