First buy a Billy rack, then buy a vegan Köttbullar from Ikea

BerlinNothing creates psychological comfort like a closet: all the unopened letters, delayed projects, and things that you could use in principle but no longer find a practical place there. If you have a closet, you don’t need Marie Kondo (known from the Netflix series “Tidying up with Marie Kondo”), nor even a therapist, because as long as you have a closet, all your worries and problems can simply disappear behind the door. After all, some people also have a billing drawer in which letters containing reminders end up unopened. So you extend the time until debt counselor Peter Zweigat comes home a little: out of sight, out of mind.

IKEA is good enough for wardrobe

Couples in particular can skillfully get around the difficult and often controversial question of “Dispose or keep?” Simply by postponing the decision indefinitely. The same applies to love as to politics: it is the art of the possible. Let’s not kid ourselves: Discussing all the problems in a relationship based on the belief that the best argument will eventually prevail is a romantic idea, but it has nothing to do with reality.

You are most likely to enter the shadow world of Discordia. But what do you do when the closet is full and the guillotine threatens to bring down the happiness that was new? It is better to take precautions and buy the rack in time. Then you have enough storage space before it’s too late. The good news is that you don’t have to worry too much about choosing the right piece of furniture for your storage room. A simple Ikea billy shelf will do just fine.

Take a nap: Customers with a good rest buy more

The model “Hejne” made of untreated softwood (78x31x171 cm) is even cheaper, and is already available for 29.99 euros. Problem: You have to visit the Ikea branch yourself, because the delivery fee defies description. This is also the intention. Of course, resourceful Swedes will want to lure you into the store, in the unjustified hope that in addition to a pine mantel, tea lamps, candlesticks, spoons, cereal bowls and a fancy dinosaur will also find their way into your cart.

Finally, the relaxing landscape of the sales halls invites you to dine. If you wish, you can also take a short nap in one of the built-in beds. This is also desirable, at Ikea they find that customers who get a good night’s sleep buy more.

In addition to stealing pencils, a trip to the Swedish restaurant is also part of a successful Ikea visit. From the Swedish restaurant at the author’s favorite Ikea store in Berlin-Lichtenberg, you can admire a great view of a car park, beyond which looms majestically the modern branch of hardware store Globus. If you don’t have a car: the nearest tram stop is only about 250 meters away – no problem at all, right? Anyone who assumes that a Swedish restaurant at IKEA has little to do with an actual visit to a restaurant in Sweden is mistaken. In fact, the self-service and gastronomy of the system is very popular in Scandinavia – anyone with relatives in Sweden like the author can sing a song about it.

Swedes love gastronomy

The most popular dish in the Swedish restaurant is still Köttbullar, according to Ikea, the furniture store sells about 1 billion of these meatballs annually worldwide. Wow, that means more than one in eight people on Earth ate at least one of these meatballs in 2021. Even the 2013 horse meat scandal couldn’t change that. Cotpolar is usually served with peas and mashed potatoes, which can be distinguished from each other not by their consistency, but by their color.

There is also the obligatory cranberry sauce. Great fun for very little money. It usually tastes like ‘meals on wheels’ or in economy class at Lufthansa, also because the small meatballs are often very soft and flavorless and the proper cream sauce lacks depth of taste. But kids especially love the Köttbullar – who can blame them? For some time now, vegans have also been able to get their money’s worth at Ikea. Food Chemists have created something new: Planet Polar, a pure, plant-based protein ball made from peas! We tried it for you at the Ikea branch in Berlin-Lichtenberg (also so you don’t have to).

Best things first: If you order the little pea protein balls on the counter, you’ll get a little green flag stuck to the balls. It looks nice, and it also lets the cashier know you got the cheapest option, since Plantbullar is priced a bit lower than their meat-based counterparts. The simple part costs only 4.95 euros. You can also place a drinking glass on the tablet of the beverage pump behind the push-up area (€1.50). So you can refill as you like.

Everyone loves Köttbullar!

At the latest, when you drink ten liters of diluted currant juice and cranberry-lemon juice, you’ve made a deal with mixed arithmetic. In terms of taste, Plantbullar is surprisingly close to the classic Köttbullar. Since there’s no scary factor (horse meat! gristle!), there’s also no uncomfortable feeling when eating. You have a choice: You can also replace the side dish with mashed potatoes with French fries.

By the way, frozen Plantbullar can also be bought at Ikea. If you have to organize a children’s birthday party Invited one child from Prenzlauer Berg who does not eat meat, Plantbullar is probably an excellent choice. For dessert in the restaurant there is also a cinnamon roll, which is also somewhat priced at only 1 euro, but unfortunately the butter is also noticeably saved. It won’t surprise you: The Schwedenrestaurant is kind of a Billyregal in between dining experiences, it’s not great, but it doesn’t hurt anyone either.

Rating: 2 out of 5 points!

Swedish restaurant Ikea LichtenbergLandsberger Allee 364, 10365 Berlin, Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.


This text appeared in the weekend edition of the Berliner Zeitung – every Saturday at the kiosk or here as a subscription.

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