No sooner had I dined out at this Swedish retail giant and it was in the news headlines for the very thing that I ate in its restaurant. It was reported in the British media that traces of horse meat had been found in Ikea meatballs adding further fuel to the horse-meat scandal which has been dominating the news over the last few weeks. The concerned production batch has since been withdrawn from the UK stores and as far as I know I don’t think that Japan has been affected not that they would kick up such a fuss anyway. Given that horse-meat is often eaten in Japan the locals view would probably be positive as its a more expensive meat than the usual classics like beef or pork. For the record, Ikea say that the meatballs contain no additives, and are made using a mixture of ground beef and pork from Australia.
Sweden is a country I have an affection for having visited the country three times (see the four pictures below) between 2000 and 2005. Those trips have predominantly been to just Gothenburg which is where my mate Hugo is based but it was only on my last trip in the Winter of early 2005 that I went to IKEA for the first and only time. That was until last Sunday when my girlfriend and I went to Minami Funabashi in Chiba to buy some new furniture and whilst that was the main reason for the visit it’s not what I’m gonna focus on here in a blog series called ‘Dining Out!’
I was actually looking most forward to sampling a few cheap Swedish dishes once I’d purchased some shelving. The restaurant on the stores 2nd floor may come across as a bit like a school canteen but the service is rapid and I was content enough as I requested the classic Swedish meatball dish (¥499) served with potatoes and lingonberry jam. We also shared some marinated salmon (¥399) which is advertised as Swedish food despite it being Norwegian salmon! With lemon, dill and mustard sauce added it really was an awesome taste.
I added a cinnamon bun (¥80) which is the most popular pastry in Sweden with the dough being made from whole wheat flour. That wasn’t that though as I also had an elderflower cupcake (¥99) which was absolutely lovely with the cream cheese icing being particularly agreeable to my tastes.
It’s not every day you go to Ikea so with that in mind I thought, especially given the low prices, that I had better sample another Swedish dish. This time it was cheese baked saithe which is some kind of grilled white fish with cheddar cheese herb breadcrumbs served with what their website describes as “a sophisticated sauce made from Swedish artichoke”. Mashed potato topped it all off and this dish from the northeastern part of Sweden was delicious. It didn’t end there though as I also added a slice of almond cake chocolate & butterscotch (¥299) to my tray whilst I was lining up to get the white fish. This smooth, creamy milk chocolate and crispy butterscotch was smothered with butter cream and decorated with chocolate-coated marshmallow pieces which appealed to my sweet tooth very much.
Two and a half dinners plus three cakes and a can of beer meant I left in good spirits and totally forgot about the actual shopping part which did make me a little tired.