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.

Feast on Father’s Day at home ala Chef Jessie

Celebrate Father’s Day at home with Chef Jessie’s uniquely delicious offerings.

Have an appetizer of Smoked Salmon Caviar Pie with Croutons and follow it up with Caesar Salad in the Classic Way. Soup choices are Creamy Shrimp Bisque, Cream of Fresh Mushroom, Cream of Carrot and Pumpkin and Seafood and Corn Chowder.

Chef Jessie Father’s Day

Every Dad would love a Grilled Prime Black Angus Beef Tenderloin or Grilled Prime Black Angus Rib Eye with a choice of sauces like Béarnaise, Bordelaise, Bourguignon, Wild Mushroom, Goose Liver and Creamy Pepper. Other meat dishes include US Black Angus Beef Tenderloin Tips Salpicao, US Beef Cheeks and Mushroom Ragout and Iberian Chestnut Pork Barbeque.

Chef Jessie Father’s Day

Chef Jessie Father’s Day

Chef Jessie Father’s Day

Seafood lovers can order Grilled Chilean Sea Bass in Mariner Sauce, Baked Chilean Sea Bass in Miso Sauce, Grilled Salmon in Berlinoise Sauce, Grilled Tiger Prawns in Lemon Butter Sauce.

Chef Jessie Father’s Day

Also on the menu are Grilled Duck à L’orange and Chicken Cordon Bleu with Homemade Potato Chips.

Enjoy the meal with a bottle of Menhir Salento Numero Zero Negroamaro (N°0), Pope Francis’ favorite wine. The rosato is of a ruby hue with purple highlights with a bouquet of strawberry, blackberry and raspberry with a taste that is fresh, vinous and slightly astringent.

If you want something light, there are pastas like A La Jessie, A la Créme with Truffle, Pomodoro with Seafood, Bolognese, Carbonara or Putanesca. Choose from Spaghetti, Linguine or Penne. Another popular menu item is Wild Rice Vegetable Risotto.

Chef Jessie Father’s Day

Sandwiches to go with the pastas can be Club Classic, Grilled Ham and Cheese, Smoked Salmon and Trio Pandesal with Chicken Adobo, Corned Beef and Sardines.

Whole cakes will satisfy the whole family’s sweet tooth with the mango sponge cake classic My Tita’s Special Treat, the buttercream, meringue and pistachio layered Princess Carmen, Chef Jessie’s Baked Cheesecake with Cherry, Blueberry and Mango Toppings, Chocolate Gateau ala Teddy and Sugar Free Decadence Cake. End the meal with Chef Jessie’s Premium Roast Coffee.

Chef Jessie Father’s Day

Chef Jessie Father’s Day

Chef Jessie Father’s Day

Chef Jessie can prepare your favorites even if they are not on the menu as long as the ingredients are available.

To order, text or call ‪+63 917 8967880‬, ‪+63 917 8330797‬ and ‪+63 977 0976649‬ or email chefjessiesplace@chefjessie.com. Chef Jessie’s Place is at ‪1997 Pililia St.‬ corner Obrero and Tanay Streets, Makati and is open everyday for pick up and delivery ‪from 9am to 4pm‬.

Details and images provided by Chef Jessie in a recent press release.

A quiet place to work and eat (and even study!): Quarks & Quills, Banawe

Technology has enabled many changes to the way we work: with mobile devices, wireless data access and internet-enabled communications and file-sharing applications, we now have the option to work outside our offices.  In fact, doing so might even make us more productive: it takes us away from the stress of commuting and a lot of workplace distractions.

However, when working from home is not an option, remote workers are faced with a conundrum: where to work in comfort and still be productive?  And for foodies like me, where to get good food to fuel the day’s work.

Fortunately, Quarks & Quills Study Center and Work Cafe offers both a quiet and comfy space to work, as well as healthy comfort food to keep tummies satisfied.

Located in one of the suburbs of Quezon City, the cafe boasts of quiet and cozy nooks for studying or working, free WiFi access, as well as power outlets for charging laptops and mobile devices (essential for the “always-on, always-connected” peeps like me).

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

It also has function rooms upstairs for group meetings that can be reserved for a consumable amount (Php800 for up to 6 people and Php1,500 for up to 20 people). Reservations just need to be made a day in advance.

It also offers after-school tutorial services and enrichment programs in Math, Science and English for students.  Those who want to learn Chinese can benefit from Mandarin and Fookien held upstairs.

And thanks to a Zomato Foodie Meetup, I was able to sample its homey and hearty food offerings, of which I recommend:

Monte Cristo (Php125). French toasted sandwiched with a hearty filling of cheese and homemade ham.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Tinapa Wontons (Php105). Smoked fish flakes in wonton wrappers fried to a crispy golden brown and accompanied by a Spicy Tamarind Vinaigrette.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Gyoza (Php105). Dumplings filled with minced pork and aromatics which are steamed then seared for a crisp bottom.

Breakfast Bubble Waffle Set (Php195). Unusually styled (bubble!) waffles served with slices of homemade ham and scrambled eggs.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Its versions of Omurice, the fusion of omelettes and fried rice, also pack quite a punch: the Pork Katsu (Php195) with its fork tender pork bites drenched in tonkatsu sauce and the Miso Salmon (Php255) with flavorful salmon pieces drenched in the resto’s signature Miso glaze. These would go a long way towards satiating a hungry worker or student.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Sisig Silog (Php150). The combo of the slightly spicy sisig, egg and fried rice make for an energizing meal.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

For those who brought a big appetite, the best bets this resto has to offer are its Executive Meals: the BSS Pork Chop (Php335) – BSS means Big, Soft and Savory, by the way!) – and the Angus Hanger Steak (opening promo price of Php388). Both are quite good bargains considering the portion sizes, althought I would suggest specifying that the steak be cooked medium instead of well done.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

If you’re carbo-loading, you have quite a number of options among its pasta dishes: from its Creamy Alfredo (Php180), Fresh Tomato Pomodoro (Php190) and Fusili Pesto (Php205), all of which come with a cheesy twisty sourdough bread stick.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

You can also cap off your meal or gift your family for special occasions with the resto’s decadent sweet treats that come in slices and whole cakes. These include the Triple Chocolate Mousse (Php110 for slice | Php880 for whole) and Mango Graham Cake (Php135 for slice | Php1,050 for whole).

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

You can also opt for a S’mores Bubble Waffle (Php140). Apparently, at Quarks & Quills, the usual grid-style waffle is so basic. 🙂 This comes with some toasted mallows, a big dollop of vanilla ice cream and drizzles of rich chocolate syrup.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Now, how to wash all those goodies down? I chose a light yet creamy Hot Jasmine Milk Tea (Php70), which I messed up during prep, hehehe!

I’m also intrigued by the Hot Chocolate (Php80) which involves pouring the hot chocolate over a grid of solidified chocolate and toasted mallows.

Whether you’re here to study, work or just go on a gastronomic adventure, Quarks and Quills definitely has something for you. My only beef is the resto’s exhaust that didn’t quite accommodate all the smoke from the cooking that’s going on.  Still, all the food and drink options will make your visit worth it.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

And guess what! You can book a table at Quarks & Quills via Eatigo and enjoy 20% off your food bill. Not yet on Eatigo? Sign up here, book your table and attend your booking before January 31, 2019 for a chance to get Php500 Eatigo cash voucher.

Quarks & Quills is located at 43-H N. Roxas corner Apo Streets, Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City and is open every day from 7am to 11pm.  For queries and reservations, call +63 908 3719060, +63 956 0998913 or +63 2 8719502.

Quarks & Quills Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other Zomato foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.