bellyQ has a new brunch menu and you should try it. From interesting cocktails to enormous delicious entrees, it is everything brunch should be – savory, filling, great for sharing and precipitating a food coma so there’s no need to go out for dinner the same evening. Chef Bill Kim has never pigeon-holed himself by labeling his cuisine as anything more than Asian-inspired, yet he has distinct, bold flavors at all three of his restaurants – Belly Shack, bellyQ and Urban Belly. While Kim is Korean, he moved to the United States when he was just seven years old, so you’ll find Asian and American-inspired dishes like a country fried chicken katsu bowl or Korean breakfast tacos with lemongrass ground chicken and corn tortillas.
The new menu is designed to be very shareable, so you can start with dumplings or a little Greek yogurt with granola, mango, yuzu and honey before progressing to more For groups of six or more there’s even a brunch feast option that allows you to select a smorgasboard of menu items to share family-style for just $20 per person.
Since Chef Kim isn’t big on sweets, there are no pancakes or French toast on the menu, but soft serve and Vietnamese donuts can satisfy your sweet tooth. All of the main courses are savory, including an enormous Vietnamese omelet, made with two eggs and rice flour to help bind it. You get a nice sear on the outside while the inside is still wet and gooey, just how I like it. Plus, the omelet is filled with spinach, onions and quinoa while topped with feta cheese. Add a little Belly Fire sauce for some heat. You can purchase any of Chef Kim’s sauces to take home either at any of his restaurants.
The tea-smoked duck breast is a favorite from the dinner menu, but for brunch it’s paired with Thai curry hollandaise, bao instead of English muffins and tempura, not poached, eggs for an Asian fusion eggs Benedict. The broccoli rabe is also on the dinner menu, where it’s topped with parmesan and Asian giardiniera. Here it acts as a bitter foil to a savory, meaty dish. Chef Kim is very smart with ingredients and creating his menus – utilizing items he does well (eg. ground lemongrass chicken) in various iterations at different restaurants, from breakfast tacos at bellyQ to curry udon at Belly Shack. And the famous soft serve is available everywhere too, thank goodness.