We’re rarely rendered speechless.
But it’s a good thing BellyQ, the buzzed-about Asian barbecue restaurant from Bill Kim and Yvonne Cadiz-Kim (Urbanbelly, Belly Shack), speaks for itself.
Downtown Design League revamped the old West Loop pickle factory into one of the more dynamic spaces in the city and conquered the seemingly impossible: a simultaneous sense of home and adventure. Myriad textures are used for interactivity and discovery (a living moss wall, felt doors).
Kim cooks like no one’s watching, crafting flavor-packed dishes like tea-smoked duck, double-smoked bacon and kimchi pancakes, steamed buns, rice puff and spinach salad, and tofu hot pots. Sear banana leaf-wrapped salmon, spicy lemon grass chicken, and Korean short ribs at tables equipped with infrared grills. The tapioca-flecked soft-serve delivers a light, fruity finale.
Grab marinated kale salad, rice paper wraps, and Vietnamese Pure Black iced coffee on tap at BQ2Go; sing your heart out in the karaoke room.
The only thing we won’t eat here are our words.
BellyQ, 1400 West Randolph Street, between Ada and Loomis Streets (312-563-1010 or bellyqchicago.com).
Photo: Yasmina Cadiz / Courtesy of BellyQ