Tin Drum Opens First Texas Location in the Heights

Fast-casual pan-Asian style dishes from Tin Drum. Photo by Becca Wright.

Update, 2/29/2024, 9:54 a.m.: Readers report Tin Drum has closed after only about five-and-a-half months in business. 

Tin Drum Asian Kitchen, a pan-Asian, fast-casual franchise that’s a fixture in the Atlanta area, has chosen Houston for its first Texas location. It’s located at 1111 Shepherd on the street level of The Vic at The Interpose. Tin Drum serves dishes that draw influences across continental Asian cuisines, including Chinese, Szechwan, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Korean. 

Founder and CEO Steven Chan said in a press release “As a longtime admirer of Houston, it’s a privilege to bring Tin Drum to this world-class city.” He added that “The food scene here is authentic and genuine. The people are fantastic and inclusive of all walks of life and cuisines.” 

Grand BO BO Platter from Tin Drum. Photo by Becca Wright.
Grand BO BO Platter from Tin Drum. Photo by Becca Wright.

Tin Drum’s menu has a selection of “street snacks”, offering the likes of Crab n Cheese Rolls, Vegetable Spring Rolls, Pork Wontons, Crab Rangoon, Crunchy Chicken Potstickers and Tokyo Crinkle Fries, all available either à la carte or combined on one of its BO BO Platters.

Diners can also enjoy Tin Drum’s customizable Wok Wings, choosing between traditional chicken wings or vegetarian alternatives such as tempura cauliflower, wok-tossed tofu, or wok-tossed veggies. The fry of choice is then tossed in one of nine sauces, ranging in flavor from sweet-and-savory sesame, to spicy-and-rich Tikka Masala, or a hot sriracha.

Tokyo Tonkotsu Ramen from Tin Drum. Photo by Becca Wright.
Tokyo Tonkotsu Ramen from Tin Drum. Photo by Becca Wright.

Four different ramens are also offered — Tokyo Tonkotsu, Umami Soy, Bangin’ Miso and Fragrant Thai that can be customized with the choice of soba or ramen noodles and a variety of proteins. Those looking for a stir-fried meal have several wok-fried dishes to choose from, ranging from a sweet-and-spicy Mango Stir Fry to a classic Chinatown Lo Mein. One of Tin Drum’s selling points is that the stir-fries are cooked to order in 1,000 degree woks, ensuring a piping hot serving each time.

Boba teas at Tin Drum. Photo by Becca Wright.
Boba teas at Tin Drum. Photo by Becca Wright.

The choose-your-own-adventure theme continues through Tin Drum’s extensive boba tea menu, with organic teas brewed fresh daily and a variety of toppings available. Enthusiasts can pick up to three to add to their teas.

An added final touch to Tin Drum’s expansive food and drink menu is the in-house mini-mart, where guests can find popular candies, sauces and snacks found throughout Asia to purchase to take home.

Tin Drum will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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