Pork belly used to be the cheap, leftover cut of meat—just one step up from offal in the carnivore hierarchy.
But then, top chefs rediscovered it and reminded us how amazing it is. The layers of fat between the meat melt away when it’s cooked slowly, rendering through the meat, making it as soft as butter. And the crackling! Oh, the crackling. Amirite?
So what’s a Sunny Coaster to do when they’re in need of a pork belly fix? Read on for the ultimate list of piggy goodness to be found on the Coast.
1. Our mates at Hungry Feel are dishing up a Vietnamese fave—bahn mi roll, with pork belly, fresh herbs, and chilli sauce. The team is committed to using fresh, local produce, with Kingaroy pork belly and vegies from their own kitchen garden. Well played, Hungry Feel. Well played.
2. The coolest new kid on the block, Brouhaha Brewery not only has every beer you can imagine, they’ve ALSO got pork belly which is ALSO braised in beer. Does it get any better?
3. If you’re up for the ultimate taste of winter, check out Ocean Ended’s slow-braised pork belly with mushroom polenta and caramelised chestnuts. Ask maître d’ Paul for a table with a view, order a bottle of River Run pinot noir, and watch the waves come in.
4. If you’ve read any of my other articles, you’ll know I have a serious thing for kimchi. Like, I probably need an intervention. Well, our compadres at Black Bunny Kitchen whip up a mean spicy kimchi pancake, top it with woodfired pulled pork and hot sauce. I’ll say it again, too much kimchi is never enough.
5. How can you make pork belly even better? I hear you ask. Well, internationally trained chef, George Francisco brings his Southern roots to Noosa, by handcrafting, salting, and smoking slabs of Queensland pork belly to give us bacon heaven. And because it’s cured without nitrites, it’s practically health food. You can pick up your next serving of Voodoo Bacon at Kunara or Eumundi Meats. We’ll meetcha there!
6. The spice gurus at Spice Bar like to keep things mysterious, with their menu listing only the bare bones of their amazing dishes. And we don’t want to give TOO much away, but their pork belly—brined and spiced, then cooked at 60 degrees for 18 hours—is served with a crunchy teriyaki-glazed apple and celery salad, star-anise infused dressing, and just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, they top it with pork scratchings. #foodporn
7. If you’re in need of a cultural mash-up, check out Beau’s Thai pulled pork burrito—pretty much our version of foodie heaven.
8. Who needs pork when you can have porchetta? Locale rolls a belly of Gympie free-range pork, and slow roasts it with fennel and sweet, smokey piquillo peppers. Sah good!
9. You truly can’t go wrong at Junk. Pretty much everything on the menu hits the mark, and no matter what you order, you’ll have food envy over your dinner partner’s meal (and vice versa!) But if you have pork belly on your mind, the crispy pork belly in kaffir lime and dark palm sugar caramel won’t let you down.
10. There’s plenty of gluten free options at Karma Waters, and their pig-tacular pork belly with braised red cabbage and chestnut puree is no exception.
11. It’s time to get acquainted with The Tamarind’s black vinegar braised pork belly with scallop toast. And if you can squeeze in a Hinterland mini-break at Spa Anise, so much the better…
12. Here at Metropolist, we are firmly on Team Betty. And while we love Betty’s Burgers classic burgers, the slow-cooked pork belly burger is the perfect balance of rich meat and spicy sriracha. Oh yeah.
13. Okonominyaki. It’s as much of a mouthful to eat as it is to say. Little Boat Espresso serves up this epic all-day brekky option of Japanese green pancake with twice-cooked pork belly, fried egg, and a hit of chilli to start your day just right.