Delicious Plant-Based Dishes in IKEA Japan
As delicious as the regular ones yet great option for vegetarian.
IKEA is the world's leading furniture, home accessories, and home services retailer, famous for its product design and quality and its Swedish-themed food court. To this date, IKEA has 364 stores within 46 countries, including Japan. I visited one of the branches, IKEA Fukuoka Shingu, to check what kind of product IKEA Japan has and try out some Swedish meals.
I did not find many differences in the product of IKEA Japan and IKEA Indonesia (my home country), so I headed over to the food court. What caught my eyes instantly was the plant-based option for almost all the menus that IKEA usually serves. It is a good opportunity for IKEA, knowing that the number of vegetarians and Muslims in Japan has increased; there is no need to worry about getting food in IKEA.
There were 3 menus available by my visit:
- Swedish Plant Ball
- Plant-based Cutlet Curry
- Plant-based Flying Jacob
I am always obsessed with a plant-based diet, so I tried all the menus without hesitation. I write the description of each menu below.
Swedish Plant Ball
The plant-based version of the popular IKEA's Swedish Meatball (usually made with beef or pork). The gravy, peas, mashed potato, and lingonberry jam were still being served, making the look of this dish very similar to the meaty counterpart. Surprisingly, not just the appearance that was similar but also the taste. I believe that meat-eaters won't realize that this dish is entirely made from plants.
Plant-based Cutlet Curry
This second dish is more like Japanese style rather than Swedish. People can find cutlet curry almost everywhere in Japan, usually made with pork or chicken, with the curry gravy poured over the cutlet.
This time, IKEA plays around with plant ingredients and succeeds in making it looks like -even plumper than- the meat version. I did find the "fake" cutlet crispy and delicious, but I didn't think the taste was as meaty as the plant ball. The upside of this dish is that it was very fulfilling, owing to the rice and thick curry gravy.
The last and the only dish that is originally from Sweden. According to Wikipedia, Flying Jacob is a casserole usually composed of chicken, cream, chili sauce, banana, and roasted peanuts.
I found that the IKEA version was more like a stew than a casserole, with the original recipe with some modifications on the chicken (as it had to be vegan), vegetable type, and rice. I did enjoy eating this dish since I could taste a whole new flavor. It was also as fulfilling as the previous dish, perfect for you who come with an empty stomach.
The Final Verdict
- All the dishes are delicious, but I fall in love with the Swedish plant ball hardly because of its astonishing taste, right from the first bite.
- I noticed that most dishes were made from soy protein or another kind of bean that can be an allergen to some people. Be aware of the ingredients before you choose a particular dish.
- IKEA sells the frozen version of the plant ball; try to find it on the food market (usually placed near the exit area). Remember that the frozen one does not include the gravy and other complements, so you must cook them yourself.