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Full of Flavor

Dine, Miami

If you’re craving the perfect bite, look no further than Pao by Paul Qui. The Asian-inflected restaurant recently added an entirely new section of Pao Bites and nigiris to the menu.


Must-eats include the Ora King salmon with shishito peppers and lemongrass; cured and cold-smoked Hamachi Jamon with slices of fresh cantaloupe; and Shiso Tempura. “We wanted the tempura to be on the lighter side. It has charred onion crème fraîche and smoked trout roe on top, which gives a little bit of a smoky taste,” said Chef de Cuisine Paulina Ornelas.

“Many of our bites and nigiris are inspired by Japanese cuisine, but you’ll also find a touch of Qui’s Filipino heritage in dishes like the Kare Kare Macaroon, topped with foie gras—kare is a peanut sauce typically eaten with braised oxtail in the Philippines.”

The nigiris offer a little taste of the omakase experience at Faena’s El Secreto speakeasy.

“It showcases some of the best quality fish flown in from Japan that are paired with ingredients we ferment in-house like Pao’s Yuzukosho featuring fresnos and strawberries,” she added.

Be sure to order Ornelas’ all-time favorite: the eggplant nigiri roasted with a farro miso butter and lime gel. “We are also focusing on vegan and vegetarian options, adding more flavor to enhance seasonal vegetables.” Meat lovers shouldn’t miss the Wagyu Short Rib Nigiri. The beef is smoked, then tenderized for 72 hours at a very low temperature for a melt-in-your-mouth consistency. “We also grill a slice of short rib that’s finished with fresh wasabi root over rice. It’s simple but packed with flavor,” she said.