Ikea is one of those amazing places that everyone has visited at one time in their lives. I don't get out to Ikea as much as before and I was rather upset when they moved from the closer by Moore Park out to Homebush. It was however impossible to get a park at the Supacenta on weekends and now that parking dilemma have moved to Homebush where we've trolled and stalked for 3 floors finally getting a park.
We're peckish this afternoon and looking forward to some Swedish food Ikea style. We go upstairs and find a large area packed with people sitting down and ordering food cafeteria style. We get our trays and set about choosing whatever looks good. Of course I am taken with the open face sandwiches as I loved these in Finland so I choose the meatball one (fortuitous it turns out, as we learn a little later that there is a half hour delay on the meatballs).
My husband likes the look of the lingonberry yogurt and in an effort to try as many things as possible without stretching our belts, we order the children's version of the fish and chips (kid's meals, all $2.50). There is also a salmon fillet with apple but the salmon look unappetising sitting in a bain marie of cloudy water so we give that a miss. We are told that there's no meatballs with a 30 minute wait so we decline as I already have a meatball sandwich.
_Our tray of food $14.40
We also try the Mazarin (a little Swedish cake) and the Daily Dish: chicken kebabs with butter sauce and couscous. As we have a kid's meal, we can help ourselves to a complimentary piece of fruit, either an apple or a not so great looking orange. We choose the apple. I bypass the slices of Daim torte and the Princess cake as I've tried both before (Daim torte-not Daimey enough, Princess Cake-delicious!)
I try the kid's fish and chips first. It's basically one of those frozen, breaded fish fillets with some boiled peas and carrots and some lukewarm fries. There is a big chunk of breading missing from it, although all in all, not bad for $2.50.
The chicken kebabs are tender and coated with sauce although the couscous is too dry for the kebabs and we leave most of this behind. The butter sauce is like an Indian curry butter sauce.
I take a bite of the meatball open sandwich and I am happy as it's my favourite of the three savoury items. The meatballs, cut in half, are soft and with plenty of flavour and are sitting on a mix of salad leaves and a beetroot salad. The thick slab of rye bread is firm enough to hold it and I am very glad I got the last one.
The sweets are next, the lingonberry yogurt is thick with creamy acidophilus yogurt at the bottom and the lingonberry top is a slightly tart, similar to cranberry but sweeter, tasting perhaps like a combination of cranberry and blueberry. My husband adores this and uses his finger to scrape every last drop of this out.
The Mazarin, a small oval Swedish cake has a buttery shortbready shortcrust base with a slightly damp sweet almond filling with just the tiniest hint of lemon. It's delicious and if I had room for another or a packet of them I'd buy some in the store downstairs.
Which brings us to the store downstairs where you can buy most of these goodies. I spy some colourful frozen Crayfish boxes ($15.95) as well as a lantern ($4ish) to announce your Crayfish party as well as bibs and other crayfish eating accoutrements ($7.95). In Finland apparently crayfish parties are one of the pleasures of Summer and I can only guess that something along these lines occurs in Sweden too.
I spy some Herring in a garlic sauce (like a garlic mayonnaise) which I have a mild interest in, having had some at a Swedish themed party a while ago. I buy 2 of these as they're having a 2 for 1 special (and because they're by the brand Abba!) and I also pick up some chocolates. We also can't resist buying their 50c ice cream cone and their $1 hot dog.
The ice cream is different from other soft serves which I find pumped full of air. Ikea's ice cream is not as airy and more icey and compacted-which sounds less than desirable but it is indeed very good. It's for those of you who like the flavour of milk powder as that is the flavour most redolent to me. The cone is also a sweet waffle cone, not one of those truly unpalatable cones that taste like Styrofoam or cardboard that you get with soft serves.
The hot dog is basically a decent plain hot dog, just the dog in the bun and you help yourself to tomato sauce and mustard and more serviettes if you need them. I prefer my hot dogs with coleslaw and fixin's on top if I had a choice as I find the dog to bun ratio too much in favour of the bun. I've had exactly the same at Wendy's but for several times the price so I can't argue with this.
Getting home we unpack the Herrings and the Daim chocolate. Did I mention that I am Daim bar mad? Yes the crunchy crispy toffee sends me into raptures, indeed I have been known to buy and eat bags of the stuff. The chocolate bars that I bought as part of a 2 for $5 deal are made by Marabou. It's chock full of small Daim toffee chunks and is frightfully addictive.
Our last purchase is some Ikea MIlk Chocolate, which at 100g for $1 was bought more for curiousity value. Flipping it over, we see that it is made in Germany using Cocoa Butter which is a good sign. The taste is more like a $1 bar of chocolate though and it isn't as smooth as the Marabou. Ah well, for $1 you can't argue.
Ikea Restaurant and Cafe
Entry via Rhodes Shopping Centre
Off Homebush Bay Drive
Mon-Fri 9.30 - 6pm
Thu 9.30 - 8pm
Sat - Sun 8.30 - 6pm
The hot kitchen closes at 5pm all days except Thursdays
Vegetarian options: limited except for desserts
Store opening hours:
Mon - Wed 10am - 7pm
Thurs 10am - 9pm
Fri 10am - 7pm
Sat - Sun 9am - 7pm