The Saturday before last I turned 21 and to celebrate, my parents and I went over to Qui for dinner. Normally, the birthday tradition is to go to Uchi for dinner, but as my dad and I have an affinity for Paul Qui's food (especially at East Side King as well), and Qui opened after he won the most recent season of Top Chef, it seemed like the logical choice to venture there for dinner this year. The restaurant is designed very crisply, clean lines and a warm minimalism both in the exterior and the interior (which I actually forgot to photograph -- I was so focused on documenting the food).
My parents and I were a bit overdressed for the vibe of Qui, but it was a little more fun than going in casual gear for us. Overall we had a fabulous time and enjoyed venturing into the unconventionality of Qui's menu. The portions were smaller than we expected, but Qui seems to be pulling from Uchi's philosophy of smaller bites on a plate instead of overflowing dishes with food. It was good though, because it meant my parents and I had more room to try a larger number of dishes than we might have otherwise. Below is a visual guide to our meal, with descriptions quoted from the menu. The first dish is a Marcona Almond Gazpacho with foie gras, sherry, and churned sea shore honey.
I had the Rock Cod as my entree, which came with buttered toast puree, blistered leeks, and matsutake.
My dad had the Chawanmushi which is made up of ham egg custard, american caviar, peas, latke, wild striped bass, and country ham.
My mom ordered the Hen Rice, which comes with double hen stock, crispy chicken skin, and gremolata.
We also ended up having the Ode to Michael Bras brought to our table, which is a chilled eggplant dashi and a selection of vegetables from Austin farmers.
For dessert I tried the Cheddar Cheese Ice Cream Sandwich which consists of crispy waffles, goat milk cajeta, peanut praline, and aged cheddar ice cream. It sounds a bit crazy but it was absolutely divine!
Thank you again Qui for such a wonderful experience on my birthday!