Chef Bill Kim has finally opened a restaurant near my house and I couldn’t be more excited. I first tried his Korean noodle and dumpling restaurant Urban Belly awhile back. I remember it was the dead of winter, freezing out, and all I wanted was a huge bowl of ramen noodles. Not only did I get that, but I got duck dumplings, and homemade kimchi. Later that winter I went to Kim’s other restaurant Belly Shack. With eight items on the menu, the BBQ Beef was the only way to go. His cooking is a blend of Korean and Puerto Rican (his wife).
Then along came Belly Q – a modern Asian BBQ restaurant in the old OneSixtyBlue building right off the Ashland stop. Oh sweet Jesus. First the place is beautiful. I love the minimal decor, wharehouse-like vibe, with an open kitchen. The menu, let’s just say I couldn’t decide…literally couldn’t decide. There was gun powder smoked duck, lamb, beef…then noodle salads, then..sides. And what about that olive oil poached shrimp??? After my friend Carol and I drooled for a while over the menus we decided to split a few things. First up was the soba noodle salad with the shrimp. I think by the second bite I had my Sharpie out and was quizzing the waiter about the dressing. Oh, and the olive oil poached shrimp is definitely the way to go. Then we got the smoked duck. It was served on top of a bed of Chinese broccoli with small steamed buns. There was a trio of sauces, but the hot sauce knocked it out of the park. After a little research, I found out he bottles that stuff and sells it at his other restaurant. YEAH!
The best was last up…dessert. It was Vietnamese coffee slush on the bottom, topped with young Thai coconut ice cream, then topped with tapioca heaven balls, and a perfect drizzle of salted caramel. Could dinner ever be better than that?? Belly Q, be there or be talked about. I plan on trying everything.