Lunch can be a drab affair, especially with modern working where, if you're like me, you can probably be found hunched over your desk during your break, trying to squeeze in some e-mails and probably failing to not spill food over your keyboard.

Japanese bento lunch boxes are one way to avoid the monotony of lunchtime. I've found the process of creating and then unpacking a bento lunch box, even if you don't have fancy fillings inside (I rarely do), makes you much more appreciative of your lunch. I reviewed some of my lunch boxes before, but thought I'd review two new lunch boxes that I've been using a lot recently.

I was given this My Neighbor Totoro lunch box as a gift and it's probably my favourite lunch box so far. That's because I've got a weak spot for anything to do with Studio Ghibli, but also because the layout of the containers have really been well thought out and it is incredibly well-made and sturdy. There are two small containers, suitably sized for fruit and snacks, and a larger thermos bowl for hot/cold foods. I've only used it for cold pasta salads which I've found keep suitably cool by lunchtime. I haven't tried it with hot food yet but I don't think it would struggle to keep food hot for a few hours. The lunch box also comes with a super kawaii fork which is really useful if you're having pasta or salad.

This lunch box is small, so if you like a big lunch it's probably not for you, but it is perfect as a kid's lunch box.

I was also lucky to be gifted this stackable Hello Kitty lunch box. There are three sections, which you turn and lock together, meaning you can use either one, two or all three containers. The top lid has a handle which is really convenient for carrying around and flashing to other people, who may wonder what on earth a grown woman is doing with a (super cute) Hello Kitty lunch box.

This lunch box is quite small so I only really use it for fruit and vegetable snacks when travelling for work (it's not suitable for hot food) but like the Totoro lunch box it is a perfect size for a kid's lunch box.

(Similar stackable bento boxes here and here)

I used to have a Starbucks thermos tumbler for drinks at work. During one of my many clumsy moments I dropped it and it cracked open. I can be quite particular about my lunch things, and having broken my very reliable and perfectly sized tumbler, it took me a long time before I found a replacement that was:

a) the right size. Large thermoses are just too cumbersome and I don't want unnecessary weight when carrying a laptop, books and papers etc.

b) insulated enough to be able to keep drinks warm for a good amount of time

c) completely leak proof

When I say it took me a long time, I mean a good couple of months searching on the internet and browsing around stores. I stumbled across this thermos at Morrisons completely by accident. It was on sale for £3 (yes three whole British pounds!) It's the perfect, perfect size, probably about a mug and a half in volume, comfortable and easy to hold, but small enough to pop in my bag. 

It's well insulated and keeps drinks really hot for at least two hours, and it is completely and utterly leak proof with a flip-open lid. I am so happy with this flask that I went back to the store I originally bought it from and bought another at the full price of £4, as I was paranoid that if it ever broke I'd never be able to find something as good as this again. I might even go back and buy a third one as I'm still quite surprised at what a find this was and at an unbelievably cheap price, considering there are some very fancy and expensive thermoses on the market.

Mama Wok has been on holiday to Canada and always stops by Daiso when she is there (insert rant about Daiso not having a store in the UK). Apparently I have all the Bento boxes Daiso makes but she did buy some things which I'm looking forward to trying out in the future.

The mini grater is about the size of my palm and is for grating citrus fruits. I'm not sure how it would handle anything more robust like cheese as the spikes are really quite tiny. 

The vegetable cutters are three different flower shapes, much like the kind of vegetable shapes you see when you eat out at Chinese restaurants. I'll be swapping my daily carrot sticks for carrot flowers going forward.

The scooper is also minuscule and if you can see in the image above is apparently good for making fruit mushrooms (if I ever master this you can expect to see this in future Pop and Wok recipes!)


We've had a bit of a break from posting recipes due to work commitments but we'll be back very soon with some new recipes and videos. Thanks for visiting!