A taste of Scandinavia at IKEA’s Swedish Restaurant

Have you heard of the recent trending topic called #SwedenGate? It sprang from several anecdotes shared on Reddit which recall childhood experiences of house guests not being invited to dine while at a Swedish household.

While there are myriad cultural contexts behind this custom, and recent reports do share that this practice has been dying out, it does bring to the spotlight a cuisine heretofore unknown to most Filipinos: Scandinavian food.

IKEA Swedish Restaurant
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
IKEA Swedish Restaurant

Recently, this cuisine became a lot more accessible to us, thanks to IKEA’s Swedish Restaurant at IKEA Pasay. Given the time and energy that shoppers expend while browsing through its displays, it’s a good thing that IKEA opened a self-service cafeteria inside the store. It has proven to be quite popular: during my family’s recent visit, we had to wait in line for thirty minutes to an hour before we were able to enter.

Since it employs a cafeteria-style self-service type of operations, we had to line up at the food counters to choose and collect our food in trays and carry them towards the cashiers. This process is greatly helped by the trollies that IKEA provided, which proved to be a great convenience due to the sheer amount of food we ended up buying.

IKEA Swedish Restaurant
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
IKEA Swedish Restaurant

Once we‘re done getting our food, we settled down to eat at the well-appointed dining area which is furnished with Scandinavian-style tables and chairs. Depending on the number of people in your party, you may opt for the small tables for a party of two or a get the bigger tables that can seat up to eight people.

IKEA Swedish Restaurant
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
IKEA Swedish Restaurant

The menu and operations of IKEA’s Swedish Restaurant are guided by its seven food principles:

  • Lagom – Servings that are not too hearty nor lacking, with responsible portions just right to sate one’s hunger.
  • Sustainable – Food items should be good for both people and the planet by sourcing ingredients from farms and fisheries that strive to protect the environment, public health, people and communities.
  • Plant-based – Food items that celebrate seasonal and diverse ingredients as well as make healthier and sustainable living easy.
  • Animal welfare – Fewer animals are used in its menu and all are sourced sustainably from farms that practice humane treatment of livestock.
  • Natural – Simple and wholesome dishes that reduce the use of additives while still safeguarding food safety.
  • Food is precious – Food waste is a no-no from farm to consumption.
  • Food is pleasure – Food is meant to be enjoyed with others, celebrating different cultures that come together.

The fam did take our cue from the greeting “Smaklig maltid!” (“Enjoy your meal!”) as we shared and feasted on our Scandinavian food orders:

IKEA Swedish Restaurant
Green Salad (Php65)
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
Marinated Salmon with Dill Sauce (Php230)
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
Swedish Meatballs (Php220/12pcs)
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
Baked Salmon Fillet with broccoli and lemon-dill sauce (Php375)
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
Meatballs with Organic Spaghetti Pomodoro (Php140)
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
Butter Croissant (Php55)
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
Almond Cake (Php90)
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
Crunchy Almond Chocolate Cake (Php90)
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
Carrot Cake (Php110)
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
A Scandinavian feast!

We also enjoyed free-flowing Nordic drinks (Php50/person) to go with our food. These are sparkling or still beverages sweetened only with half the usual amount of sugar featuring flavors such as elderberry, lemon, pear, raspberry, lingonberry, and cola distributed on tap at the drink stations.

IKEA Swedish Restaurant
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
IKEA Swedish Restaurant
IKEA Swedish Restaurant

When we finished our meal, we quickly cleared our table (to do our share in helping IKEA keep its food costs low) and left so that our table can be readily used by the next batch of diners.

I’m glad that my fam was able to experience this foray into Scandinavian cuisine. #SwedenGate may son be a thing of the past, but this family’s love affair with Swedish food is just beginning.

The Swedish Restaurant is located at the 4th Level of IKEA Pasay City and is open daily, from 9:30 am to 9 pm.

To stay updated on news and updates about IKEA PH, visit its website or follow it on Facebook or Instagram.

Upscale dinner at St. Marc Cafe, UP Town Center

St. Marc Cafe is a Japanese brand of cafe with presence in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, aside from here in the Philippines. The resto’s concept is centered on the promise of providing diners with friendly service and a vibrant environment with which to enjoy their delicious food.

When my daughter #ExhibitA spent a day with her UP friends, we met up for dinner at St. Marc Cafe’s UP Town Center branch.

The cafe has a hip vibe, with a cozy and upscale dining area accented by its avant-garde ceiling lights. The counter also serves as a showcase for the desserts and sweets available, so I found myself considering dessert while I was still looking at my options for our main viands.

St Marc, UP Town Center

St Marc, UP Town Center

St Marc, UP Town Center

St Marc, UP Town Center

To feed a group of four (myself and three young ‘uns), I ordered:

Carbonara (Php300). Pork stock flavored carbonara topped with bacon, parmesan and fresh egg yolk.

St Marc, UP Town Center

Sepia Nero (Php320).  Squid ink infused pasta with fresh squid, cream and cherry tomatoes.

St Marc, UP Town Center

Menchi Katsu Burger (Php245). Deep-fried patty of ground beef and pork, with sliced cheddar cheese, fresh shredded cabbage and the resto’s secret sauce, and served with crispy fries.

St Marc, UP Town Center

Original Crotoast (Php180).  Homemade French croissant toast served with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with maple syrup.

St Marc, UP Town Center

Who would have thought that these would be enough for me and the kids to dine on?

It was great meal spent getting to know and hanging out with my baby girl’s pals.

What’s even better is that the whole meal actually cost Php1,045 but I had a Php400 discount because of a Metrodeal offer gives Php500 worth of food in this cafe for only Php299 (I bought two vouchers).

St Marc, UP Town Center

This St. Marc Cafe outlet is located at Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 10pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 11am.  For queries and reservations, call +63 2 6254065.

Other branches are located at:

  • Ground Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City (open daily from 10am to 10pm | Tel No: +63 2 5318062)
  • Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City (open daily from 10am to 10pm | Tel No: +63 2 7518456)
  • Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City (open daily from 10am to 10pm | Tel No: +63 2 6254065)
  • Upper Ground Floor, Main Building, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City (open daily from 10am to 10pm | Tel No: +63 2 3721026)
  • Ground Floor, Robinsons Place Manila, Ermita, Manila (open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm | Tel No: +63 2 2421483)
  • Evia Lifestyle Center, Daang Hari Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City (open Mondays to Fridays from 10am to 10pm, Saturdays from 10am to 11pm and Sundays from 10am to 11.30pm | Tel No: +63 2 7768548)
  • One Parkade Building, 7th Avenue Corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City (open daily from 10am to 10pm | Tel No: +63 2 5050245)
  • Ground Floor, Main Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City (open daily from 10am to 10pm)

St. Marc Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato