Category Archives: Reviews

Bento Tool Review – Lunch Punch Cutters

Seen this before?

Lunch Punch Match and Munch

Lunch Punch Match and Munch

I have always wanted to own Lunch Punch Puzzle set (the official name is Lunch Punch Match & Munch), totally glad to be blessed with a set to “play with”. 😛  Actually, it wasn’t me who was playing with it, but my daughter.

My daughter  first used the edible marker to draw on the bread, followed by cutting the bread into the various ‘puzzle pieces’ using the cutter.  According to the seller, one trick for the cutter is to use it on a flat surface, press down, twist and turn just a little, to cut through bread.

Daughter drew and cut

Daughter drew and cut

My daughter then had fun fixing her own puzzle pieces together 😀  She drew and made the rabbit one, while I made the other puzzle.

Had fun fixing the "puzzle pieces" together

Had fun fixing the “puzzle pieces” together

Bread Puzzles!

Bread Puzzles!

And of course, the best part is to eat them 😛 (oops, the pieces were upside down :P)

Daughter enjoyed munching the puzzle pieces :P

Daughter enjoyed munching the puzzle pieces 😛

More complicated puzzle designs can be done using the other 2 cutters, with instructions that is easily available on simplethots’ website..

4 x 4 puzzle bread

4 x 4 puzzle bread

What I love about the Lunch Punch Match and Munch

It’s BPA free.  My main issue with most bento tools is that they are not BPA free.  It was a pleasant surprise to read from the local supplier’s website that they are BPA free!

Another wonderful thing about these cutters is that they make the plain sandwich making really fun and interesting.  Provides great bonding time between the children and parents, especially if your child has an artistic flair, drawing on a ‘bread canvas sheet’ will certainly entice them to eat more 😉

There are also other designs available.  Check them out at simple thots !!!

Good news!  It’s the Great Singapore Sale!!!!

I was just been told that there is a promotion for these cutters!!! Woo hoo!!!!  Check out the Singapore promotion here:

Lunch Punch Great Singapore Sale Promotion at ToTT

The not so good side

For bringing to school, I wonder if my daughter will have the time to eat and fix the puzzle 😛  Oh well, probably not for packing to school.  Great for a relaxing picnic at the park, or just bonding time at home.

The size of the cutter is also slightly smaller than a normal slice of bread, which will gives breadcrumbs. This is especially so when making the bigger 4 x 4 puzzle.

The size of the cutter compared to Sunshine bread

The size of the cutter compared to Sunshine bread

However, such problem is not new to bento-making and can be overcome by using the breadcrumbs to make other yummy food.  Eg, some bento’ers use the sides to make garlic/furikake breadsticks, while others make bread pudding.  Bakeries are also selling bread loaves that are of smaller sizes, so this may not be a big issue. 🙂

Happy Puzzling 🙂

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Bento Book Review : akinoichigo 2010 and 2012

It’s school holidays here in this part of the world!!  So not been doing bento.  I do miss bento-making, but have no time.  But I also don’t want my blog to be so quiet.  So here’s something I hope will be helpful for my readers : bento book review.

Here are the two books by Akinoichigo that I’m going to write about 🙂

akinoichigo 2010 and 2012

akinoichigo 2010 and 2012

My sister in law bought for me the left hand side 2010 book.  After looking through it, I love it so much that I bought to 2012 version from Kinokuniya.

I will just share about the similarities between both books.

Both shows

  • templates for the characters
  • both contain basic tools (2010’s version is more comprehensive)
  • recipes.    Good for Japanese readers. For non readers like me, hmmmm….
akinoichigo templates 2010 2012

akinoichigo templates 2010 2012

akinoichigo 2010

Besides the templates and basic tools, the 2010 edition contains:

  • Bento basics instructions like bread balls, rice balls, etc
  • Instructions for coloring food

Pictorial instructions are very detailed, certainly helpful for non-Japanese readers.

The 2010 version is very good for the characters lovers.  Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma, Thomas, Spongebox Square Pants are all here 🙂

Readers will also find the breadballs, rice balls and coloring instructions useful, especially for newbies.

