By Tana Kosiyabong
Happy New Year everyone. For 18 months now, I have been executing over 80 Cheap Appetite missions to help you find cheap, good eats here in Vancouver. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. And I hope to carry on the future pursuits as long as I can. Thank you for your supports thus far.
My last week of 2010 was spent mostly on the couch watching “24,” season 1 and 2. The show is freakin’ addictive (even more so than the Wu Fung chicken wings). Fortunately a good friend mine came visit from out of town so I had a chance to go out and enjoy the city for a couple of days. After he left, I went back on to my “24” fix. Before I knew it, the 2010 had already passed. And I didn’t have any material to write for this week post.
“Dammit, I’m screwed,” I cursed as I reluctantly turned off the DVD player, dragged myself off the comfy couch and went on an undetermined mission. Soon enough, I found myself on the 500 block of Robson Street, one of the most culinary interest blocks of downtown Vancouver. It’s where the famous JapaDog, VietSub and Beard Papa located.
Since I have already written about VietSub and Beard Papa, and I wasn’t interested in writing about the now mainstream JapaDog, I decided to go with the restaurant next to it called Kushi Box. I have only tried their Spicy Tsukune box (chicken meatball with spicy miso) once.
On the front window, there were photos of their low-priced items such as Chicken Karaage box and Chicken Teriyaki box ($3.99 each). But the soft boiled egg in the Onion P-Toro box (Pork Toro with Onion Sauce and half (soft) boiled egg on rice – $5.99) had caught my attention. So I walked inside the Kushi Box and asked for the dish. While waiting, I then noticed a staff was grilling skewers on a big charcoal grill in front of the restaurant. It made me curious enough to order a Chicken Yakitori skewer (99 cents) on top of the P-Toro Box. Shortly after both orders were ready to pick up.
Since Kushi box had no indoor dining space, I went to sit at one of their outdoor tables. After a short photo session, it was time for the taste test.
The Chicken Yakitori was amazing. The smoky flavor from the charcoal grill had magically transformed a bland piece of chicken into a mount-watering piece of heaven. The marinated meat was still moist which meant it was not overcooked. Although Kushi Box’s Yakitori sauce was somewhat saltier and not as sweet as the typical sauce, it complimented the smoky chicken very well.
Next was the Onion P-Toro box. The pork was mildly smoky but somewhat dry. The onion sauce (as called by the restaurant) was very salty. And sadly the food only filled up to about half of the box. However, once mixed all the ingredients together, the dish became pleasantly balanced. The soft boiled egg helped subdue the salty onion. The delicious yolk added a wonderful flavor to the plain rice, and just enough moisture to the pork meat. I wish I knew to mix it from the start.
All in all, I would definitely go back to Kushi Box again for the Chicken Yakitori skewers. Eventually I also want to try all the skewer varieties, the $3.99 chicken karaage and chicken teriyaki boxes, and their Oden varieties (which are also well-priced). But for now it’s time I kick back and enjoy the third season of “24.”
Kushi Box Onion P-Toro Box: ©©©
Kushi Box Chicken Yakitori Skewer: ©©©©
NOTE: KUSHI BOX IS NOW CLOSED.
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