I only keep hearing how good the meatballs and Daim cake at IKEA are from ChocolateSuze, as I've never eaten in IKEA restaurant. I usually visit IKEA in a dash, grab a yellow bag, stuff all the goodies inside, follow the maze, and out at the check out. I don't usually linger but somehow still manage to bring home heaps of stuff! So when I got invited to have A Taste of Sweden, it is a perfect excuse for me to find out what I've been missing out.
A little corner in the IKEA restaurant has already been set up for the foodbloggers meetup. The table and wall are draped with bright black and orange GUNVOR fabrics. But I am loving the upcoming new season MAJKEN fabrics. Definitely will get some, perfect as a backdrop for food photography. I arrived just in time to meet-and-greet over some Lingonberry and Elderflower Cordial. You can't help but think it is a kid's party with cordial, especially the lingonberry cordial tasted just like Ribena mixed with Apple cider.
We are informed that seafood is one of the main source of food in Sweden. So to start with, we are introduced to a variety of traditional Swedish entree which comprised of different type of fish served on different type of bread.
The only entree that I recognised and looking forward to try is the Leksands rundes Knäckebrot with hard-boiled eggs and a perfect zig-zag trail of Kalles creamed smoked roe on top squeezed out of a tube! Just imagine the Kalles smoked roe spread like the Vegemite for Swedish, it is a little strange and fishy on first taste, then it gets very salty. Definitely need to eat it with beer, or vodka.
Then I tried the Swedish caviar rolls with sour cream which is very creamy and the occasional pop of fish roe to add a hint of saltiness. Although I think the spanish onion added inside is kind of overpowering.
I actually quite like the simple shrimp, egg and creamy mayo sandwich on Hönö flat bread with cucumber slices for the crunch. The rye bread is aromatic and soft, works very well with the simple ingredients. Definitely will make it for my next picnic outing.
The gravlax salmon with sweet mustard and dill are simply beautiful. The salmon is perfectly cured which brings a wonderful brine flavour of the sea. It then topped with the sweet mustard and dill just give it a final touch of sweetness.
If you are looking for a new pan, I am sure IKEA will have a suitable one for you. I am actually quite surprise how many different type of pans they stocked at IKEA - range between $4.50 to $65.00, light to heavy, Taflon to heavy cast iron. Once I get my induction cooktop, FAVORIT will be my next favorite.
The moment that I've been waiting for has come - it's time to try those infamous Swedish meatballs. The cafeteria style menu offers a wide range of delicious looking desserts and cakes. And the hot food bar is not too shabby either, but meatballs is what I am here for.
Some go for the Chef's recommendation which is Salmon Pytti Panna with Basil & Mustard Sauce. It looks violently colourful with lots of vegetables and salmon flakes scattered all over.
There are also a few opted out the meatballs and go for the chicken schnitzel. The schnitzel looks perfectly fried until golden brown, served with a generous portion of chunky chips and gravy, you seriously can't go wrong. Then there is also beef chilli con carne with rice on the menu for those who likes it hot.
I go for the large size, it comes with about 18 meatballs on my plate (I counted them). The meatballs are glistening, smothered in a pool of gräddsås cream sauce, with a dollop of lingonberry sauce on the side. I can see why everyone loves Swedish meatballs. Despite the meatballs come in frozen packets, it is actually quite moist and tender. And the gräddsås sauce just adds a layer of creamy juiciness to it. Okay, I am sold.
For desserts, I am introduced to the lovely traditional Princess Cake, (aka Prinsesstårta). A layer of soft sponge cake with strawberry jam, whipped cream then wrapped in green marzipan. I find the cake a tad too sweet for my palate. (I am not a princess after all)
Update: ChocolateSuze is disappointed that I didn't link the video that I shot of her jiggling the Princess Cake. So here it is!
There is also Punch Rolls aka “vacuum cleaners” and Delicato Ball for us to try. The Delicato Ball is a solid chocolate ball coated with dessicated coconut. I like the flavour but I find the coarse grainy texture rather unpleasant.
The Punch Roll is not for the children. In Swedish they are called punchrulle (punch roll) or dammsugare (vacuum cleaner) because they look like the old fashioned Hoover. A nice little tea cake soaked in liquor then wrapped in chocolate.
The nice people at Ikea also handed out goodie bags to the happy foodbloggers. Who would have thought I am the lucky door prize winner and scored myself a big 365+ pot and a set of cooking utensils!? I have never won big prize like this in my life! I am totally chuffed and a very happy man. TACK SJÄLV!
We all also received the IKEA's real Swedish cook book which I found fascinating. Swedish cuisine is one of those that I am yet to discover and a lot to learn. Will definitely give those recipes a try one day!
We finish the night with a quick stop at the newly expanded food section with a good selection of Swedish products. I bring home some Daim candies, Toffee flavour shoe laces, and I found those moose elk head pasta uber cute! Definitely will go back again and bring back a few bags of those Daim Cakes and Meatballs!