New Openings: Basil Box Square One


"Live, love, eat" is the foundation and key message of The Basil Box - a Canadian company (not affiliated with Basil Box in Seattle) opening their first location in Square One's Food Central.

Local entrepreneur, founder and "Chief Basil" Peter Chiu travelled to Southeast Asia with his wife to immerse themselves in the culture and cuisine and found the flavours to be exciting, fresh, exotic and very different from what they were used in Canada. 

"We drew inspiration from our travels abroad while venturing down the bustling streets of Southeast Asia. We wanted to bring these vibrant colours, tastes, spices and aromas to North America. Our name is Basil Box. Basil is a prominent ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine. Box replicates the convenience of eating your meal in a portable and eco-friendly bagasse (sugarcane fibre) box," says Chiu in an email. 

A flagship full-service restaurant is in the works and scheduled to open at the end of the year in downtown Toronto and there are a number of other locations that will roll out over the next few years across the GTA. 

Grand opening Date: July 6, 2015

Unique for:
Healthy alternative offering numerous healthy combinations of Thai and Vietnamese ingredients that are gluten-free and vegan-friendly.


Food Menu: Build-your-own-box starting with a base (spring mix, chilled rice noodles, short grain brown rice, long grain jasmine rice). The next step is to add your veggies (lemongrass corn, sauteed peppers, roasted green beans, charred sweet potatoes) and then proteins (lemongrass chicken, chili lime shrimp, five-spice steak, coconut curry tofu). The finishing touches include your sauce (tangy tamarind, classic peanut, sweet chili lime, sizzlin' Sriracha, penang curry) and topping choices (crispy shallots, roasted sesame seeds, fresh herbs, crushed peanuts, Sriracha spiced pumpkin seeds, fresh Thai chilies). You can also order their refreshing mango salad or sweet mango rice parfait and their signature Chiang Mai Trail Mix - a unique blend of Southeast Asian fruits and nuts (spiced papaya, candied ginger toasted coconut, lime peanuts, lemon pumpkin seeds). It was an idea that originated from hikers who would make their own trail mix when trekking the popular region of northern Thailand.

Signature Drink: Thai iced tea made with GMO-free and fair trade certified cane sugar.

Drink Menu: You won't find big name pop brands at The Basil Box.

"We will not be serving any Coke or Pepsi, and find our customers are interested in more premium, healthier and unique drinks" says Chiu. Instead, you will find two hand-crafted sodas -- mango ginger ale and passion fruit leche -- made on-site which are GMO-free and made with cane sugar (also GMO-free) and are fair-trade certified (please leave highlighted I am waiting for confirmation on this detail). You will also find green tea made with organic honey and pure cane sugar, Boylan Bottling Co. sodas, Mash drinks and Good Drink Classic Bottle Tea's.

Why Mississauga? Mississauga (and Square One in particular) is in line with the generation Chiu had mentioned they'd like to cater to - the young, urban Gen X and Millennial professionals.

What's Up and Coming?
More locations as outlined above

Fast food

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