bellyQ Does Brunch

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 11:44am

If I had to choose my favorite meal, it would have to be brunch. The entire experience of enjoying a meal that includes a little savory and sweet, with a delicious cup of coffee, is my perfect way to spend my Sunday morning. Unfortunately, working weekend mornings prevent me from partaking in my favorite meal. However, when I do have the rare occasion of a day off, I am pretty particular about where I brunch. I am sure you all know how much I love Chef Bill Kim’s cooking from my bellyQ post. Well, when bellyQ started offering brunch service, I was all over that! As expected, Chef Kim gives us his own take on brunch classics, with an Asian twist. His brunch menu breaks down in a similar fashion to his dinner menu:

Refreshing Cocktails

If you enjoy a cocktail to start your brunch, you will find a take on the classic, such as the bellyMary - made with a house blend of tomato juice, Belly Fire, Seoul Sauce, fresh horseradish, ginger roots, Szechwan peppercorns, celery, and other spices. For the sweet tooth like me, try the Vietnamese Coffee & Rum Cream - made with cold brew coffee, condensed milk blended with their house made rum cream. I seriously could have more than one of these!

Great Beverage Options

Perhaps a cocktail is not for you. You also can choose from one of their juices such passion fruit lemonade, a favorite of mine from sister restaurant Belly Shack. Coffee service is also a delicious option and usually a must for me.

Flavorful Sides

Chef Kim’s sides always make great accompaniments to your meal, but are stars on their own. Take the fingerling potatoes with Chinese sausage. The potatoes are cut lengthwise, allowing the flavors of the chilis, onions, and spices to penetrate through. If you can, I definitely recommend you try the banana yogurt shake made with almond milk. It is a favorite breakfast item of the Chef’s wife Yvonne and probably the best smoothie I have ever tasted. I seriously could have one of these everyday to brighten my early mornings.

Innovative Takes

Leave it to Chef Kim to come up with flavor/ingredient pairings that may sound odd, but truly work. A great example is the Nori Waffle. Seaweed infused waffle? Trust me - it is delicious. It is served with sake maple syrup and pork patties. My obsession is the Tea Smoked Duck Benedict, as this take on Eggs Benedict will be the only way I choose to eat it. It features Chef Kim’s signature tea smoked duck, Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli), Thai curry Hollandaise sauce, and tempura egg. The egg is sous vide before receiving a tempura batter, which creates the perfect yolk to interplay with the Hollandaise sauce. All of this sits on the signature baos, rather than an English Muffin, of course. Vegetarians also have options to choose from, so there is something for everyone.

Save Room for Dessert

I always save room for dessert, especially for Chef Kim’s signature soft serve, but surprisingly I did not have any room left in the tank. You cannot go wrong with any of the dessert choices and they make a sweet ending to a delicious brunch.

If you are looking for a new option for brunch and tired of the old stand-bys, definitely check out bellyQ. It is standout choice for the West Loop and worth every bite. I cannot wait to go back to try more items!

SKo-Fit's picture
Suzanne Ko
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