Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: Bento & Co.

I practically ran to the post office as soon as I heard.  My parcel from Bento & Co. had arrived!

Actually I drove (at the speed limit even).  The post office is rather a long distance from my house and most athletes take almost three hours to run that far over that many hills.  Driving is much faster.

This is one of two parcels I've ordered from them.  What happened is that a few days after they shipped this, they decided to have a sale (the blighters) and then I ended up ordering a bunch more.  The sale is on for another day or two.  There are some good deals there well worth having a look.

So, here is what I got and some first impressions:

Cooking chopsticks: very nice and well priced set of four chopsticks.  These are about two inches longer than I am use to for cooking chopsticks.  I thought at first this would be a problem, but once I tried them out, they actually feel quite nice in my stubby little hands.

Travel Chopsticks:  Now these are exactly my size.  I like short thin chopsticks for eating with.  I bought this so that I could try and learn the hiragana spelling of the words Itedakemasu (let's eat) and gochisosama (finished eating).  Although my spelling might be a bit off, I'm still learning.

The chopsticks fit very nicely in my hand, but I have small hands with stubby fingers.  It wouldn't fit a man's or large woman's hands.

I especially like how the case keeps the chopsticks from getting dirty or from getting everything else dirty.  This is going to be a regular part of my bento from now on.

Onigiri holder: This is going to be FANTASTIC.

The black area is a small compartment with a leek proof or almost leek proof lid, then on top of that you place one onigiri (rice ball).  It's the perfect snack container.

The look is like lacquered wood and feels a bit like it, but is obviously plastic.  We will see how it holds up.

I'm very fond of the little tabs and how snugly the whole thing fits together.  I can see this being used almost daily.

Silicon cups: two reusable cups, one red and one black for separating things in bento boxes.  These are a bit flimsy compared to the ones you usually find around here for baking, but they are the perfect size for bento dividers and I like the reusable aspect of them.  

And my favourite item, the one thing that inspired me to order from this shop...

It's Just Leftovers Bento Box:  the writing translates as 'I'm afraid it's just leftovers' which is basically what I use in my bento boxes anyway.  Although a bit larger than I usually use, I fell in love with the box the moment I saw it.

It's a two level box with optional divider section.  The leak resistant lid fits on the upper level and the divider will fit in top or bottom.  The elastic keeps everything together nicely.

First impressions is that this is going to fit A LOT of food.  Possibly more food than I can eat in a day.  But on those long term outings, you really do need lots to eat otherwise one gets tempted to go shopping.

I don't normally go for a plastic food container.  This and the onigiri holder above, are the first.  But I figured, I don't reheat food in the microwave (I use the microwave about once a year, and that's usually to melt butter) and since the food is cooled relatively quickly before adding the lid, I don't think I'll get too much plastic in my food.  I figured the joy of the box out weighs the detriments of using plastic and having a container that inspires me to make better and healthier food is always a good idea.

I'm very happy ordering from Bento & Co.  and will be doing so again in the future.  The shipping took 2 and a half weeks (which is faster than coming from Ontario) on the second to cheapest shipping.  I wouldn't have paid for the tracking if I had known the tracking is only useful while the parcel is still in Japan.  I should have read the fine print on that one.

Even with the cost of shipping, the products worked out the same price or less than buying them in town or from a Canadian shop.  Many of the products aren't available locally, so they also have that going for them.

I admit, I probably would have bought more if the yen wasn't so high.  But I am happy with what I did get and can hardly wait until tomorrow's bento.

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