Bento King (Carlton)
Decent student eateries around Melbourne University are far and few in between. Boring, cheap Asian cuisine seems to cluster itself around the area, and Bento King is no exception. Bento King offers a special kind of average. The kind that balances the perfect harmony of boring flavours and drab surroundings fully equiped uninspiring ‘lunchtime specials’.
Fate would have it that a few friends would coerce me into a quick lunchtime meal at Bento King. The menu itself is longer than the ol’ faithful Don Tojo around the corner but nothing inspiring can be found here.
After much deliberation,I ordered the Okakodon ($8.50), purely based on not wanting soup or a bento box. Oyakodon literally means parent and child donburi – or Japanese rice dish. It came served with a few large pieces of chicken, pickled ginger, vegies and egg. The dish itself is very poetic in it’s name and references the fact that both chicken and egg are presented. That is where the romanticism of Japanese Cuisine stops, because any flavour (or even salt) was absent and the rice to chicken/vegetable ratio was appalingly high.
A few friends ordered the Katsu Don, which undoubtedly was a bit better than my own dish and ever so slight food envy ensued on my part. Slight food envy because despite my meal being uninspired, theirs wasn’t exactly brimming with flavour and most of the boxes were left unfinished.