Sunday, September 16, 2012


I had high hopes for bellyQ, the latest from the amazing Chef Bill Kim, but our experience did not leave us wanting more or planning a return. We were initially surprised by the size of the former OneSixtyBlue space and the warehouse feel. Super high ceilings and a very open dining room with simple four tops and uncomfortable chairs throughout. They do have grill top tables on the perimeter if you wanted to cook your own meat (modern fondue?). Everyone agreed that you get no sense of character inside and a stale feeling with bright lighting and unremarkable soundtrack.

The menu is well organized with many interesting sections and roughly three selections in each. There are belly Bites, salads, sides, wood burning oven, tofu hot pots, tea smoked and grilled succulence. We three men chose two sides (kimchi, spinach salad), two belly bites (crispy tofu and Thai style friend chicken), and one from each of the remaining categories (seafood pancake, lamb rib and Korean short rib). We also finished with the 'soft serve' dessert selection which is vanilla soft serve with passion fruit ice and coconut jellys. Everything looked good but most dishes failed to cross the threshold of having a draw that makes you want to keep eating and come back for more. There are interesting flavors but just nothing that tasty to me. My favorite was the Thai style friend chicken, I'd order that again 100 times. The crispy tofu was an interesting dish too with a nice sauce and steaming hot tofu. The pancake and lamb rib did not have anything special going on, but the Korean short rib served with rice and some interesting sauces had some nice flavors.  I don't know if our bill was reasonable because we only had one round of beer, but for the three of us ordering a decent amount of food it was only $100.

I would classify everything about bellyQ as being 'ok'. There are a lot of headwinds for making it a spot I'd return to or send other people to try. It's a bit out there (as west as you can go on randolph), the decor is not charismatic and the food is hit and miss. Maybe I'm not a good judge of Korean bbq and the restaurant just opened so it might be too soon to judge. I love Bill Kim and his food so hopefully I just had an off night but in the mean time meet me at Urban Belly.

BellyQ on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...