Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Box Appetit Review

One of the bento items that I received for Christmas was this curious version of a bento box. It was entitled "Box Appetit". It is quite different from any other bento box that I own and I was very excited about trying it out for the first time. But I felt that I needed to make a special lunch for this unique box and spent some time thinking and planning.

It seemed to me that the box called out for noodles. It had to be a recipe that I'd never made before. And because I rarely get a chance to make food that is as spicy hot as I like it, it's hard for me to settle on one thing because I end up wanting to make everything! Finally, I decided and made a special trip to Earthfare to acquire the ingredients that I needed.

In the bento: The main part of the bento was filled with Spicy curry noodles which had yellow and red peppers, onion, carrots and baby bok choy and had a scattering of peanuts on top. On the left side were three slices of coconut curry tempeh and three fried slices of purple potato. The other side had quick cucumber pickles. In the triangular compartment were two hot pepper and jap chae dumplings, some Z crackers - cumin and cayenne flavored, a halved cherry tomato and a wedge of lemon.

This is a huge box. It actually reminds me more of styrofoam take-away boxes than of bento boxes. In fact, the resemblance is quite striking, right down to the sloping sides! It was easy to fill, but it took a lot of food.

Pros - I enjoyed using the sauce dish that is built into the lid. It was perfect for dipping my dumplings into soy sauce. The triangular containers are neat and fun to use! The lids seemed secure enough that I might try some soup or saucy curry in the large one sometime. The small triangular container is meant for sauces which is really awesome if you're a hot sauce loving person like me :D

Cons - It's huge. And because of the size and the shape I couldn't find a good way to carry it. None of my bags would fit it and none of my furoshiki were large enough to wrap it. So I ended up having to cart it by hand. This wasn't a big deal but it was a bit inconvenient. The special fork holder on the outside of the lid seems like a good idea but actually gave me the heebie jeebies since I didn't have a bag or wrap for it to go into. I could just imagine the fork picking up germs from random things that could possibly touch it while I was on the go.

All in all I think that I will prefer to keep this as a fun dish for eating in at home, but not for using to make bentos. I will also be taking it along whenever we eat out and I know that I'll be bringing home leftovers. Filling it up at the restaurant will save the environment and also make it easy for me to just pull out and dig in the next day!


Anonymous said...

Hi, I just wanted to write in to respond to this. I am Dan Black, half of black+blum. Martin Blum and myself designed the box appetit. Although the box appetit can be used for sushi / bento, it was not only designed for this. It was also aimed at people who take salads to work (or even last nights leftovers). We have though just launched a bento box which I think you would like. Please see the below link We have also just launched a new lunchpot which you can also see on our website. To Bento Anarchy...if you would like to review either of these products, please email us and we will be pleased to send you samples.

Natakiya said...

Hi, thanks for responding! It is fantastic to know that black+blum has a new bento box, thank you for the link. I would be delighted to review it and the lunchpot.

Anonymous said...

Hi Natakiya, do you want to email me your address and I will get these sent out to you. My address is
Kind regards

CatAnne said...

That thing is massive. That's one thing that annoyed me when I was in school. All the lunch boxes and containers where just as big as my backpack. One reason I like Bentos.

A cute idea would be to pack it full of items for two. Like a trip out with your partner, to a park or something. Just an idea. :D

Anonymous said...

Hi I bought one of each size of the Box Appetit and both leak.
Dont put anything in them like soup.
Love the look but just as leaky as most containers.
Watch out for the lining of your bag.

Natakiya said...

Exactly, CatAnne! I have been using it for picnics and parties. It works great and I'm enjoying it. I like the new bento version a whole lot.

Natakiya said...

Hmmm, I'm sorry to hear that you've had leakage problems with them. :( I've never tried putting soup in one of the Box Appetits, but I've put noodles with sauces and curry rice and had no problems.

Anonymous said...

I purchased four bento boxes a few months ago so I could use them in rotation for my lunch at work. The size is perfect, fits into my bag well, and no leakeage problems so far even with soupy lunches.

However, there seems to be a major manufacturing flaw as the hinge holding the clip on the lids is easily fractured. This week the third of my four boxes broke, just closing the clasp the handle fell off. Having said that the agent I purchased these from online has been fantastic and has so far fully replaced the two broken boxes so far. The last replacement apparently now has a reinforced clip so I hope that these ones last a bit longer, as I really love the box.

Philbo said...

I love the box appetit, especially as I have bought the bag to go with it. So good in fact that I bought my girlfriend box and bag too.
However, between us we have had four hinges break, both the hinges with the "male" part on the closer and those with the male part on the lid. This really spoils a great product. Because of my experience I have been super cautious about closing the things. I ensure I press down before clipping and am very careful, and still three of mine have broken, the last one five minutes ago.
I would have recommended the box to friends and family, but now would expect them to break, so wont. It's all a bit of a shame,.

Maya said...

I am really upset because I love this box but today one of the hinges broke. i feel deflated to go back to a standard lunch box now. I should have listened to my colleagues and boyfriend and stuck with the standard from Robert dyas which you always expect to break but never do.

Anonymous said...

I'm doing a project on black+blum. If you could take a moment to fill out my survey I would be very appreciative. Thank you!