I am very excited about the new 7Meals available from Japan's 7-11 stores which I just read about over at Maki's blog. Think of it as the 'Lite n'easy' of Japan only much more appetising and convenient!
Japan’s 7-11s are not quite the same as the ones in the U.S. to say the least. One of the services they offer is takeaway or home delivery of pre-ordered meals, including bentos. They have a dedicated web site for this service, called 7meal (セブン・ミール) (in Japanese only.)
7-11 does have readymade and ready to buy bentos and other prepared foods for sale in their stores, but this is a bit different. Basically, you place an order via the web site, by phone or at your local 7-11 for a bento or other meal such as noodles (ramen, udon or soba) a day or so ahead. There is a different bento menu every day. You can order a single meal, or order ahead for a full 6 days, say for lunch every day. You can order for lunch or dinner delivery or pickup. Delivery is free.
The emphasis of the site is on healthy, balanced meals. Conbini bentos and other takeout meals have come under a lot of criticism for being unhealthy and fattening, and this is an obvious attempt to combat that. Their 7meals philosophy page states that they do not use any artificial colors or preservatives in their delivery meals, and that each meal is planned based on ‘strict nutritional guidelines’ and food safety considerations.
Check out the online PDF menu or the website (Japanese only) for more information.
I want to order one for delivery when I am over at Gracie's new Shimokita apartment next week! Calorie counting has never been so fun!
P.S. I mentioned to the lovely Bree that Mr Y and I were having onigiri for Australia Day lunch today and she just emailed to say she was inspired to make some herself. Luckily for us she has shared some pictures of her delicious onigiri along with a few recipes. おいしそう〜！