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Posts tagged ‘Bento’

Train Food, JR Stations, All Over Japan


Bento with rice and dough tibits

Dim sum

Rice dish

Rice dish

Fancy Bento

Fancy Bento

Japanese railway stations are a great place to grab some food. I’m assuming that eating on the go has a longer tradition. In every (small and big) railstation you can buy a bento box. Even though it looks like wood it’s just cardboard. Every piece of food is in its own separate compartment, chopsticks as well as miniature bottles of soy sauce and other condiments are given to you. It seems that the boxes are made fresh every day, since depending on the stations some will always be sold out at the stands. If you don’t speak Japanese getting a Bento is like giving yourself a present. You never quiet know what’s inside it. If you’re in a rush, every train has a food cart where you can buy Bento boxes, beer and other snacks. I always thought Switzerland had a decent railway system. Look at Japan and think again. Elvetino Railbar ? Overpriced, tasteless, and loveless sandwiches prepared by a machine. Elvetino Bistro / Restaurant ? Crappy food mangled by reheating it. The food in the smaller Japanese railway stations is often prepared freshly onsite, a long shot from food to go in other places. Of course it is Japanese and you might be in for some strange tastes, but if you find a Bento you like, you’re in heaven.

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O Tabe, Talstrasse, Zurich

Sushi plate

Sushi plate


O Tabe is yet another Sushi place, located near Paradeplatz. What drove me here, was that they offered Bento Box lunches, something which I’ve come to enjoy abroad. Since I was hungry, I did order some Sushi and added a couple of Inside-Out rolls to beef up on the amount of Sushi. The system is quite foolproof, you tick off boxes on a piece of paper and hand it to the waiter. I didn’t care much for the Inside-Out roll of the month (scallops), but I really liked the Spicy Tuna roll which I added to the regular Sushi. Prices are okay for lunch (figure the rent plus food costs) – with 25 CHF for a Bento at lunch.