Box N Sticks

January 25, 2016 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Box N Sticks
28 Kandahar Street

https://www.facebook.com/boxnsticks/


Furikake Onigiri (SGD $5.80 Set)



Tasty Bento Boxes & Kushiyaki Skewers

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 5
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 8
Value for Money: 6
Spent about SGD $40 per person.


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Founded in December 2010, Box N Sticks is a home-styled Japanese Izakaya, an informal, after work, casual drinks and tapas place. This hole-in-the-wall shop is incredibly popular, Box N Sticks is typically crowded most evenings! They're known for their wide variety of Japanese alcohol, as well as made to order small bites from the kitchen team headed up by Chef Bram Lim.

Ambience at Box N Sticks resembles the traditional izakaya / kushiyaki bars of urban Tokyo, in the Kanto region of Japan. The small, cramped, dimly lit interior has functional, but not too comfortable, wooden furniture packed closely together. There is a sense of street chaos here, traditional lanterns and knick knacks line the wall, colourful flags strung across the ceiling, faux trees sit in the corners, while the open kitchen is designed to resemble a street side stall. The place is noisy and bustling, transporting diners to the back alleys of urban city life in Japan.

Service at Box N Sticks is good. Staff are courteous and friendly, quick to greet and seat guests upon entry. They display good product knowledge, able to briefly describe the menu, as well as individual dishes if asked. Waiting time for orders is longer than usual, about 15 - 20 minutes or so, as food is only prepared upon order. I note that staff are efficient, quick to clear away empty / dirty tables or plates. The tableside service is good as well, upon serving, staff will help to arrange the table for plates, as well as inform diners the best way to consume each dish.

Food at Box N Sticks is all about Japanese cuisine. As their name suggests, lunch is mainly bento boxes set meals, while dinner is kushiyaki skewers and drinks. As a tapas / snack place, their small plates are suitable for both individual or communal dining, with decent portion sizes. I find taste of their food to be delicious, each bite has good flavour, and you can tell they've put effort into perfecting each dish. Prices are slightly more expensive than elsewhere, so be prepared to splurge if dining here. Budget about SGD $40 per person for a decent meal with 1 drink.


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They seem to have a liking for the nine tailed fox / fox spirit, as it's showcased in a prominent centerpiece wall mural / painting. The menu is extensive, and allows for repeat visits.

Box N Sticks Exterior


Box N Sticks Interior


Box N Sticks Counter


Seating


Nine Tailed Fox


Menu Drinks


Menu Lunch


Menu Dinner


Menu Dinner



They offer the Beer Asahi Super Dry Draft (SGD $8) on tap here, quite a decent price for a mug!

Beer Asahi Super Dry Draft (SGD $8)



The Umeshu Wakayama San-Choku (SGD $8) is a sweet, slightly citrus, ume plum sake, served chilled. Love the refreshing, sweet, tangy taste! It can be served as either an aperitif or a digestif.

Umeshu Wakayama San-Choku (SGD $8)



The Shiitake Mushroom Shioyaki (SGD $2.40) feature a trio of tender, soft whole shiitake mushrooms, seasoned with salt and lightly grilled. It still has a semi-moist texture, with an earthy, savoury salty taste, but I find it rather expensive. Loved the Sweet Corn Teriyaki (SGD $1.40), which has a half kernel of fresh corn on the cob, lightly grilled and dressed with teriyaki sauce. It has a crunchy, juicy texture, with a sweet, floral, savoury taste.

Skewers - Shiitake Mushroom Shioyaki (SGD $2.40), Sweet Corn Teriyaki (SGD $1.40)


Skewers - Shiitake Mushroom Shioyaki, Sweet Corn Teriyaki



The perfectly moist and juicy Beef Gyu Niku Pineapple (SGD $8.80) has tender, savoury beef cubes, along with juicy pineapples, pairing so well together. Highly recommended! The Chicken Yakitori Oroshi Ponzu (SGD $2.80) features tender and fresh chicken with a clean taste, topped with a zesty grainy daikon radish and lemon juice sauce. Loved the sharpness of the Pork Belly Butabara Wasabi Mayo (SGD $3.80) with its tangy wasabi mayonnaise that has a good bite, complementing the savoury fatty pork belly that has a hint of smoky aroma.

Skewers - Beef Gyu Niku Pineapple (SGD $8.80), Chicken Yakitori Oroshi Ponzu (SGD $2.80), Pork Belly Butabara Wasabi Mayo (SGD $3.80)


Skewers - Beef Gyu Niku Pineapple, Chicken Yakitori Oroshi Ponzu, Pork Belly Butabara Wasabi Mayo



Felt the Chicken Meat Ball Tsukune (SGD $4.80) was overly salty, and the meat was loosely packed, though I commend the effort needed to hand make this. The Quail Egg Uzura Bacon (SGD $3.80) was nice, with a thin, smoky salty slice of bacon wrapped around a yummy quail egg. Good!

Skewers - Chicken Meat Ball Tsukune (SGD $4.80), Quail Egg Uzura Bacon (SGD $3.80)


Skewers - Chicken Meat Ball Tsukune, Quail Egg Uzura Bacon



Absolutely loved the unique Sweet Potato Koroke (SGD $4), with its crisp, breaded exterior, and soft, sweet, grainy interior! Made with a vibrant purple Okinawan sweet potato, it's served with a tangy sour plum and mayonnaise dipping sauce. Highly recommended!

Sweet Potato Koroke (SGD $4)


Sweet Potato Koroke



The fresh, whole Prawn Ebi Mentai Mayo (SGD $6.80) is deliciously sweet and moist, with a clean taste. But I feel it's rather expensive, and not worth ordering.

Prawn Ebi Mentai Mayo (SGD $6.80)


Prawn Ebi Mentai Mayo



Loved the sweet savoury salty pieces of Unagi Tempura (SGD $6.80), which is meaty in texture with a light, crisp batter. Good enough to eat on its own, though the dipping sauce for dunking is also provided. Also goes well with white rice. Good!

Unagi Tempura (SGD $6.80)


Unagi Tempura



The Miso Soup (SGD $5.80 Set) and Furikake Onigiri (SGD $5.80 Set) are served as a set. The miso soup has generous amounts of seaweed, silken tofu, and some straw mushroom caps, and the taste is savoury without being too salty. Made with good quality miso stock. The onigiri rice balls are tightly packed, and carry good savoury smoky flavour, while the sprinkings lend some fragrance and crunch for texture. Love how good this is!

Miso Soup (SGD $5.80 Set)


Furikake Onigiri (SGD $5.80 Set)



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