- Address: 351 Yonge Street, Toronto
- Visited: 02/20/2016, Event, 1 person
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
- Rating: 4.0 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: http://www.thebasilbox.com/
Basil Box is a quick service Vietnamese restaurant that recently opened their second location inside the Ryerson Student Learning Centre, near Yonge and Dundas. Customers are lead through a 5 step ordering process to customize their “box”, similar to Subway and Chipotle. I was invited to their opening night to check out the bright, colourful new space and create my own Vietnamese inspired meal.
Disclaimer: All food and drinks reviewed below were provided complimentary by Basil Box. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine.
With vaulted ceilings, exposed pipes and natural bamboo decor elements, Basil Box felt open and modern. Seating was plentiful and designed to suit any party size with large communal tables, cozy booths, and small round cafe tables. Most of the staff were still in training, but their eagerness to help and learn was palpable.
Building my box, I liked that each step had gluten-free, dairy free and vegan choices. All of the ingredients were fresh and colourful. Boxes start at $9.45 and includes 2 veggie toppings and 1 sauce. Additional veggies and sauces have an added cost. To start, diners choose from four options for their base, spring mix, brown rice, jasmine rice of rice noodles. Next is veggies, then protein (shrimp, tofu, beef or chicken) and finishing off with a sauce and toppings. I took full advantage of the lighter options and built my box with spring mix, charred sweet potato, lemongrass corn, chili lime shrimp, sweet chili lime sauce, topped with pickled veggies and crushed peanuts. One thing I would keep in mind when ordering is the number of peppers next to each ingredient. Staying true to southeast Asian flavours, Basil Box was not shy with spice. Although each of my ingredients only have one pepper or two peppers, they stacked to make each bite quite fiery.
Aside from the boxes made fresh to order, sides of mango salad, coconut soup, trail mix and macarons were also available. Macaron flavours were uniquely inspired, Thai Tea and Ginger Lime. Another attraction of Basil Box were their drinks, especially the creamy, rich Thai Iced Tea. The Passion Fruit Lychee Soda and Pineapple Rose Soda were also refreshing, not overly sweet with a subtle fruit flavour.