Exclusive: Paul Qui to close namesake restaurant, reopen with new concept

(Credit: Ashley Landis FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
(Credit: Ashley Landis FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

In an exclusive interview with the American-Statesman, Austin chef Paul Qui talks about what happened the night he was arrested in March and his plans for the future. Those plans include closing his namesake restaurant Qui in the first week of September and reopening later this year under a new name and with a clearer vision.

The new name, Kuneho, means “rabbit” in Qui’s native Tagalog, and Qui says the restaurant will be a Japanese kitchen with a sushi bar. The restaurant will mark Qui’s return to the quest that defined his drive at Uchi and Uchiko: creating the perfect bite.

Diners at Kuneho should expect Japanese technique with global influences and, a Qui hallmark, major flavor. That could mean catfish unagi, sea urchin, foie gras, aged beef tongue, chilled sunchoke dashi, raw ora king salmon, lamb larb, savory cupcakes, oyster with nam jim or tuna poke.

Read more about what happened the night of Qui’s arrest, his troubled past and how he hopes to move forward.

Author: Matthew Odam

Restaurant critic & features writer at Austin American @Statesman and @Austin360. Austin-born 6th generation Texan. Left-handed.

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