I have quite a habit of eating in weather-inappropriate places when the sun is shining in Edinburgh. I’m a great fan of spicy Indian food on occasions that more obviously lend themselves to a takeaway salad box to eat in the park, for example.
Having resisted the temptation to try 10 to 10 Delhi, on this particularly sunny day, I ventured all the way round the corner to the Red Box Noodle Bar, for some hot and spicy noodles. I could have been salvaged from silliness by opting for the takeout approach, but no, I was not to be denied in my pursuit of nonsense, so sat-in, instead.
Sitting in was actually a mistake on two counts. Not only would sunny noodling have been a great idea, but the interior of Red Box has seen many better days, and was decidedly grubby.
Their ordering process is quirky, but easy enough to navigate. You choose your noodles; then your meat, fish or veg; then accompanying vegetables; then a sauce. The efficient counter staff then magically combine these in a neat little red and white box, to give you a hot and tasty meal.
My selections were ramen noodles, beef, sugar snaps, bak choi, bean sprouts, and schezuan sauce. Extra chilli, garlic, ginger and spring onions were added to round out the flavour palette.
Within just a few minutes, my box of lunch was with me. After a moment or two to let things cool from volcanic to piping, I was tucking in. The beef wasn’t particularly tender or flavour-packed, but the rest of the elements came together to form a satisfyingly filling meal.
After steadily, but insistently wolfing my way through the box, consistently finding a range of tasty morsels mixed in with the noodles, throughout, I was soon on my way down the road, to catch a few more rays of sunshine before the inevitable return to my place of business.
So overall, Red Box served me a relatively pleasing lunch. It wasn’t outstandingly memorable, but it did the job quite nicely. For sure, it is better utilised as a takeout, until they take some time to reinvigorate the tired and worn interior. If you’re looking for something quick and filling, head to Red Box.
Blythe scores Red Box
3/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3/5 for service
2/5 for setting
giving an overall 11/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: beef ramen noodles with schezuan sauce
I drank: water
I wore: blue linen suit
Total bill: £5.40