Spiced tilapia with yoghurt on mustard, fennel, and celery root; tamarind soaked pork belly with minted watermelon and cucumber; kale bundle stuffed with peppers, squash, cabbage, mustard seeds and coconut; and brown basmati rice with caramelized spices and curry leaves.

The cakes at the Red Tea Box have a reputation for being more beautiful than tasty, but the savoury food is spot on.  My favourite thing to order are the bento boxes, which enable you to taste a full range of the chef’s capabilities.  There are always two or three of these on the menu as well as a daily special bento box, and I have never been less than dazzled by any of them.

The tilapia in the bento box pictured above was unlike any I have had before–it was sweet, with a slightly chewy texture similar to candied salmon, and pairing it with the crunchy fennel slaw was out of this world. The spiced rice was sublimely aromatic and filled with cardamom pods and flavourful curry leaves. The pork belly was salty and sweet and curiously refreshing with minted watermelon and cucumber. And the kale bundle was to die for; perfectly cooked and filled with coconuty curried vegetables.

This was accompanied by a fresh salad of mixed greens with a lovely lemongrass dressing, bread with  fava bean hummus, and a steaming pot of any one of their long list of wonderful teas.  I had the bergamot lemon balm sage, which came with a tasty little cookie on the side.

This is a great place to come for a late lunch or afternoon tea.


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