Four Belly

Takoyaki: grilled octopus balls with green onion, fish bonito, sweet sauce, mayo and aonori Octopus balls are probably my favorite Asian street food, and these certainly did not disappoint my taste buds.  They had the perfect octopus and dough ratio.

Takoyaki: grilled octopus balls with green onion, fish bonito, sweet sauce, mayo and aonori
Octopus balls are probably my favorite Asian street food, and these certainly did not disappoint my taste buds. They had the perfect octopus and dough ratio.

Instead of sushi, Tony Kammaty, the owner of Nori Sushi, recently turned to Asian street food, and most Chicagoans are probably glad he did!  Four Belly offers a wide range of cheap, down to earth snacks and dishes that you’d find on the streets all over Eastern Asia.

Pok pok salad: green papaya, tomato, shrimp, peanut, carrot, Thai chili and lime dressing Wow.  What flavors!  And if you ever want a green papaya salad with a serious kick to it, this is the one.  Note: This salad should be shared amongst at least three people or else you will be in need of at least two Thai iced teas (and I can take spice!).

Pok pok salad: green papaya, tomato, shrimp, peanut, carrot, Thai chili and lime dressing
Wow. What flavors! And if you ever want a green papaya salad with a serious kick to it, this is the one. Note: This salad should be shared amongst at least three people or else you will be in need of at least two Thai iced teas (and I can take spice!).

The restaurant itself is friendly and inviting with a giant happy Buddha painted on the wall.  It’s the perfect setting for a casual date or a get together amongst friends.  If you want it to be a bit more romantic, go during sunset and sit by the window, but by no means should you order the fried caterpillars (unless you want to gross out your date or perhaps show off…).

Ice cold water in a jar - I absolutely adore using a jar as a water glass, although the rim sometimes gets in the way of sipping proficiently

Ice cold water in a jar – I absolutely adore using a jar as a water glass, although the rim sometimes gets in the way of sipping proficiently

Fried caterpillar: bamboo caterpillar, salt, pepper and Thai herb In need of some densely packed protein?  Well, these will provide you with exactly what you need for that boost; probably more so than the protein boost at Jamba Juice.  And in all honesty, they taste much better than I expected - a bit nutty and textured like organ meats.

Fried caterpillar: bamboo caterpillar, salt, pepper and Thai herb
In need of some densely packed protein? Well, these will provide you with exactly what you need for that boost; probably more so than the protein boost at Jamba Juice. And in all honesty, they taste much better than I expected – a bit nutty and textured like organ meats.

The flavors in the food is seriously intense, especially when it comes to the spice in the pok pok salad, which had my taste buds spinning until I downed an entire jar of sweet and creamy Thai iced tea.  Some of the ingredient combinations seem a bit experimental, but everything on the menu is a fascinating roller coaster that will take you on a more sanitary tour of Asian streets.

Pok pok salad: green papaya, tomato, shrimp, peanut, carrot, Thai chili and lime dressing Wow.  What flavors!  And if you ever want a green papaya salad with a serious kick to it, this is the one.  Note: This salad should be shared amongst at least three people or else you will be in need of at least two Thai iced teas (and I can take spice!).

Pok pok salad: green papaya, tomato, shrimp, peanut, carrot, Thai chili and lime dressing
Wow. What flavors! And if you ever want a green papaya salad with a serious kick to it, this is the one. Note: This salad should be shared amongst at least three people or else you will be in need of at least two Thai iced teas (and I can take spice!).

Thai iced tea Mix it up, and it is a sweet, chilled, soothing delight.  Perfect to go with something hot and spicy.

Thai iced tea
Mix it up, and it is a sweet, chilled, soothing delight. Perfect to go with something hot and spicy.

Yakisoba: Japanese egg noodles, mushrooms, cabbage, carrot, sesame, dried seaweed and red pickled ginger These noodles are eggy and soaked with the flavor of the broth they were cooked in.  Highly recommend!

Yakisoba: Japanese egg noodles, mushrooms, cabbage, carrot, sesame, dried seaweed and red pickled ginger
These noodles are eggy and soaked with the flavor of the broth they were cooked in. Highly recommend!

Spicy kara miso ramen: house spicy soybean paste, chashu pork loin, cabbage, spinach, ginger, scallion, nita-mago egg and fishcake I'm still conflicted about how the spicy soybean paste works with the miso, but my taste buds may have been a bit off considering the fact that they were still on fire from the pok pok salad earlier.  In any case, the noodles were lovely, but I wasn't too impressed with the chashu pork loin, which was in fact a bit flavorless.

Spicy kara miso ramen: house spicy soybean paste, chashu pork loin, cabbage, spinach, ginger, scallion, nita-mago egg and fishcake
I’m still conflicted about how the spicy soybean paste works with the miso, but my taste buds may have been a bit off considering the fact that they were still on fire from the pok pok salad earlier. In any case, the noodles were lovely, but I wasn’t too impressed with the chashu pork loin, which was in fact a bit flavorless.

Korean ice cream: corn ice cream, sweet corn, unsweetened condensed milk I don't think this really needed the whipped cream, but all the other ingredients blew me away!  The corn ice cream was creamy with the added texture of sweet corn kernels while the jelly provided yet another smooth and gelatinous contrast.

Korean ice cream: corn ice cream, sweet corn, unsweetened condensed milk
I don’t think this really needed the whipped cream, but all the other ingredients blew me away! The corn ice cream was creamy with the added texture of sweet corn kernels while the jelly provided yet another smooth and gelatinous contrast.

And they are BYOB!

4.5 Rating

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