Qui is a must visit spot in Austin for an exceptional dining experience. Recently crowned the number one restaurant on GQ critic Alan Richman’s 25 Best Restaurants in America 2014, Paul Qui’s flagship restaurant is named “the most fascinating new restaurant in America”. Drawing inspiration from travels across America, San Sebastian, France, Copenhagen, Mexico City, Vietnam and Japan, Qui features a revolving menu of seasonal plates.
I want to create a space where the possibilities for my cuisine are limitless. I’m inspired by our surrounding community, as well as by exploring those boundaries beyond Austin and Texas. I enjoy learning from different creative outlets including food, but also art and design, all of which will be incorporated at qui. – Paul Qui
My experience at Qui was a little different from the typical restaurant dining experience. The restaurant was relatively quiet when I first walked in and no one was to be seen in the kitchen. After a quick chat with General Manager Bill Mann about the music selection, the activity picks up. Paul Qui rolls up his sleeves and addresses the team on the menu for the night who then disperse into the kitchen. Few words are exchanged among the staff and there’s almost a rhythm to their movement as if it were choreographed. Dusting of lobster mushrooms, searing of beef on the cast iron, basted with spoonfuls of melted butter, grilling of onions, and cutting of matcha pasta.
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Family meal consisted of watermelon salad and rabbit fried rice made from leftover scraps. It was delicious. Paul is a man of few words. He offered me a strawberry fortune cookie, smiles and then quickly disappeared to the back of the kitchen.
There’s so much I could say about Qui but it’s impossible to convey into words. Just know, when you dine at Qui – sit back, enjoy a cocktail or two, and let Paul take you on a journey of exquisite dishes.
Eclectic Dishes at Qui Austin
Nori crackers with aerated cabot 2 year clothbound cheddar. Think cheeze whiz on crackers but a hundred times better.
Paul plates up the famous Rabbit 7 Ways. Everything from rabbit mousse, confit, lardo-wrapped sausage, fermented sausage, and loin accompanied by bowls of fresh young lettuce leaves and a carrot sauce. The Rabbit 7 Ways is easily shared at the table with an adorable white mug with a bunny tail of clear rabbit consommé.
Matcha Pasta. Robust green tea pasta with salmon furikake seasoning, dressed with finger lime, miso egg and a soy-salt garnish.
Salmon Butter. Salmon poached in aromatic oil until it’s the texture of butter, served with caviar. Thus, salmon butter – a legend in the first five days Qui had been open. Spread on wheat crackers, then sprinkle with chopped cooked egg, a sprig of mint marigold, orange salmon roe, crème fraîche, and pickled red onion.
Ode to Michel Bras. Chilled garlic dashi with a rotating selection of local farm vegetables.
Cheddar Cheese Ice Cream. What happens when you combine cheese and ice cream, the best things in life, together? A life changing dessert. In between flaky cheesy crisps, a lick of goat’s milk cajeta tops an inspired take on the beloved Filipino flavor cheddar ice cream.
Maiz con hielo. A popular snack in the Philippines, Maiz con hielo is a delicious mix of shaved ice, corn kernels, sugar and milk.
What To Order
Cheddar Cheese Ice Cream
Maiz Con Hielo
& anything Paul Qui recommends.
1600 E 6th St
Austin, Texas 78702
Hours of Operation
Monday 5:00 – 10:00 pm
Tuesday 5:00 – 10:00 pm
Wednesday 5:00 – 10:00 pm
Thursday 5:00 – 10:00 pm
Friday 5:00 – 11:00 pm
Saturday 5:00 – 11:00 pm
Take reservations: Yes
This review is part of the 2014 Austin Food Blogger Alliance City Guide. A complete list of restaurants included in the guide can be accessed via Citygram or on the AFBA website.