Friday, May 17, 2013

Meet Austin: East Side King

When we first moved to Austin, one of the people we kept hearing about was Paul Qui. He is a local chef who won Top Chef: Texasa James Beard award and has been the executive chef at two of the most popular and respected restaurants in Austin: Uchi and Uchiko. So basically.....he's an awesome chef and someone Austinites are very proud to call their own!

After all of his successes, Paul opened several Asian inspired food trucks called East Side King. He just recently opened the first brick and mortar version so of course, we had to go!

You might find the menu slightly intimidating if you aren't an Asian food connoisseur, but they make everything on the menu completely accessible and utterly delectable.  Just order everything I ate below and you will do great! Or the people that work there are awesome too and you can ask for their recommendations.

Needless to say, if you are ever in Austin, definitely eat here! The restaurant location is located at the bar called Hole in the Wall. (The other three food trucks are located around Austin). It's also a very "Austin" location with funky wall art and fun people-we loved every minute on the patio on a beautiful Spring evening.


 
 Chicken Tortilla Ramen: Bacon dashi, chicken-tortilla-Tom-Yum paste, chicken thigh, avocado, corn, corn tortilla, pickled yellow onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, lime. This is a Tex Mex twist on a traditional Asian ramen bowl. My friend ordered this but loved it! 
The flavors were really unique!  

 Brussels Sprout Salad fried Brussels sprouts, sweet-spicy sauce, shredded cabbage, basil, cilantro, mint, onion, jalapeño, deep-fried bun. 
These were awesome and I'm not a huge Brussels sprouts fan!

    Beet Home Fries Deep-fried roasted beets, kewpie mayo, schichimi togarashi, green onion. These are sweet -my husband liked them more than me but when dipped in the mayo
 they were pretty irresistible.


   Poor Qui’s Buns: Roasted pork belly in steamed bun, hoisin sauce, cucumber kimchi, green onion.  These are soft pillowy buns that don't have a lot of flavor 
but the flavor of the pork belly is the perfect complement.


 Thai Chicken Kara-age: Deep-fried chicken thigh, sweet-spicy sauce, basil, cilantro, mint, onion, jalapeño. This was probably my favorite of everything we tried! 
Basically Asian fried chicken. 














  We love you East Side King!

Here's Paul Qui's biography if you wanted to know a little more about him:

Paul Qui is the recipient of the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest 2012, and the winner of Top Chef Season 9. Born in Manila, Philippines and trained in classic French and Japanese cuisine, Paul takes a modernist approach towards food, where there are no boundaries. Starting as a stage, Paul worked his way up the ranks of Uchi to Chef de Cuisine and eventually Executive Chef at Uchiko. While training under Uchi Chef and Owner Tyson Cole, Paul learned to adapt traditional Japanese dishes with an eye towards local flavor, all while incorporating influences from South East Asian and European cuisine. Paul is currently the chef/owner of his flagship restaurant, qui, which opens in Spring 2013. He is also the co-founder and chef/owner of East Side King, a group of Asian-inspired street food trailers and restaurants in Austin, Texas.


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