Review: Do it the Japanese way at Box n Sticks

Author's Note: I recently visited the Singapore Food Festival 2011 to do a media coverage of the event. It struck me just how diverse the selection of food we get in Singapore is, which is something a lot of us take for granted. This is evident in the selection of food we have already reviewed and it is always a pleasure being able to ask friends, "cuisine?" when asked for a suggestion of where to eat. Today, the spotlight turns to Nippon.

Bentos, really, are quite symbolic of the Japanese food culture. Bursting to popularity with the explosion of kaiwaii (cute) designs used in their food preparation, the oblongs promises a deluge of good food, which are always welcomed at the dining table. Hence, Box n Sticks at Aliwal Street is pretty aptly named for the cuisine it serves (make a smart guess!).

The spot is located within a row of shophouses which offers a variety of eating joints and has a charming wall painted with pictures stylistically Japanese to the T - cutouts of a Geisha. That is about it for its decor but It is lovely minimalism like this that we at CTP are honestly suckers for!

It was a terribly hot day so we were happy to both settle for Iced Green Tea.

Because we know people love promotions, we'll let word out that Box n Sticks offers a good selection of lunch sets which includes a starter, a main and a drink. We decided to get two lunch sets to share. For starters, we had the Wafu Salad and the Cold Tofu. Safe, good and system cleansing start to the meal. With food selection like this which is both delicious and healthy, it is little wonder how Japanese women can stay so slim.

For mains, Michelle had Grilled Teriyaki Chicken with Onigiri. Isn't Onigiri the cutest dish ever and thoroughly romanticized through Japanese comics and cartoons? Camy shamelessly lapped up a bit of this kaiwaiiness by stealing one of Michelle's Onigiri while she wasn't looking. (I'm kidding, I did ask politely!) The Lovely Waitress cum Co-Owner told us Buta Kakuni (Braised Pork Belly) with Onigiri is really popular too!

Camy was feeling indulgent (oh, when are we ever not!) and picked the Salmon Mentaiko Carbonara on the recommendation of the lovely Waitress cum Co-Owner. For the uninformed, Metaiko is the roe of Pollock Fish. It sounds gross but Mentaiko is the holy grail of Japanese food indulgence and is used on many dishes or even eaten simply with rice. Naturally, pairing it with the creamy sauce of French food indulgence made sure we were happy satiated.

We also had the Chawanmushi. You may think you can't really go wrong with the chawanmushi but I have had chawanmushi that was really mushi and in the terrible sense. Be glad to hear that the dish is a silky custardy goodness at Box n Sticks! All orders arrived swiftly and it was a happy sight seeing so many well-prepared food together on a table just waiting for you to ingest them.

The service at Box n Sticks is personable (the owners themselves take on this role) and very friendly. The lovely ladies even extended a complimentary Tiramisu on the house. We'll save the words but just tell you that the dessert here is a Must Try.

We enjoyed our meal at Box and Sticks and have been enthusiastically introducing the spot to friends despite the tongue-twister of a street name. Enticed? Please be! And when you drop by the place, do say hi with love from CTP.

Box n Sticks
14 Aliwal Street Relocated to 28 Khandahar Street
Near Sultan Mosque
Tel: +65 6396 4223

(Photoset by GreenTeaFields & words by PlentyOfPretty. See Flickr.)


  1. the writer must be really in ''love''. Note how many times ''lovely waitress cum cum co-owner'' was used in the article.

  2. Oooh hi colin! I was using it as a "name" for the lady, noticed I capitalized the phrase? ;)

    But in any case, I have to admit I overuse 'lovely' as a description in real life too. It's nice to be a little more in "love" with the world, ain't it? <3

  3. hi 365! we agree, it's so literal but yet so right! - M.