I have a new bento box— compliments of our friends from JaponMania! They asked me to review their new “Keep Cool Palette” boxes and I of course I agreed. As a bento-nerd, I love talking about anything that has to do with bento boxes, bento-gear and bento shopping! Bring it on.
The first thing you probably noticed is that I did a charaben or kyaraben. I know, right? It’s not my usual approach for packing lunches… I’ll tell you more about this along with a special JaponMania discount later in this post.
What I like about this bento box- It has a top section that holds a gel pack! Freeze the gel pack ahead of time then place in its dedicated spot to keep your lunch cool until “bento time”. A good idea, especially for summer lunches which I will definitely put into action! The life-span of the gel will depend your own individual use. For us, we store our bentos in an insulated bag so by lunchtime the contents remained cool. I also liked that the gel pack didn’t freeze solid but remained flexible which made it easy to place in it’s holder.
For those who like their food warmed…it’s microwave safe minus it’s inner lids and gel pack. And for easy clean-up; dishwasher safe too, again without its inner lids and gel pack.
I”m glad that I got the cheerful lime-green color, but if you’re not a fan…it’s also available in beige, pink, white and orange. Another fun feature is the chopsticks and holder that fit snugly above the second tier—very handy!
This box holds a total of 510 ml ( upper 235ml / lower 275ml) which I think holds enough food for either an adult or older child’s lunch.
Further details and photos can be seen on the JaponMania site here.
A product review just doesn’t seem fair without any negative comments, but honestly there’s not much to dislike about this box. But if pressed, I would say that some may prefer a snap-lock style of box over the use of a bento-belt like the one that comes with this set. However, I don’t mind the belts at all and with two separate sections, I have the option to use only one tier.
Overall, a contemporary box that’s versatile; not too long or wide and will fit inside an average-sized lunch bag.
What’s up with the charaben?
As part of this sponsored post, I received this set of charaben cutters; something that I’ve been wanting for while. Longtime readers know that I don’t usually create kawaii-cute bentos…not because I don’t like them… it’s because I don’t have the skills. But I think I did okay by using these. They provided a variety of shapes to choose from; the best part—no small pieces.
Easy to use, clean, and store. No more fumbling around in the bento-gear drawer and no losing them down the kitchen drain either.
Comes with an instruction pamphlet but if you don’t read Japanese, the pictures are easy to follow. With this wheel-style cutter how could anyone resist giving charaben a try?
Using just some basic cuts, I was able to create the shapes for my kawaii bento featuring a hungry bear spying on some fish that he wants to eat for his own bento. There are a total of 18 shapes in this set— further information is here.
And speaking of their site—JaponMania has new shipping terms. Did you know that they offer free or flat rate shipping for some orders?
Yes, FREE shipping fees for order above 60€ and packages up to 2Kgs by registered economic airmail (SAL). And a flat rate for packages up to 2Kgs sent by registered economic airmail (SAL). At the current rate— that’s a bargain at only $5.83 US!
USD, GBP, CHF and EURO are all accepted and subject to change according to the exchange rate at the time of purchase. This can be easily determine by switching currencies on their site.
And there’s more.
You get a discount!
From July 5, 2011 through July 31, 2011 you get a 10% off coupon which can be redeemed against products from the bento boxes, bento accessories and furoshiki categories (except on products already discounted). Just use HAPABENTO10 to receive this discount on your order.
So what’s in today’s bento?
The bottom tier features inarizushi decorated with cute charaben details using my awesome new cutters. The top tier: baked salmon, simmered kabocha, sugar snap peas, broccoli, egg omelet blossom, snow peas, enoki mushrooms and tomatoes. All packed in my new “Keep Cool Palette” bento box then wrapped in this beautiful fish-themed furoshiki —also from JaponMania!