I promised myself to cut back on buying bento supplies because honestly, I have enough usable boxes to last me a whole month (well, weekends not included) without having to repeat any. Iâ€™m that bad with purchasing boxes. But when I found a few affordably priced boxes locally, I had to give in.
So Manila-based bento people, read on as I share a few of my latest bento finds.
Daiso / Japan Home Center Finds (Alabang Town Center Branch)
â€¢ 2-Tier White Bento box by Vcolor
A nice, 2-tiered box that would fit any collection. Iâ€™m a firm believer in the versatility of 2-tiered boxes, thatâ€™s why if you donâ€™t have one yet, I suggest dropping by and grabbing one while theyâ€™re still stocked. 88PHP
â€¢ Collapsible Sandwich box by VColor
My second collapsible sandwich box within the past few weeks. Iâ€™m sort of preferring this over my other one because itâ€™s better made. I havenâ€™t used it yet but the plastic plus the design seems sturdier to the touch. 88PHP
â€¢ Bento Belts by VColor (Neon green only)
Versatile and very useful, I love bento belts because a lot of my boxes donâ€™t have Tupperware or Lock & Lock seals. While they donâ€™t spill, the bento belt adds an extra measure of security and stabilizes your boxes, especially tiered ones, for transport. 88PHP for a pack of 2 belts.
Gift Gate (Alabang Town Center Branch)
â€¢ Hello Kitty and Friends Jello Molds
Cute cute Jello Molds! While I donâ€™t really need them, I figured they can double as onigiri molds, egg molds (to some extent, let me experiment first), and even as plastic divider cups. Plus, they were on sale so I had to have them. 50PHP
New Hatchin Grocery (Kamagong, San Antonio Village, Makati)
â€¢ Egg Molds
Hatchin regularly stocks different things on rotation. Last time I was there, (after a tip by reader Mila) they had Heart & Star Egg molds in stock. While I donâ€™t eat hardboiled eggs on a regular basis, it was cheap enough to justify purchasing. Bento blogger Jenn from Bento Yum recommends using egg molds as onigiri and mashed potato molds as well. 60PHP for 2 molds.
â€¢ Plastic Divider Cups
I love these things so I picked up an extra set. Theyâ€™re perfect for adding little amounts of food in liquid / sauce like thick dips, spreads, and liquidy stuff like fruit cocktail. In case the liquid is runny, stretching some cling wrap on top works wonders. And because theyâ€™re reusable, youâ€™re doing your bit for the environment. 55PHP for a set of 6 cups.
New Hatchin Grocery also has nigiri molds in various shapes (from plain triangles to fancy shapes), fancy chopsticks, tiered bento boxes, and baran (sushi grass!). Seasonal products like weiner cutters and vegetable cutters are also available.
See? No need to spend a fortune on ebay to get pretty boxes. You can get them cheaply if you search hard enough. Iâ€™m sure other cities also have their own bento finds, all it takes is a watchful eye and imagination.