Basil Box is a cool new concept Asian food franchise that reminds me a little too much about poke bowl. They took the process of making submarine sandwiches and poke bowl and applied them on the South East Asian street food. The food served here is Thai and Vietnamese with a North American spin. They have a health-conscious, vegan-friendly menu with the letter of calories counts larger than the price tag. Basil Box is located on Burrard Street near Robson Street in Downtown Vancouver.
Strength: Food is served very quickly. Good service.
Weakness: Flavour is lacking if you are used to high sodium Asian food
Other Assembly Line Served
- Pokérrito Poke Bowl (2.5 Stars)
Located on Burrard Street
Basil box is located on Burrard Street where there is a wide sidewalk in front. Because of the heavy pedestrian traffic, their sleek looking storefront receives a lot of attention. The store name has “basil” within it so you can expect to find Thai food in here.
Storefront and outdoor patio
Basil Box has a front patio. It was raining for a couple of days so the patio is closed during my visit. There are lots of glazing in the storefront that makes it easy for a pedestrian to see what’s inside.
Basil Box’s interior space has a simple layout. You will see the ordering counter in front of you and seating to the left. The ordering ritual has a well-designed flow to place customers in the middle of the seating area after receiving their food.
Small space but good for take-out
We took a seat at the far end of the restaurant to get a full view of the space. There are approximately 25 seats in this store. That’s not a lot of seats, and I believe a lot of people come here to get take out. Basil Box is well prepared for that too. There is a stack of lids next to the cashier. The staff would ask if you would like it to take out before you pay.
Proper commercial kitchen
The kitchen has proper commercial equipment and seems clean with good lighting. It’s a good kitchen for the employee. The happiness of employee would translate to good service.
Customize your Asian street food
Similarly to ordering a poke bowl, I customized my meal with the counter staff. It was my first time at Basil Box so I wasn’t sure about the rules and hidden cost etc. The staff was very friendly and explained the rule to me patiently. The food was ready right after I paid. This fast serving speed is very good for busy people.
Basil Box’s Signature look
There are lots of wood being used in the space which made the interior space feel quite cozy. Basil Box’s corporate signature color is contrasting black and white with an accent of bright orange.
A wall for special announcement
There is a black wall with glossy finish at the end of the restaurant. On this wall, you can find Basil box’s wifi info, social media handles, and the featured items they want to promote.
Another environmental conscious food establishment
Basil Box is an environmental friendly restaurant. It seems like all poke bowl serving style restaurants are. Since the customer is sorting the waste, it might as well get them to sort them into the right bins. This environment-conscious image also works very well with the health-conscious patrons.
Lemongrass Chicken with Penang Curry $11.95
I ordered the lemongrass chicken with Penang curry sauce on long grain jasmine rice. The two veggies I chose were the lemongrass corn and roasted Edamame. On top of that, I also got sesame seeds, fresh herbs, crushed peanuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and Thai chili. My meal is very vibrant and colorful.
How does it taste?
The chicken has a very good thickness with a subtle lemongrass aroma. It is perfectly cooked with an interesting exterior texture. I like how all the different toppings come together. The Penang curry has a good base but lacks the saltiness flavour that usually comes with Thai food. I know this is healthier but just can’t get used to it.
604 Food Critic Assessment
The food at Basil Box is tasty, but the flavour profile was a little bland for people who are used to higher sodium Asian food with a punch. I like how simple it is to order with no item on the menu that would cost you extra. Even a first-timer like me can have a pleasant ordering experience with a little help from the server. For $11.95 a box, it is a little expensive with the small portion. However, Basil Box is a healthy South Eastern Asian food alternative so it is really up to the individual’s opinion whether they are worth it.