Product Review: Bento Lunch Box by Black + Blum
As I said, I LOVE bento, which means I also love bento boxes! I have a fondness for containers in general, but bento boxes are in a class all their own. I have seen everything from the cartoon-y Hello Kitty bento boxes marketed for very small children (and college girls who want to be adorable), to some very sleek, modern styles marketed for professional businessmen.
I had a wonderful friend even send me a couple of bento boxes and accessories right from Singapore – I cannot tell you how freakin’ excited I was to get THAT package in the mail!
So in my grand search to find the perfect bento box, I discovered a set from Black + Blum. Researching their other products, they have a style reminiscent of IKEA – clean, simple and functional. Since I am a fan of ReUseIt, a website dedicated to reusable, recycle-able or otherwise environmentally conscious products, I chose to purchase the small and large lunch boxes from them (hint: they do run sales).
While waiting for my new bento boxes to arrive, I decided to read reviews about them. I was very glad I did, because there were some complaints. Some people were upset that the clear top of the box got scratched and became opaque, others found that even putting the items on the top rack of a dishwasher caused some warping, and others greatly disliked how the side tabs broke off and rendered the product useless.
I’ll admit, I was a little worried. Had I fallen for the pretty packaging and would I be left with a worthless product and less money in my pocket?
Then they arrived. For a couple of weeks I just left them on my shelf, admiring the design and cleanliness of them, and afraid to use them for fear of wrecking them.
Yeah, I was afraid to use them. I’m a moron like that sometimes.
But when I started really getting into learning how to make sushi rice properly, there came the realization that I could do something similar with my 11 year old daughter’s lunches. I wasn’t feeling confident enough to try packing her sushi for lunch (well, onigiri really since sushi obviously has to be made fresh and and consumed quickly), so I made wraps and sliced them like sushi…
Bologna in a wrap, a few carrot sticks and broccoli, and the little sauce pot had veggie dip. Yeah, it’s wasn’t spectacular by any artistic means, but she LOVED IT. The container made her feel so sophisticated, and for about 2 weeks straight she didn’t use anything else but this container.
Each afternoon I made sure to get it back from her, hand-washed it (I have no dishwasher anyway) with the soft side of the sponge, and let it air dry in the dish drain. Easy!
There was one time that my daughter neglected to remember where she put it. She swore she had it in her hand when she left school, but it was nowhere to be found. After two days she finally pulled everything out of her backpack and discovered it at the bottom, with one of the side clips popped off.
I was devastated! I read reviews where that had happened to other people and it was useless afterward.
Except, apparently the company read the same reviews I did and did a little REDESIGN, and I was one of the people with the new design! Once I cleaned all the pieces (I remember the soy sauce… everywhere), it was a simple matter of popping the clip back on. Simple, easy, and no problems.
REVIEW SUMMARY: I freakin’ LOVE this bento box! It looks small, but once you pack it with food, it really is just the right amount.
I also have the large version (below), but have not used it extensively yet. The smaller one is perfect for tightly packed food (noodles, sushi, etc), the larger would work great for lighter, more airy foods like salads so people who are into portion control can put them to the best use. Enjoy!