NEW YORK - Bacon, bacon, and more bacon. Belly in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is every bacon lover's dream.
"I'm a big pork lover. A big bacon lover," says Executive Chef Johnny Woo, who taught himself how to cook when he was a kid. Woo was born in Seoul, South Korea, where his parents ran hotels and restaurants.
"The culinary, hospitality -- those are in my blood," he says. "However, I'm not a trained chef. I'm a serious home cook."
A home cook with a new hotspot focused on bacon. Feast your eyes on the nine-course bacon omakase menu.
"The word omakase means 'I'll leave it up to you,'" he says. "Just come and leave it up to us."
Some of the highlights include Woo's mouth-watering take on bread and butter.
"It's a locally sourced white sourdough bread. On top, we have a kimchi butter spread and bacon chips glazed with maple syrup-infused soy sauce," Woo says. "A lot of people say we should package and sell the butter. I think it's really that good."
Belly's signature dish is the bacon sushi.
"It's called sushi, but it's not raw," Woo says. "We cure the bacon and then we boil it to get rid of some fats. And finally, we torch it."
He explains, "Sushi doesn't have to be serious. It's a very casual, comfort finger food."
For a course that's a bit spicier, there's Woo's take on a Spanish dish called chicharron.
"The chicharron is actually the fried pork rind or pork belly in South America," Woo says. "We give a little bit of twist. This time we added chili pepper, also most importantly the Korean yellow mustard."
What can people expect in this dish?
"Flavor bomb," he says. "Complex flavors in one dish."
Even the last course, Woo's strawberry mousse dessert, incorporates -- yes, you guessed it -- bacon.
"It's actually between a panna cotta and a mousse, but it's a little bit more on the mousse side," Woo says. "We actually put chocolate-covered bacon chips on top with mint."
After talking about all of the dishes, it was time for a taste. My take: "Oh my god. This is amazing."
The bacon omakase experience at Belly is hard to describe but Woo sums it up like this: "It's the best thing. It's foodgasm."