The Noodle Box is one of those places that suit me quite well. While casual and affordable, it is focussed in it's offering with enough authenticity not to be mall food and great variety to keep you returning. This place sort of reminds me of, in concept, of the Soup only place Vancouver could thoroughly benefit from having. I.e. no muffins or sandwiches or tangential accoutrements. Just Soup. And in this case, Noodles in a number of Asian genres: Indonesian, Japanese, Chinese, Thai...
Your order is Wok fried on the spot to order in their open concept kitchen. You can select your preferred heat level from their little heat chart. I normally get 'Hot'. It is pretty hot. I would not recommend most of you get hot, if I think it's pretty hot. That means it's very hot for most others. They use fresh chopped bird's eye Thai chilies for the heat. I made the mistake of ordering Extra Hot once, waded past all the admonishments flagged by the staff and spent that painful meal pretending I was okay with it.
I ordered the Indonesian Spicy Peanut Noodles today. It is light, thin rice noodles like the ones you find in Phad Thai, in a Peanut Sauce with a some veg... not alot. There was the general idea of the intention of vegetables but really there was probably 1/4 cup of Bok Choy stems and two pieces of bell pepper. Which was odd since I ordered the vegetarian option. There was sufficient Tofu though as well as Beansprouts on top. The sauce was pretty horrible. It was as thick as Peanutbutter. I thought about sprinkling water on it to loose it it up but thought people would think it was because I ordered the 'Hot'. Plus, I should not have to add water to my noodles. Anyhoo, it made it difficult to eat from both a palate perspective as well as purely functional. The noodles clung to each other wrapped in the gluey sauce. It tasted alright and if not for the extra kick I ordered, it may have been a bit bland. It would have benefitted from a bit more Garlic.
All in all, not the best visit to the Noodle Box but it was not the worst. Peanut Sauce is tricky and the cooks need to taste to ensure the right balance. My re-visits are not turning out well at all but this was better than Reef revisit.
Location: Easy access East, North and West on 4th
The Noodle Box
1867 W 4th Ave
Vancouver, BC V6J