Bursting out of its narrow terrace up on Coburg’s Sydney Road, Big Belly is an Asian restaurant with a lot to give. The menu is mostly Asian, with a few international flourishes thrown in for good measure, and it’s long. Melbourne’s all-hours appetites will be pleased that Big Belly’s premises are open seven days a week from 7am until 1am. That’s big work for the big boys in the small kitchen.
Thanks to Big Belly’s generously early opening hours, breakfast at this Asian restaurant in Melbourne’s Coburg is a distinct and everyday possibility. The Asian-style breakfast menu starts off with French toast, but don’t be fooled – we’re talking French toast a la Indochine (think Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia). Moving toward the Indian subcontinent, chow down on a masala omelette with roti, or the puri aloo tarkari, wholemeal roti stuffed with peas and potato curry, and a fantastic South Asian way to start the day up on Sydney Road.
Lunch and dinner (and midnight snacks) are catered for amply by Big Belly’s other, non-breakfasty options. The aloo chop is a superior entree, herbed and spiced mashed potato formed into squares and served with a homemade tomato chutney. From there it’s a romp through pan-Asian classics like sliced beef stir fry, Nepalese momo dumplings, garlic prawns and on into Big Belly’s really big offering: the Meat Bazaar w Rice section of the menu. Here, the coconut chicken is a Coburg favourite, as is the seafood variant, evoking Goan beachside revelry right here in Melbourne.