Thursday, September 6, 2012


BellyQ is the third restaurant owned and opened by the husband-and-wife team, Chef Bill Kim and Yvonne Cadiz Kim.  Bill and Yvonne are also owners of the more casual Belly Shack and Urban Belly.  BellyQ offers a classy table grilling experience with Asian-themed menu items.  The detail that went into the design and atmosphere of this restaurant are impeccable.  Huge panel windows allow for an abundance of natural light to illuminate the restaurant.  The rich and earthy tones of the leather chairs and wooden seats provide warmth to the modern and clean design of the space.  I was equally impressed with Chef Bill Kim's modern twist on the traditional Korean menu items while still maintaining the dish's cultural integrity.  My absolute favorites during my meal were the Seafood Hotpot, BellyQ Beef, and the Citrus Ice Boba.  Don't forget to make some time to karaoke at their karaoke bar too.  Reservations can be made via Opentable.
1400 W Randolph
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 563-1010
4 stars on Yelp 

I loved the elegant and warm entrance of the restaurant.  If you take a closer look at the leather chairs, the bellyQ logos are stitched on the arms of the chairs.
Gorgeous communal table.

Infrared table grilling.
Infrared table grilling provides higher temperatures for faster grilling and quicker cooling times for when you are done cooking.
Large vents are located right above the grill but far enough away from the table so they don't interfere with your meal.  This way, you don't smell like BBQ after you leave the restaurant. Although, Boyfriend would love to bottle the scent of BBQ if he had the chance.
Fantastic cocktail and beer menu.
Indochine.  Arrack, bourbon, chai tea, soy and coconut milk, sugar cane, and Vietnamese cinnamon.  Absolutely delish.
I love the concept of having wines of tap.  Less wine bottles means less waste. In addition to their wines on tap, they also offer Le Colombe's cold-press coffee on tap.
House made kimchi.  A fresh and modern take on the traditional kimchi.  Boyfriend and I loved this kimchi so much that we ordered it twice.  We were told by our server that Bill Kim makes a fresh batch of kimchi every morning with seasonal vegetables.
Double smoked bacon and kimchi pancake.  I loved the addition of fresh greens to the traditional Korean seafood pancake.  The added bacon made this dish an explosion of flavors and mouthwateringly delicious.

Spinach with dried shrimp and Chinese sausage. 
A fantastic twist on the Korean spinach side dish called Shigeumchi Namul.   I absolutely LOVED the addition of the Chinese sausage for an added punch of flavor.
Additional garnishments are provided for your grilled meats.
Chinese steamed buns accompanied our grilled items.
BellyQ Beef.  Bill Kim's mother's bulgogi recipe.  PHENOMENAL. ORDER THIS.
The BellyQ Beef comes out on a large skewer that the server slides off onto the infrared grill.
Our meat finished grilling in about 6 minutes.
Look at the steam... glorious.  Tender, succulent, and juicy.  BBQ beef perfection.
Three types of sauces are provided to accompany your grilled meats.
I made myself a cute little BellyQ snacker.
Korean Short Rib.
The marinade was legit.  I love me some good kalbi.
Tender, flavorful, and delicious.
Side of Bok Choy with Chinese Black Bean.  The bok choy was perfectly cooked with the right amount of crunch. 
Seafood Hotpot with rice cake, mushroom, and zucchini.  Absolute genius.  This dish struck a perfect blend of flavors between Mexico's sope de mariscos and Korea's Soon Doo Boo.  I was so impressed that I texted my mother about the idea.  Hopefully she's still perfecting the recipe.
HOLY BALLS, the amount of seafood in this soup made me feel like it was Christmas! 
Perfect for a rainy day.
I think it's safe to say that we enjoyed the hotpot?
Citrus Ice with vanilla soft serve, yuzu tapioca pearls, and lemon garnish.  OH. MY. LORDY. OUTSTANDING!  Bright citrus flavors with great creamy and chewy textures.  Perfectly light and refreshing. 
The server tried taking away my dessert during my "break from eating" and I literally snatched my dessert back like I was the orphaned Oliver Twist.  Slightly embarrassing but totally worth having the last bite.

How PIMP is this billfold?
Gotta love a man who thanks his wife first and foremost.
Happy eating.


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