Kuneho, the highly anticipated Japanese kitchen and sushi bar by Top Chef and James Beard Award-winner Paul Qui, will open its doors to the public on January 2. Located in the buzzing East Austin neighborhood, Kuneho will preview its grand opening to the community December 27 to 30, showcasing a limited selection of menu items each night. Those who attend the preview nights will earn guaranteed entry to a New Year’s Eve celebration featuring a special menu, entertainment and a champagne toast at midnight. Kuneho will make its official debut with a full menu on Monday, January 2.
“When envisioning the restaurant, we wanted to create a warm, open space perfect for hanging out with friends and family,” says Mia Li, chef de cuisine at Kuneho. “At Kuneho, you can experience comfort and complexity in each perfect bite. From shared plates to a full sushi bar, our menu offers an approachable dining experience that we want to offer our community.”
With four distinct but cohesive spaces, the 3,000 square-foot restaurant is adaptable and allows guests to enjoy a great meal for any occasion. In addition to the main dining area and cocktail lounge, the restaurant features an expansive sushi bar, allowing for a front-row view of the artistry of the talented culinary team and an open patio where guests may sip craft cocktails, get a snack and mingle.
Kuneho’s core menu reflects the comfortable, inviting energy of the space itself. Emphasizing pinxtos and perfect bites, the menu is best eaten in variety. The menu highlights a selection of small plates such as the Sunchoke Dashi which showcases an artful array of vegetables from local Hausbar Farms with dried uni and croutons and a la carte menu offerings such as Heritage Seafood’s Snapper with burnt savoy cabbage and a sauce made with nori, black pepper and yuzu.
Complementing the dinner menu, the restaurant’s intimate cocktail bar called the Borough will serve inventive libations with unexpected ingredients. Driven by bold flavors, the Borough’s menu aims to hit the apex of balance with cocktails such as The Friendship Bridge No. 6, which blends Genever with Fine Calvados, Kirschwasser, rosemary and Peychaud’s bitters, and theCloak of Feathers, featuring coconut oil washed dark rums, five spice, kombucha, maple, lime and bitters.
“The concept for our cocktail menu should relate to those who want to experiment with the non-traditional while sharing common ground with the classics and staying true to the seasons,” says Andrew Grenz, general manager and beverage director atKuneho. “We’re excited to play around with numerous techniques to showcase various flavors and aromas, all for the final product of a balanced cocktail. The Borough is looking forward to becoming part of the community.”
During the four days of preview service from December 27 to 30,Kuneho will showcase select menu items at 25 percent off. On December 31, the space will host a New Year’s Eve celebration with entertainment and a champagne toast at midnight.