The Noodle Box, like Benny’s Bagels, is another popular establishment that began in downtown Victoria, BC. The company first started as a little refurbished hot dog cart in 2001 and soon expanded to a brick and mortar shop in Victoria’s Chinatown.
When I used to work in downtown Victoria, The Noodle Box was often a popular lunch choice at our office because it provided quick and tasty meals. Since my island days, the chain impressively expanded again, and now boasts two locations in Vancouver and five on Vancouver Island!
South East Asian hawker food is near and dear to my heart; there really isn’t a cuisine I enjoy more. Having lived in the region when I was younger, the tastes and aromas bring up a comforting sense of nostalgia, and well, let’s face it, it’s just darn good stuff.
We have visited The Noodle Box Kitsilano location on West 4th Avenue (located next to Romer’s Burger Bar) a few times since it’s just a few blocks from our home, experiencing both dine-in and take-out meals. The Kits shop has a great bustling, upbeat atmosphere and is clean and modern with high ceilings – really the antithesis of a hole-in-the-wall Asian joint.
Similar in concept to Wok Box, The Noodle Box (founded three years before Wok Box) offers South East Asian flame cooked stir-fry noodles and soups, sold in takeout boxes complete with wire handles. You can choose your level of heat, and most dishes are available with a choice of rice or noodles. Portion sizes are decent, but you will pay a premium for South East Asian food in a clean and contemporary environment in the heart of Kitsilano – dishes range from ten to sixteen dollars but all prices include tax.
Noodle Box Chili Plum ($10.75) – Hokkein noodles, wok fried with peppers, Asian greens, sprouts, and green onion, tossed in Noodle Box’s own sweet chili plum sauce. Your choice of protein determines the price, and we opted for regular chicken. However, you also have the option of choosing pork, beef, tofu for $10.75; prawns for $11.75; a combination of protein for $12.75; or free range chicken for $13.75.
Thai Green Curry ($12.00) – Pictured below, this fragrant curry is simmered in coconut milk and kaffir lime with rice noodles, mushrooms, asian greens, sprouts and herbs. We chose prawns, but the dish is also available with a choice of chicken, pork or tofu for $11.00, a combination of meat for $13.00, or free range chicken for $14.00. Dishes like this one with the chili icon next to it on the menu have some amount of chili built in, so they will be at least a little spicy to begin with. The noodles were a tad overcooked, but I’m sure that’s because they continued cooking in the box.
Dishes offered at The Noodle Box are on the saltier side of the flavour spectrum, but customers will appreciate the wide range – 10 levels – of heat choices available. From “very mild” to “suicide hot”, there’s a spiciness level to suit everyone’s tastebuds. Like Wok Box, The Noodle Box’s dishes aren’t entirely authentic, but will appeal to a broad range of clientele.