There have been quite a few interesting restaurants opening up near where I work downtown, which has been tempting me to neglect my packed lunch so I can try all the goodies around me. Louis and Jae alerted me to the opening of Kushi Box one day and since I had only brought a small lunch, I decided to supplement it with something from Kushi Box. Once we arrived inside, I discovered that it was actually the fast-food version of Zakkushi, my favourite place to go for yummy Japanese charcoal skewers. This place is so new that they don’t even have a sign on the outside yet!
I decided to order some takoyaki and oden to go with my already packed lunch. The takoyaki was pretty standard tasting and there was a generous heaping of bonito flakes on top.
I decided to have a piece of the ikamaki oden (squid with fish cake) as well. This came in a little styrofoam cup and I thought the broth and the fishcake were quite flavourful. However, I found the squid a bit dry as if it had been boiled in the soup for too long.
Realizing that what I had at Kushi Box was not what they were known for, I went back a few days later to try one of their combos. This time, I ordered the terikyaki chicken box with spicy miso. I also opted to add 2 pieces of kushi and some miso soup for an extra $3. The regular teriyaki chicken was quite tasty and came with a side of spicy miso sauce so I could make it as spicy as I wished. I enjoyed the extra kick from the spicy miso so used quite a bit of it to go with my chicken. My only complaint here was that there was less meat than I expected.
The uzura maki (quail eggs) skewer was very tasty. The quail eggs came wrapped in a small piece of bacon which had a great charcoal flavour to it and the eggs themselves were cooked jus enough.
The cashier told me that the P-Toro was pork cheek but after biting into it, it seemed more like pork belly to me. I guess one of us must be confused. In any case, the fattiness of the pork really picked up the charcoal flavour and it went very well with the green onion and ginger mixture spread on top.
Normally, miso soup isn’t much to report on but the version we got was actually little packets that we dumped into a styrofoam cup and added water. It was surprisingly tasty for what it was and it even had little pieces of fried tofu in it.
Overall, I quite enjoyed Kushi Box. It’s a nice change from the usual restaurants around where I work and I would definitely come back for lunch. Note that there are no tables inside so it is take-out service only.
520 Robson Street, Vancouver