Saturday, January 24, 2015

Review (Food) - IKEA MEATBALLS?! (And other IKEA food)

Do you live up to the hype?

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I am doing this. Before you continue, this is an informal review, so please do not expect my normal format going into this. I've heard a lot about IKEA's (meat)balls from many different sources, but namely Mel. I was headed to IKEA there one day to pick up a display case when she told me to pick up a few packs of meatballs, gravy, and lingon berry preserves. She's never been to IKEA I think, and usually you would think IKEA ---> furniture. She was raving about how delicious it was and etc. Going to IKEA for food and not furniture? Of course this perked my interest, but unfortunately, that day they were hosting some kind of fish tournament or something and locked down the food court as a result. I didn't get to try out some of their meatballs that day and IKEA was frankly a bit of the way for me, so I put it the in the back of my mind. That is, until the other day. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

Meh, I am not arranging this for you guys. 
Please keep in mind I had breakfast at 7am and on purposely starved myself until 1pm just for this plate of meatballs. It doesn't look like much, they had a pile of them at the food station and just unceremoniously plopped it onto your plate. I wasn't expecting much from this as it costed $5.99.

It was just that, nothing special. For one thing, the meatballs were a bit cold and dry on the outside. This might have resulted from the food sitting out there in the cold buffet style. I do appreciate that the texture of the meatballs though, it was very smooth. It's not like the Asian or school meatballs, where you have a lot of chunks of meat in there. It's like they took the meats and set the blender to liquefy. It's pretty good in that respect. The mash is just like any other mash, tastes like what you would expect from mash powder + milk,  very mechanically smooth. The gravy was good, but again, nothing special to write home about. If there was one thing I had to say that stood out, it was the Lingon Berry preserves. By itself, it's very tasty and has a very nice balance of tangy and sweet. But this, THIS, is what held the plate together. You take a bite of meat, berry, mash, berry, meat, berry, and it so perfectly accents the flavor of the 2 savory portions. It works not unlike cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinners. I think the berries were the real star, and if you think you have a need for a sweet and tangy sauce to mesh a meal together, definitely grab it.

And of course, dessert:
I'm not as deadly as you think I am... :3
I've also heard some good things about their Cinnamon Buns. After the meatballs, I was really not sure how well these were going to be. I was underwhelmed for the most part by the meatballs and I was expecting to be underwhelmed again. To my surprise, I really enjoyed this bun, and for a few reasons:
1. Price point. $1? Thank you!
2. Size. Compared to at least the ones you find around NYC, these are at least 33% larger.
3. Not dripping in sweetness. I was expecting a diabetic death once I bit into this (and for very good reasons), but they didn't put a lot of sugar on top, and the sugar itself was not extremely sweet. Overall, a very nice bun that I enjoyed. The cinnamon flavor came through and the sugar did not mask it. The dough was very soft and the whole thing melted in my mouth. Definitely worth it, especially at $1.

Nothing special in my opinion. IKEA food is definitely cost efficient for it's taste and quality. Do give it a munch if you are in the area of one, but nothing to go out of your way for. Now I'm really regretting I didn't pick up a can of that preserve...

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