Basic Bento Instructions, bread ball in this page

Basic Bento Instructions, bread ball in this page

akinoichigo 2012

The 2012 version focused a lot on generic characters, like animals, flowers, cute boys and girls, vehicles (good for boy’s theme bentos, which is lacking in 2010).

There are many many many detailed pictorial steps included.  This is certainly the reason why I really love this edition.  I highly suspect she wrote the book with non Japanese readers in mind 🙂

Very detailed pictorial instructions

Very detailed pictorial instructions

She also shows how to fill up a lunchbox. I know this sound so basic, but I know there are people who need help in this area.

Filling up of lunchbox

Filling up of lunchbox

What I really love about the books

For recipes seekers, these are certainly not suitable, especially when they are all in Japanese.

But I really love the instructions, templates and ideas.  Pictorial instructions are very very clear and detailed.  2010 versions focused more on the famous characters like Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma.  2012 focused more on generic ones.  I like them both.

If I really have to choose, and there is only budget for 1 book, I recommend the 2012 version.

Prices

My sister in law bought the 2010 from Japan at about 880 Yen, while I bought the 2012 version in Singapore’s Kinokuniya at S$22.00

Verdict

9/10

Why I minus the 1?  If only there are translated English version.  😛

Hope this helps.

Next review to look out for…

A book and a bento tool 🙂

 

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Thermal Food Jar Review

I really have no idea how did I accumulated these food jars.

It all started wotj the Tiger food jar which I bought when son was at Primary 2.  He needed to stay back for CCA.  So the first food jar was purchased so I can bring hot lunch for him before his CCA started.  And with bento making since my daughter enters Primary 1, more jars joined the family. 😛

Tips on using thermal food jars

Before I move on to the review, just a tip on how to keep food longer in thermal food jars.   If you want to pack hot food, before pouring in the food, pour in boiling water into the jar, close the lid and leave the hot water inside for about 10 mins.  After 10 mins, pour away the water and put in the food.

I shall rate the food jar according to :

Best Performance – Zojirushi

Best suited for little children who may leave their expensive food jars around 😛 – Sanrio  (I will share more about Thermos in the write-up below)

Anyway, here are the food jars I have :

All my thermal food jars

All my thermal food jars

From LHS to RHS :

Tiger (0.9L, about S$ 70+)

Plus – has a small container for garnish/condiment

Minus – Performance is average.  Non soup food like pasta is only warm after 2 hours.

Zojirushi (0.5L, sale price at S$ 60)

Plus – (1) best performance.  Son’s words “Food was still hot.” (versus “warm” for other food jars)  On one of the days, son didn’t have time to drink up the soup.  When I was washing up the jar 12 hours later, the soup was warm still!  So if son consume the food around recess time, I can imagine the soup was “piping hot” (son’s words).

(2) It has another lid that allows pressure to be released.  This can reduce/eliminate the ‘pop’ whenever we open thermal food jars.

Minus – Pretty pricey, especially since some children have the tendency to leave stuffs around without bringing them home 😦

Thermos Foogo (top, 0.29L, S$ 28), Thermos (bottom, sale price at $24.90)

Just a note about Thermos.  The food jars are a lot cheaper outside Singapore!!!  Even Korea’s Gmarket price is half off the price here!

I bought the purple Foogo jar (top) from Malaysia Jusco for about RM $64 (S$ 26), can’t really remember the exact.  However in Singapore, it cost S$ 49.90!!! 😦

Pros – If purchased at offer price or from outside Singapore, Thermos’ jars are relatively cheaper than the better performers.  Good for children to bring to school actually.

Minus – Performance is the worst.  Food was warm by recess time, which is about 4 hours after putting food in.

Sanrio My Melody (0.28L, S$ 29.90)

Not difficult to know why my daughter loves this right?  Because of this, she willingly want to pack rice to school 🙂

Just a note again.  Although on paper, the Sanrio food jar’s capacity seems lesser than Thermos, but on measuring, it can hold more than Thermos!!! Probably got to do with how the different brands measure the capacity of their food jars.

