Affordable Japanese bento lunches and delectable desserts are now available in the Mission district, from a new shop at 3376 – 18th Street.

Last week, Ken Ken Ramen opened a new lunch spot named Suika (which means watermelon in Japanese), right next door of their dinner ramen place. This is a lunch only takeout place, but there’s a few side tables for those who wish to dine inside.

The housemade bento boxes sell for $8 to $9, with at least 3 choices each day, like: minced beef katsu, Karaage chicken, pork ginger, pork kimchee, saba (mackarel) and croquette, or salmon and croquette. Each box includes white rice, Tamagoyaki (omelet cake), potato salad, and a pair of veggies (selection varies each time) like fresh broccoli, Kinpira Gobo (strips of burdock root and carrots), Hijiki seaweed, and or cubes of Kabocha squash. Pair your bento with a Kosmic’s Black Magic kombucha or Boba Guys’ milk tea for $4 each.

The snacks menu includes potato croquettes for $2.50 each, and “cheese mochi” at 5 for $3. This last snack item is not really a mochi (glutinous rice dumpling) at all, but a famous Brazilian snack that is now popular in Japan. It’s a cheese bun or “pao de queijo” in Portuguese – made from tapioca or rice flour, eggs, milk and cheese. This bread is also available at Bolivian and Colombian restaurants, where it’s made using corn or cassava flours.

For dessert, choose from Japanese cheesecake, Mille crepe cake, Atelier Kawashima’s French macarons, and creamy frozen custard from Frozen Kuhsterd.

Only open Wednesdays to Saturdays, from 11:30 am to 2 pm. Come early because the bentos sell out quickly.

Photo Credit: Ken Ken Ramen’s pics of Suika menu – pork kimchee bento (top), cheese buns and croquettes (bottom).