El Secreto Omakase
El Secreto Omakase by Paul Qui at Faena Miami Beach
The most thrilling dining experience of the season is unfolding in speakeasy style at El Secreto, a private pocket-sized bar hidden within Faena Miami Beach. The Omakase experience designed by James Beard Award-winning chef Paul Qui blends Tokyo-style sushi and Kyoto-style kaiseki into a distinctive tasting menu that’s prepared and served in an interactive format.
“The inspiration for the experience is my passion for sushi,” says Qui. “I started my career in the hopes of one day being able to present such a place as El Secreto where I can serve the best product with the best technique and the best ideas of sushi I’ve had over the years.” In Japan, the term ‘omakase’ refers to respectfully leaving another to decide what is best, or in gastronomic speak: chef’s selection. Qui’s cooking has been heavily influenced by extensive training in Japanese cuisine at home and abroad. His gusto for sushi blossomed early in his culinary journey when he helped Tyson Cole establish Uchi restaurant in Austin before launching the first high-end omakase eatery in Texas. “Now my sushi journey hits its crescendo with the introduction of El Secreto at Faena.” Qui adds,
“We have one focus for this omakase experience and that’s simply to deliver the highest-quality seafood from around the world,” explains Qui.
“A lot of these relationships have been cultivated over the past two decades of serving some of the freshest fish in the world.” There will be two menus to choose from: one built around line-caught fish flown in daily and another featuring innovative vegetable dishes. “On the sushi menu,” he notes, “some highlights include sea urchin from Hokkaido, sustainable bluefin tuna from Baja and Sanuki Olive Wagyu from Kagawa Prefecture in Japan.” The cattle in this region are fed olive mash giving the beef more umami flavor than a regular A5 cut. A list of top-shelf spirits ranges from small-batch sakes, beers and wine to Champagne and craft cocktails like Absinthe Minded, mixed with Grey Goose vodka, Cocchi Americano, St-Germain, sour orange and Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe, and perennial favorite: Smoke & Sparks, an elixir of Roca Patrón Reposado tequila, Del Maguey ‘Vida’ mezcal, jalapeño, and lime. The Art Deco design is as exquisite as it gets with a four-seat showpiece bronze bar, a parquet floor and onyx-black walls inlaid with intricate gilded artworks from talented Argentine artists Juan Gatti and Amaya Bouquet. “The experience will be unforgettable,” says Qui.
"Now my sushi journey hits its crescendo with the introduction of El Secreto at Faena.” - Paul Qui
Article from Faena Journal Issue #48