Lunch on the go? Bento is always the answer. The perfect balance of fun and fuel, this classic dish is as versatile as it is delicious. But why do we love it so much?
The beauty of this simple dish is that it can be crafted to include whatever flavours you feel like, giving you a meal that's not only perfectly portable, but also just what you fancy. Feeling virtuous? Lean Bento's choice of vegan options will leave you feeling great. Feeling fancy? Go for the teriyaki salmon option at Collin's Grille Bento. Feeling self-indulgent? Haru Haru's fried chicken bento is the perfect fusion of fast and fresh grub.
With all of these choices, we take a look at what makes bento so popular and give you a taste of some of the best options here in Singapore.
As versatile as they come
The beauty of bento is that it can be exactly what you need. A small afternoon snack, a super-healthy lunch or a fun lunchbox option for the kids. At its most basic, bento is simply a boxed meal of rice, meat and vegetables. But at its most complex and lovable, it's a chance for anyone to show off their artistic flare.
From the elaborate and incredible to the simple and elegant bento, believe us when we say it's amazing what you can do with a little rice and a lot of imagination. But it's not just for kids – big or small.
Although mostly known for its internet-famed cute designs, bento can be just as stunning for the grown-ups when it's the tastes – and not just the look – that does the talking. The simple base trio of carbs, protein and vegetables can be dressed to perfection with spice and flavour, without the need for all-out-decoration – though we think you're never too old for lunchtime fun.
Thinking inside the box
Despite its rise to recent internet fame, bento is not a modern phenomenon. In fact, its true origins are rooted deep within Japanese history. Way back in the Kamakura period, pre-cooked and dried rice, ready for simple rehydration, was created. This made the perfect base for meals on the go, and was soon a popular choice at tea parties. Crucially, it was during the 16th century that it was presented in wooden lacquered boxes, and the first iteration of bento was born.
Fast forward to the 1980s and bento made a comeback that's continued up to today. Transformed into a Pinterest sensation, the colourful designs of bento have driven the popularity of this packed lunch across the world today.
But as we all know, looks aren't everything.
If it's something fresh, healthy but full of flavour you're after, look no further than Lean Bento. With a menu that oozes virtuousness, Lean Bento offers up a no-frills, super-healthy option for everyone. From their earthy miso salmon and chicken teriyaki, to their vegetarian tempeh and chickpea option, the bento here will help you shine up that healthy halo.
Maybe you're after something with a little more finesse? We've scouted out Collin's Grille Bento's teriyaki salmon to whet your appetite. Fresh, tender teriyaki salmon matches perfectly with the fresh salad, miso soup and pearl rice in this bento dish. A wonderful combination of earth and sea, you'll find it hard to resist seconds here.
Or, if it's something truly indulgent you're looking for take a peek at Haru Haru's deep fried chicken bento. Certainly not the lightest of lunches, this sticky finger option had us drooling for days. And you can even finish off with green tea mochi to get your anti-oxidants up. After all, it's all about the balance.
Fancy bento but without the elbow grease? Let Deliveroo make life easy and get delicious dishes delivered straight to you.