Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Box Appetit Bento Review

A while ago I posted a review of the Box Appetit that I was given during the Holidays. Not long thereafter I was contacted by Black+Blum, the maker of the Box Appetit. There were willing to send me one of their new line of bento boxes to try out and review. To say that I was excited is way too tame! I waited as patiently as I could for it to arrive in the mail. Being patient is not one of my stronger characteristics so this was very difficult for me.

It arrived the day of my daughter's Taekwondo tournament. I couldn't open it right away because I was driving. But I insisted on carrying it into the tournament with me so that I could open and admire it during some of the inevitable downtime between matches. This box is so sleek and elegant and I couldn't wait to give it a whirl. Fast forward to the next day...

The very first thing I tried was testing it out to see which of my bento bags it might fit into easily. This is standard operating procedure for me whenever I get a new bento box. It's much better to try this out before a box is full of food! In this case it was also a necessary step since the size of the original Box Appetit made it impossible to fit into a bento bag and that was my largest reservation about using it as a bento box. Luckily the bento version fit perfectly into my five main carrying bags.

Again I filled the box mostly with spicy hot noodles which are a particular weakness of mine. It is deeper than most other bento boxes and I was surprised by the amount of noodles that I could pack into it. As with the other box, there is a lovely little sauce container and what I'm enjoying calling a 'sauce-well'. (You know - kind of like an inkwell in an old timey desk set?) These two features are extremely happy making and are unique to these boxes. In this trial run I used the sauce-well in the lid for dipping my tofu into sriracha, yum!
Above all, the thing that makes me happiest about this box is the way it fits into my hand. I know that is a strange thing to say about a bento box, but it's true. Seriously. When I make a bento for myself I'm usually eating it in a location like a tournament, convention or on a hike where there is no table and I end up holding the box to eat out of it. It was such a blissful feeling to hold in my hand that I insisted my friend give it a try too. It just feels downright natural to hold in one hand while using a fork (or chopsticks) in the other.

Pros: I keep mentioning the sauce container and sauce-well because I think they are ingenious. I'm very pleased at the size of the box, I was originally worried that it would not fit any bags and be difficult to carry. It's very handy! (Please excuse the bad pun.) Another plus is that it was very easy to clean with no tough-to-scrub corners.

Cons: Again, the fork holder is on the outside of the box. I still have a little bit of an issue with this and prefer to use utensils that travel in a container of some sort. However, the box does fit into bags which protect the fork so it's a lot less of an issue for me than with the larger version.

In the bento: Coconut curry udon noodles with squash, zucchini, onion and tomatoes in half. The other half held a Heaven and Earth Tempura Pancake, Purple potatoes on a bamboo skewer with a sweet soy dressing and sesame seeds, plum slices and lots of tiny tofu circles. The sauce container held sriracha.

The Heaven and Earth Tempura Pancake is a recipe from the Kansha cookbook by Elizabeth Andoh. The recipe for the Potatoes with sweet soy dressing is from the Everyday Harumi cookbook by Harumi Kurihara.


Bentobird said...

Cocunut curry udon? YUM! What a great idea, I'd love to try that. Such a tasty bento :D

OhayoBento said...

Those noodles are making my mouth water! They look sooooo good! Nice review of the bento box! I hate it when my boxes don't fit into my bags, such a pain.

Natakiya said...

Thank you, Bentobird! It was delicious, I love those noodles :)

Natakiya said...

Thanks, Heather!! They are definitely happy making noodles for spice lovers! Maybe one day I'll get around to posting my recipe, lol.

Kristen said...

We have just recently started to carry the Black+Blum line at Kir so I'm so happy hear you found their new design to be so wonderful. I just fell in love with it and am also looking forward to the new bento pot they have coming out this summer!

Natakiya said...

I really have fallen in love with it, Kristen. A-chan wanted to use it but it's totally mine, all mine!