“Top Chef” champ and James Beard Award winner Chef Paul Qui is bringing his winning recipes to H-town. The Austin-based chef is expanding his culinary portfolio with Aqui and inviting all Houstonians to come experience his Southeast Asian cuisine. Qui concentrates his menu on “wok and wood cooking, with a heavy emphasis on meat and seafood”.
Thai and Filipino dishes are dominant on the menu, with items like pancit luglug (thick noodles with shrimp) Lumpia (similar to eggrolls) and tortang talong (grilled eggplant fried in eggs). In total, the menu has seven sections including Raw (four dishes), Kamayan (three dishes), Perfect Bite (10 dishes), Vegetables (three dishes), Hot (four dishes), Rice and Noodles (three dishes), Perfect Bite Desserts (two dishes), and Desserts (three dishes).
The interior of Aqui carries a similarly serene aesthetic to his Austin restaurants with cool blue and grey tones and light wood tables. Large windows bring in natural light, and the wicker chandelier adds a bold centerpiece to the interior.
Aqui is open Sunday through Wednesday, 5 pm to 10 pm; Thursday through Saturday, 5 pm to 11 pm.