Pros – Very attractive designs, especially for little girls.

Minus – Performance is also so-so. Equivalent to Thermos.  But the performance is indicated on the box anyway.  So users already know what to expect. Nothing hidden. 🙂

Hope this review helps.

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Nori / Seaweed Puncher Review

It’s quiet over here these few days.  Kind of a long weekends for the Primary 1 to 5 pupils in Singapore, cause their big sisters and brothers are having their PSLE Oral examinations 🙂  And so, no bentos from me 🙂

Shall take this time to fill up this blog with a review of the nori and seaweed punchers that I have purchased and used so far.  I started bento making not long ago, so my view may not be comprehensive, but just my experience from using them.

I shall just start with my favorite 😛

Pooh and Doraemon Seaweed Punch, plus the Multi-faced Shoe Seaweed Punch

Pooh Doraemon Shoe Seaweed Punchers

Pooh Doraemon Shoe Seaweed Punchers

As recommended by Shoppingmama, I bought the Kai’s Pooh and Doraemon punchers.  I initially had reservation about buying these, cause I thought it’s restrictive to buy stuffs specifically for certain characters.  But Shoppingmama pointed out that the stuffs punched out by these punchers can be used for generic designs too!  And so, I got it, and love it!

These are the easiest to use, and they have a cover that ‘catch’ the nori. That’s really cool. (see picture below.)

Seaweed Puncher Cover

Seaweed Puncher Cover

Like the Pooh and Doraemon punchers, the shoe multi-faced punchers are also extremely easy to use, with a cover that catches the cut nori.

Mini quail egg seaweed punch that came with the quail egg cutters

Mini Seaweed Puncher with the Quail Egg Cutters

Mini Seaweed Puncher with the Quail Egg Cutters

This is also very easy to use.  But no cover to catch the nori.

My reservation is, after using it for a while, it’s not as smooth to punch as it used to be.  Anyone has any tips?

Hapimogu Seaweed Punch available from Daiso

Hapimogu Seaweed Punchers

Hapimogu Seaweed Punchers

The best part about these punchers : cheap.  At Daiso price, they are really a steal.  Which is why this series is no. 3 in my list.

BUT, unfortunately, they are not that easy to use, and they are not lasting.  I have already spoilt two. 😦

However, at S$ 2.00, it is still a good start for bento beginners.  These are my first few tools anyway 🙂

3-in-1 pack facial expression seaweed punch

3-in-1 multi-facial seaweed punchers

3-in-1 multi-facial seaweed punchers

These are total regrets!  They are a pain to use!  Even the Daiso ones are easier to use than these!  Plus, they don’t come cheap! That’s why they are a PAIN. 😦  My friend bought those with animal expressions.  She also complained that they are impossible.

The boss of the online shop I bought these from said I got to just keep pressing them to season it.  Well, I shall try and let’s see if their performances improve.

Between these and the multi-faced shoe punch, the shoe punch has my vote.

Hello Kitty Seaweed Punch

Hello Kitty Seaweed Punchers

Hello Kitty Seaweed Punchers

These came together with the Hello Kitty Bento set.  Another impossible punchers.  I have never gotten all the whiskers successfully.

At least the Hello Kitty Bento set has other things like rice molds and cutters, else, I’m strongly against buying these.

That ends my nori / seaweed punch review, from a user point of view, without any sponsorship from any supplier.  Hope that helps.

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Review: Star and Rabbit egg molds, train silicon mold

Star & Rabbit Egg Molds, Train Silicon Mold from Daiso

Star egg mold – from Daiso. You need huge egg, else, end up like my egg in Bento #24

Pink Rabbit mold – Just nice for 55g type of egg, given by my friend, I saw it sold at Takashimaya.  I like this.  Can also see the result in Bento #24.

Train silicon pancake/egg mold – Daiso. This is so easy to use!! I recommend this too 😀  BUT, I need to research on silicon stuffs to see if it’s harmful. Anyone know?

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