Thursday, 24 March 2011

Bento Bowl - Lethbridge Centre Mall

I Feel Kinda Bad about today. I wasn't happy with Bento Bowl. 1st of all, they said they were 3 staff members short, it caused us to wait 25 min for our food. Guess what? That doesn't bother me. I'm extremely patient. I've never had a problem with a little bit of a wait. No biggie. So...we are sitting there waiting for our food... luckily, for me, I've ordered a salad roll that I can start on while I'm waiting. It was an outrageous price...$3...FOR A SALAD ROLL? ARE YOU NUTS???? I thought maybe it would be either really big, or really really good. It wasn't. To me, a salad roll should be a good size and wrapped tightly and look good. (better than something I could slap together at home) it wasn't any of these things. I ate it in about 30 seconds. There went my $3 salad roll. 20 min went by...OM GOSH here comes our food...I Think. (did we order off the kids menu by mistake?) Seriously, the smallest portion of food ever from a vietnamese restaurant. I've been to the other places in town, you get a huge bowl. This was very very small, and nothing to write home to mom about. Overall very bad choice today. Honestly, not because we had to wait, but just that I had the smallest $14 lunch of my life. One thing today was so so good. THE SRIRACHA!!!! I think the other Nomads will agree today wasn't great. Sorry Bento Bowl.

Bento Bowl on Urbanspoon
This place is in the "Bay" mall, if you don't recognise the address.

The Bento Bowl serves a variety of Asian foods and I had high hopes for a great meal. Unfortunately they were dashed long before I even got to taste the food. We arrived to a long line-up to place our order, and that was only the beginning. We waited over 25 minutes for the food to be served. Yes, it was an off day because they were short handed, but still by the time we got our meals we were already disappointed. The sight of the small portions only made it worse. Todays lunch special was a Vietnamese dish of BBQ chicken on rice noodles. In most Vietnamese restaurants this meal is served in quite a large bowl, but this was probably a third of what is normally served. Now, the food was tasty, but by the time I finally got to eat, it didn't matter any more. I would like to give it a second chance but I am afraid to go back to work hungry again. "J"

As our name implies we are NOMADS.  We hit Bento Bowl on a bad day.  They were understaffed and it took forever to get in and out of there.  A little frustrating but as our name implies, we were NO_MAD.  I had the special, which today was Grilled chicken.  I had mine on noodles with a spring roll.  I was so hungry I could have eaten the south end of a northbound skunk.  Now that's hungry! When our number was finally called some 30 mins later my stomach wanted to leap up my throat and throttle my brain! (A little Douglas Adams for your enjoyment). It looked like an appetizer. Hey where's the main course, I thought? Someone's playin a joke on me.  No, it was true.  I knew I would be leaving the Bento Bowl a little Bento out of shape. On the positive side; cause there is always a positive side, the staff (2) that were there were very friendly and efficient despite 3 of the staff being away. I do give them credit for that.  But I have to be honest and say that the value here is not good.  For the same price I can go elsewhere and have to be carried out on a stretcher cause I'm so full.  I know, you're probably thinking that I sound like a supersize me kind a guy, but I'm not.  I'm average build, brutally handsome, and ...apparently also a dreamer. My wife says she likes me looking "healthy"! That's kind speak for 'you could stand to lose a few pounds'! Anyways, back to Bento Bowl.  Today I have to give a 1.5 out of 5.  Feed me Seymour! "C"


  1. Dear Nomads,

    I don’t really think that you actually caught them on a "bad day". I think every day is a "bad day" for the Bento Bowl.... 25 minutes is a pretty standard wait for your meal, but I think they keep afloat from the businesses in the mall and surrounding. My understanding is that they only have 3 employees.
    Salad rolls are the worst I have ever had (even I made better salad rolls on my first try!) they are small and not wrapped tightly. Honestly it would not kill them to put more salad or noodles in as they are really cheap items. I have given them three shots and they charge more money and give you way less food than any Vietnamese, Chinese or Japanese restaurant in the city. The spring rolls that they have are also a far cry from those at the Saigonease restaurant in flavor size and in price. The BBQ pork bowl is disappointing as there is not much pork, and if you want spring rolls you have to order them extra which is still a little on the cheap side compared to other places and when you get take out they do not give you sauces to go for when you get home you have to put it on in the restaurant and it is soggy and luke warm by the time you get it home... seriously one of the biggest disappointments!!

  2. I routinely eat at Bento Bowl, and not just for the convenience. I'm a big fan of the soups, and have never left the place hungry or disappointed. Once, in quite probably hundreds of attendances, I waited for 15-20 minutes for my lunch, and the staff was extremely apologetic - that was certainly the exception, anbd not the rule. There are more than enough places within a short walk where you can go for lunch, and the only time I do is for variety - certainly not for quality or lack of friendliness on the part of the staff. Do I need to be carried out on a stetcher? No, but I don't need to. And I am NOT a 'small' guy by any stretch, either.