After yet another show, we were all hungry and decided on a quick and inexpensive lunch at IKEA. While their dishes are not the cheapest – that honour goes to Costco – they serve healthier dishes at the same price as most fast food chains. With Dad here, we got to try a few more items, creating yet another sizable dent in their extensive menu.
To start, I got the Mushroom and Cheese Crepes. For $3.99, it included two crepes and a salad. The crepes were warm though not hot as they were being kept under a warmer. The edges on one of them was dried and hardened, but the other was good. The crepe itself was of a decent thickness and quite soft and nice. The filling of cheese and mushrooms was delicious, thick and creamy. The mushrooms added a nice aroma to the melted, cheesy sauce and I loved the warm, soft, gooeyness in my mouth.
The Salad was just one from a self-serve bar, with leafy greens, cherry tomatoes, and shredded carrot. Also available were Parmesan cheese powder and Italian dressing. The tomatoes were fresher than the greens and carrots, but it was still nice to have some green options available.
The Najad Salmon Plate, at $5.99, was not exactly cheap for a few thin slices of smoked salmon topped with a bit of carrot and turnip salad with dill. The vegetables were coated in a tangy dill sauce and tasted great, a nice mix of sweet and sour. The smoked salmon had a really strong but pleasant flavour. It was slightly too oily for me, but still chewy with a good texture; the pieces were delicate but still firm and not falling apart. The dill added a nice herby aroma to the entire dish.
The Haddock & Chips were really good, with two decent pieces of fried haddock. The batter was crispy and quite thin, with the fish tender and white inside. It was moist and juicy and went well with the packaged tartar sauce. This tartar sauce did not have that much crunchy relish and other ingredients inside, smoother and less dense than some others. However, it was quite tangy and nice, balancing out the fried fish. The fries were quite decent; each piece was thick enough to have a decent crisp on the outside and a soft and mushy inside. They were quite hot and I dipped mine in ketchup for an added flavour. I actually enjoyed this traditional plate quite a bit.
The Pasta and Vegetarian Tomato Sauce was better than before. The sauce was nicely seasoned, not watered down, and had lots of vegetables in it. It was certainly not as bland as I remembered. The penne pasta was actually al dente and not soggy. Our server gave us a lot of sauce so that all of the pasta was coated in the flavourful, tangy sauce. We got ours with five extra meatballs so that the dish had some protein in it. Honestly, though, you just cannot eat at IKEA without having some meatballs.
The Lingonberry Juice was available today. It was mildly sweet and citrusy, but it did not have a strong bitter flavour as I expected. Overall, with the ice, it was not a very strong taste. The light pink matched the refreshing taste and I thought it was a nice change to the regular soft drinks, which we did get afterwards.
Finally, for dessert, we got the Elderflower Cupcake, which was on sale at two for $0.99. The elderflower taste was incredibly strong and flowery – just absolutely aromatic and delicious! The icing was sweet and not greasy, just the way I like it. The cake was dense yet still moist and sweet. Overall, it was such a good cupcake that I could have easily eaten more. I just love the sweetness of it – and it was quite sweet. It was not simple, though, and so it would take a lot more to get me tired or disgusted at the sugar. Considering the price and taste, it is perhaps the best cupcake ever!
I just love the relaxing ambiance in IKEA’s restaurant. The space is so large it is never filled. The huge windows allow for a lot of daylight and the décor is casual and comfortable. I love eating in brightly lit places with an uplifting mood and this cafeteria certainly offers that.