A new restaurant/take-out place opened at M-City Monash on 15 October 2021 serving Taiwanese bento boxes, Bento King. There are other restaurants around Melbourne, but this was the first time I had come across this chain. There is a variety of bento boxes on offer serving brown rice, pickled vegetables and other greens, an egg, brown rice with pork or chicken flavor and your choice of meat or tofu.
What struck me was how simple the menu looked. There were about 11 different bento boxes to choose with the only difference being the choice of meat or tofu. The price of the boxes range from AUD$13.99 to $16.99. For instance, their best seller the Boneless Marinated Thick Chicken Schnitzel is $15.99 and Signature Pork Chops is $15.99, while Marinated Braised Chicken Drumsticks is $13.99.
Although it is called Bento King, it is definitely not Japanese. Interestingly, Japan did rule over Formosa (or now Taiwan) for a period of time and that period did influence the island’s culture and food. So it is isn’t entirely surprising at all that this place is called Bento King. Though, the bento boxes are definitely Taiwanese inspired as opposed to Japanese inspired.
In addition to bento boxes, you can also order snacks like their popcorn chicken for $4, 5 pcs of their crispy calamari for $7.99, Taiwanese sausages for $7.50 and a large service of their sweet potato chips for $7.99.
On their opening day, we ordered their Boneless Marinated Thick Chicken Schnitzel and the Traditional Braised Pork Belly Bento. I thought the chicken schnitzel was the better of the two dishes, the chicken had a crunchy, delicious batter and was juicy and succulent to bite into and the brown rice was alright (though, I couldn’t really tell the different between pork or chicken rice, the flavor was sort of there but it was mostly just brown rice flavor to me).
Thanks to their grand opening special, we also were given a free pomegranate juice with each of our meals. This was a nice sweet, sour drink addition to our meal. We were pretty happy with this freebie.
If you are interested in a hearty serving of rice with a really nice Taiwanese chicken schnitzel, I recommend visiting Bento King. The prices aren’t bad for the area and it’s a decent serving of food.
Bento King is next to Tea Royale on the outside of the shopping center. M-City Monash is located at 2125 Princes Highway, Clayton VIC 3168:
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