Belly Q Open In Chicago

Bill Kim's newest packs a wallop of flavor

Korean pancakes are cooked in iron paella pans in a wood-burning pizza oven at the newly opened Belly Q.

Could there be a more fitting example of chef Bill Kim's globe-trotting style?

True to the idioms he created at Urban Belly and Belly Shack, Belly Q's flavors are unrelentingly bold and confidently global. Those rice-flour-and-egg pancakes have crisp edges and springy centers seasoned with yuzu and fish sauce. Try one topped with Nueske's smoked bacon, kimchi and greens ($8), and know that Kim likes his kimchi fresh and bright, more like a salsa than the familiar Korean version.

Pair it with chilled soba salad ($10), the noodles tangled with poached shrimp, sautéed Chinese eggplant, Kim's soy-balsamic Seoul Sauce and basil purée. A seafood hot pot ($14) pulls from even farther afield, with a dashi-fermented soybean broth finished with cumin, culantro and lime. It's a steaming, flavor-packed bowl we'll be craving all winter.

Don't skip the smoked offerings, like duck breast infused with black tea and served with Chinese broccoli and fluffy rice-flour buns ($20). And we'd be remiss not to mention those sleek tabletop grills: Snag one if you can. But dinner at Belly Q is a riotous, flavorful time even without the DIY grilling.

Belly Q, 1400 W. Randolph St.; 312-563-1010 or