For anyone searching for creative Asian fusion offerings, there are a number of exceptional locations spread throughout metro Phoenix. One popular location, which specializes in not only Japanese but Thai and Vietnamese, is set to branch out and open a secondary restaurant in the heart of the valley.
Belly Kitchen & Bar officially announced its plans for a second location back at the end of January. Since the announcement management has been hard at work renovating and setting up the secondary restaurant. Now, after months of preparation, the new Belly Kitchen & Bar in Gilbert is set to open up to the public this coming Thursday.
Located at 2150 East Ray Road (Suite 180) in Gilbert, the menu will be much of the same as the Phoenix location. Items range anywhere from deep, traditional offerings, while others are new age riffs (as the menu likes to put it) on the classic recipes.
Many of the ingredients are locally sourced, and the produce and seafood are all ethically sourced and raised. Additionally, while this is the menu for its September opening, there are seasonal dishes that will rotate in and out based on the availability of fresh produce.
The Snack, Salads, and Vegetables portion of the menu includes a green papaya salad (with the option of adding soft shell crab), crispy spring rolls, Vietnamese elote, fiery braised jackfruit, and chicken thigh skewers. The Seafood menu currently offers crispy soft shell crab bao buns (which are stuffed with fresh papaya salad and spicy mayo), crispy white fish, grilled oysters on the half shell, and crab Banh Xeo (which features a crispy rice flour crepe stuffed with lump crab meat that has been seasoned with Kewpie mayo and Old Bay seasoning, mung bean sprouts, as well as scallions). The current Specialty menu includes pork and mustard green fried rice, jackfruit and mustard green fried rice, and a half or whole fried chicken.
There is a small but catered wine list that runs the spectrum of light and crispy white wine, all the way to an orange riesling and a deeper merlot. Guests will also find a collection of house-crafted cocktails. These cocktails include Watermelon Sugar (which is a bourbon and watermelon juice-based cocktail), The Belly of the Beast (which is similar to a Long Island as it features rum, gin, vodka, and triple sec, plus passionfruit, peach schnapps, pineapple, and green tea, just to name a few of the ingredients), plus a Good Morning Vietnam, which is a Japanese vodka and cold brew coffee-based cocktail.