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.
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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.