“It’s okay if you dribble on yourself.”
That was the advice offered by my oh-so-knowledgeable server at Qui regarding my truly unique beverage choice. I’ve somehow become a total foodie, and I love living in a city that embraces new cuisines and food as an experience. Qui, the new East Austin indoor/outdoor restaurant from Austin’s own celebrity Chef Paul Qui, is no exception. The menu is so fun, and it encourages sharing, trying, and stepping out of the box. Cheddar Ice Cream Sandwich anyone?
What we Drank
Tepache – a mix of aged pineapple, spice, and Atwater dirty blonde ale. I expected this to be a fruity, sweet, girlie drink, but it ended up arriving in a special pitcher, designed to be poured (into a mouth or a glass) from above. Despite the servers eloquent monologue about the Spanish history of the drink and how it is best served directly into the mouth (hence the dribble), I opted for a glass. It wasn’t sweet, which for anything with pineapple in it, is a significant feat. I know this is very strange, but it reminded me of what sunshine would taste like if one could actually taste sunshine – bright and fun, but not too strong or too sweet. It’s definitely worth a try.
What we Ate
- Fish Toast with amberjack, mojo verde, baby lettuce – spicy, delicious, amazing. Not toast at all. Pictured above, everything about this dish was so delicate and deliberate. It was nearly too beautiful to eat. It does have a kick so if you have a sensitive palate, this one might give you a run for your money.
- Cabbage with crispy chicken skin, fennel relish, spiced yogurt – this will change your life. It was so good. Just so good.
- Kare kare with peanut curry, broccoli, apple, fennel kale (we had ours with beef tongue) – this was amazing too. They also have a vegan version or a version with lamb if you’re interested.
- Ode to Michel Bras – this was an amazing assortment of pickled, fresh, and roasted vegetables. It also came with onion relish, jelly, and all kinds of sauces.
- We also tried a bunch of meat – I think it was the smoke short ribs, but I could be wrong. It was delicious too. Paul Qui himself brought this plate over to my table, but I had consumed enough tepache I don’t remember him stopping by at all.
Desserts worth Raving
I ordered the cheddar ice cream sandwich, and between the bite of the cheese and the maple sweetness of the sandwich, I can’t say enough good things. Since my boyfriend had a dairy allergy, they made him a custom off-menu item that honestly was so delicious I was jealous. It had everything in it: gummies, sorbet, coconut milk, fruit, and who knows what else. It was a rainbow of colors and flavors. Qui definitely made us wish we ate dessert first.