It almost seems like that places such as the Wok Box and Noodle Box are a bit polarizing. What I mean by that is people either like it or they don't. I'm sure there are people that fall into the indifferent category; but most people I've talked to have a well-defined opinion. When I visited the Wok Box, I came away satisfied, although feeling quite guilty. Having grown up in an Asian family and realizing what good, authentic Asian food tastes like, it's almost shameful to like supposedly unauthentic food. At the same time, I been known to eat "Westernized" Asian food and be perfectly happy about it. I guess it comes down to expectations. If you expect authentic and you don't get it, then feelings of disappointment are common. But if your expectations are in harmony with the food you are about to eat, it may actually be surprising.
Hearing such great things from other bloggers: Jenny, Kevin and Darren, I ventured into Kitsilano in search from some noodles. Of course parking is at a premium in this neighbourhood; yet I managed to get one a block away across from Fuel and Maenam (which I really need to try). At first, I was intending to get takeout exclusively; however, I changed my mind and got some of it for eat-in. The reason? For a picture of course! It just doesn't look as good in a box. However, I won't go as far as bringing my own plate like Ben when he went to Tenku Bakudanyaki . I ended up getting the Spicy Peanut Noodle with Prawns for myself. It consisted of ribbon noodles, fresh vegetables, herbs, crushed peanuts and a choice of meats or tofu. It is freshly wok fried with garlic, ginger and a creamy peanut sauce. You can choose your level of heat and I went for medium-hot.
At first, if you look at the price, you'd might be wondering to yourself, "why so expensive for a bowl of noodles???" Well, for $13.00, it ain't cheap, although once you see your bowl of food, it's quite large. Green onions, cilantro, fried onions, ground peanuts, sprouts and lime blanketed a plethora of slightly soft noodles bathed in creamy peanut sauce. I thought that they were quite generous with the amount of crunchy prawns as well. When they say medium-hot, it's quite spicy. I happen to like spicy; but for those who don't eat spicy, I definitely recommend going very mild. Compared to the Wok Box, the flavours here are much bolder. There is no mistaking what sauce I was eating - it was creamy and loaded with peanut. I only wish that they would put a little less sauce into the stir fry because everything gets a bit slimy.
I got 2 orders to go, one for Viv and one for my parents. For my parents, I got them the Teriyaki Udon with Prawns. You might think that's not enough food for 2 people; but they really cram a whole lot of food in those boxes. I tried the sauce and it was more sweet than salty and there was a background ginger taste to it. Pretty good; yet again there was a bit too much sauce. Viv had the Thai Green Curry and it had plenty of flavour. The noodles and chicken were a bit overdone; however, we suspect that it "cooks" a bit in the box. It's best to eat it ASAP. Similar to Wok Box, I don't mind eating at the Noodle Box. Will I drive specifically to eat there? Probably not. Would I eat it if I was in the area? Yes I would.
- Really large portions
- It's freshly made
- Good variety
- A bit too saucy
- May not satisfy the "authentic" crowd