Thursday, July 24, 2014

Qui (Austin)

For my first trip to Austin, I had two must-visits on my list: Franklin BBQ and Qui. Qui is the upscale dining concept from Top Chef champion Paul Qui. Austin is pretty big on having outdoor dining areas, so at Qui you can choose between the warm, dim dining room or the bright patio.


There was an amuse bouche of a nori (seaweed) chip with Vermont cheddar foam

The cocktails here are worth ordering. I tried the Manila Envelope made with Batavia arrack, benedictine, lime, coconut, orange, and hops ($10)
I veered towards ordering his interpretation of Filipino dishes, since those would be the ones I can't find anywhere else.
I started with kinilaw (amberjack ceviche, Filipino-style, $18)

What is Filipino ceviche? Well the dressing is made with coconut milk, coconut vinegar, thai chili, cracked black pepper. The amberjack was fresh and fatty, made even richer by the coconut milk-based dressing.

For my entree, I had the Dinuguan (pork, blood, gnocchi, pioppini mushrooms $17)
Dinuguan is Filipino's pork blood stew and is usually very strong in flavor and hearty. Here, Qui's version is surprisingly approachable and it even looked attractive. You still have a bold flavor from the pork blood, yet it's light enough to pair with the delicate gnocchi. You can tell it's still that rich comfort food but he gives you only the taste without weighing you down. I'm definitely glad I tried this.

Now, dessert. DO NOT SKIP DESSERT. And you MUST get this one:
Aged cheddar cheese ice cream with crispy waffle, goat milk cajeta, peanut praline ($12)

What was good about this? Everything. The ice cream is sweet, savory, and aromatic. The crispy waffle encasing the thick cajeta. As far as ice cream sandwiches go, this goes to the top of my list. Incredible.

I wished I could've tried more dishes at Qui, but at least I felt that I had a good sense of his Filipino interpretations.

I was dining alone at the counter, so if you're considering doing the same, you'd be happy to know that you can entertain yourself with the fun, obscure books they had sitting there.

I'll talk about my thoughts on his casual food truck another time ... but I would just say that Qui is certainly worth trying if you are in Austin.

1600 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 436-9626
Qui on Urbanspoon


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