Hey folks! How did you spend your Chinese New Year?
It’s time to get lean from all the Chinese New Year goodies munching! We found time to chat with the pretty entrepreneur Dionis from Lean Bento today, who will be sharing with us her experiences at the eatery.
Enjoy the interview!
IKIGUIDE: Hi Dionis! Can you tell us more about Lean Bento–What inspired the idea?
Dionis: Lean Bento specializes in preparing nutritious and tasty Japanese-inspired bento made from clean and whole food ingredients.
Debunking the urban myth that healthier food choices equals tasteless food and everything that is branded “healthy” is not necessarily healthy.
We open up a new window in the casual dining scene to make truly nutritious food taste delicious without the use of synthetic and heavily processed ingredients.
Charles and I are both health and fitness enthusiasts, there was this one time where we had just completed a gym session and we wanted to look for some clean, healthy food but we couldn’t find any after roaming around.
We got really frustrated and started talking about starting our own little kiosk to sell guilt-free bento meals, that was where the idea first came about.
IKIGUIDE: Why did your Charles and yourself choose to enter the highly competitive food and beverage industry?
Dionis: We saw an opportunity in a space that combined what we love – health, fitness and food. We ran the idea through many people and they all saw potential in our idea and encouraged us to take the leap.
I would say, their encouragement and a little bit of ignorance about the challenges of this industry got us into it and thankfully survive till today.
IKIGUIDE: If I were to order a Lean Bento now, how long can I expect the delivery to take?
Dionis: Thank you! The cut off time for next day deliveries is 3pm, 1 working day before the desired date. We have 2 delivery time slots to pick from – either between 11am – 12pm or 12pm – 1pm.
IKIGUIDE: How healthy is Lean Bento?
Dionis: We do not use any MSG or processed ingredients such as sugar and refined flour in our recipes, replacing them with natural tastes from whole foods and marinades made from scratch in our own kitchen by understanding how flavours work and combining a variety of spices and herbs.
As we are a halal-certified restaurant, all our ingredients (both meat and non-meat) have to come from halal sources. In order for a meat to be even considered halal, the animals need to first be healthy before they can be slaughtered for consumption.
We do not use any processed ingredients. Only healthier oils such as olive and coconut oils can be found in our recipes.
IKIGUIDE: What is the biggest challenge to the business you have faced thus far?
Dionis: Our biggest challenge is producing enough fresh bento for our delivery and in-store sales in time, due to manpower and space constraints.
We have been blessed with kind support from our customers and as much as possible, we try our best to take on and fulfil all the orders.
However, sometimes we unfortunately have to reject some orders because we were simply oversubscribed. We do hope to have the opportunity to expand to a bigger kitchen and serve our loving bento to everyone.
IKIGUIDE: What are the top 3 bento would you personally recommend to our readers?
IKIGUIDE: On a parting note, do you have any words of wisdom you would like to leave with our readers?
Dionis: If you have an idea that you really believe in, go for it.
Put in your utmost effort and make it happen.
Whether it becomes a roaring success or a failure, it doesn’t matter because you would have grown and learned a lot in the process.
The whole experience will be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Eat healthy food with Lean Bento!
(All pictures featured here are courtesy of Dionis/ Lean Bento)