I have a confession to make: I am a big IKEA fan. I once was in a discussion with an Art History teacher about the scariness of being able to walk out with an entire environment, but I still love it. I like the funky colours and the nifty ideas and the showrooms. LOVE the showrooms. And if that makes me a slave to pop culture and convenience, then so be it.
Part of the convenience that is associated with IKEA is that you can get practically anything there, including food! I’ve already done a post on their cheap breakfasts, and since Sean and I decided to make a day trip out of visiting the brand-spanking-new IKEA Tempe store, we sat down and ate a proper meal while we were there.
I decided to try the Shrimp with Wheatcorn Pilaf while I was there. Sure, the shrimp was not near the usual Sydney standards (I must say that Sydney does prawns surprisingly well), and it had been left in that bain marie for a touch too long, but it was actually really enjoyable. I guess part of it was that it was relatively cheap (the whole meal cost us under $25) and it was a quick and easy stop in the middle of our big IKEA trek.
Having the Swedish meatballs was a really easy choice for Sean. He always gets it and it’s always consistently enjoyable and again, relatively cheap. The creamy gravy is always nicely set off by the lingonberry sauce, which, by the way, is superb on a smoked salmon sandwich.
And because we had worked up an appetite walking around this furniture superstore, we decided to order some sides. The mashed potatoes come with the meatballs, and Sean and I decided on Veggie Pasta and Chips and Gravy. The Veggie Pasta was surprisingly creamy and well seasoned, and the chips and mash, were, well chips and mash. Nothing particularly special, but they both really hit the spot in terms of mid-shopping food.
It’s food that I like to term pseudo-gourmet – it can be gourmet if executed differently, but at least it’s interesting and really enjoyable for a really affordable price ($25 for the lot). Isn’t that like its furniture though? Affordable, reliable and consistent, that’s IKEA (for me) in a nutshell.
I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat there, but if I’m in the shopping in or in the vicinity of an IKEA, it’ll definitely be on my list.
Oh, and for those of you wondering about the Tempe part of this IKEA post – sure it’s large, but that’s kind of what IKEA always has been. It may be larger than the Rhodes store, but I really don’t feel like there’s that much of a difference in terms of the feel of the store. As an avid IKEA fan, I still don’t think there are enough differences to make me want to travel all the way out to the Tempe store unless I’m maybe visiting someone in the area.
We ate at:
634-726 Princes Highway
Tempe NSW 2044
(02) 8020 6641