Bento & Co Review

10:44 PM

I recently taken an interest in bento boxes! Like I mentioned in my Testing Japanese Goodies post, you saw that I had a cheap lunch box bought from Ichibankan. I used that lunch box for a while and I noticed that the box didn't hold up to my expectations. I had a bad experience with the lid leaking, along with other problems. There was a time I microwaved food in the container (with the lid off) and I placed the lid back on (so I could drive to drive school) and the lid was completely stuck! I was so hungry, but the lid just would not budge. Also, I noticed that a strange smell lingered around the box even after I had thoroughly washed it.

So I set out on a quest to find a good bento box! I did some searching on Amazon, but mostly came up empty. A lot of the bento boxes I saw on Amazon were not dishwasher safe or can not be microwaved. I really wanted my purchase to count so I found the Japanese website Bento & Co. which specializes in selling bento boxes!

The two items that I purchased are: the Veggie Cup (bento divider) pictured on the left and the Square Lunch Black & Black bento on the right!

Veggie Cup ($5.50)
 ---  (4.5/5 Stars)
This is a veggie cup bento box divider! These little cups help hold on to sauce, small foods, and divide sections of your bento box! I like the design of these cups. It's really cute and adds a lot of color to the black bento box that I bought. I think the design is what really sold me on buying this product. 

I can not read Japanese. However, according to the informative pictures, I deduced that these veggie cups can be washed, hot foods can be stored in them, and it holds on to sauces. Also, I believe on the front of the packaging it says that these cups can be microwaved. This was a good selling point for me! I don't have to worry about taking out the dividers when I microwave my food! I can just pop them in without a problem.

Square Lunch Black & Black ($25.00)
 --- (5/5 Stars)
This is the one that I bought! The bento box by itself cost about $25.00 which really isn't a bad price. It is a two tiered lunchbox with a elastic strap to hold everything into place.

I like that this bento box is two tiered and has multiple lids. If I want to pack something small, I can just take one layer of the box and still have a lid to cover my food!

As you can see, there are three lids. The lids are NOT microwave safe! However, this isn't a problem for me because I always remove the lids before reheating. The two boxes where you actually store the food are microwave safe. On the website, it says that the bento box is dishwasher safe as well, but I usually just hand wash the box to ensure that the plastic keeps its color and shine.

For my first bento box creation, I decided to go for a simple Salad with Rice and Tamagoyaki! The bento boxes really aren't that big. The two tiers kind of makes me feel more full because it tricks my mind into thinking that I'm eating a lot when I'm really not. I think this really helps with portion control and sizing which is a struggle for me sometimes.

Here is the Rice and Tamagoyaki! 

If you didn't know, tamagoyaki is basically a Japanese omelette that has been rolled over on itself. In this bento, I kept it very plain and simple. I used two eggs some salt and pepper. It's the rolling technique which gives the tamagoyaki its shape. (Maybe I'll do a Cooking with Jackii tutorial in the future? We'll see~!)

As for the salad, I cut up some hearts of romaine (which is my favorite type of salad) and carrot sticks. You can not really see it in this photo, but the cherry tomatoes are resting on top of the veggie cups bento divider! It blends in perfectly with the hearts of romaine! As for the salad dressing, I took a small container from my Systema Salad To Go tupperware set and placed it into the box. 

My Overall Experience

So you might be wondering, why did you give three stars for Shipping and Delivery? Well, to be honest, I was bit dissatisfied with the way the shipping was handled. I like having tracking numbers for my packages whenever they are shipped from outside of my country. I live in the USA and there have been many times when my orders have "gone missing" or cannot be located because they did not have a tracking number. I feel like I have more peace of mind when there is a tracking number on my purchases. This ensures that I at least have some way of knowing who or where to contact if they go missing.

Bento & Co ships their items from Japan and on their website they ship worldwide. However, you are charged extra if you want a tracking number for your items. I paid $15.00 for 48 hour shipping with a tracking number. To my dismay, I did not receive my package within 48 hours. I was a little bit bummed out, but I do not fully blame Bento & Co. for the shipping process entirely. There are other factors that could've influenced shipping and delivery time. 

As a word of advice, I think it is wise to pay a little extra for a tracking number. However, just pay for the tracking number and not the 48 hour shipping. Chances are, you may not actually get it within that time period. 

Overall, I had a great experience shopping on the Bento & Co. website! I actually might go back and see what kind of new and exciting bento boxes they come out with next~!

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