ikea’s swedish meatballs … now with veggies

What did you do over the Labor Day weekend? I went to Ikea. Woot! Oy! Conflicting emotions there. As always.

I moved into my new place last week (yay!), which meant I needed to buy stuff. I didn’t need as much stuff as I ended up buying, but some of it was needed. Well … ‘need’ is debatable. But what is undeniable is that Ikea has Swedish meatballs and I am a fan. Are they good? Eh. Are they cheap? Yes. Are they consistently the same worldwide? Close enough. Do I get Swedish meatballs each and every trip to Ikea? Oh heck yes. That is, if the line’s not too crazy long.


And ya know what? Now they’re nutritious! The meatballs are likely the same as before, but an order of Swedish meatballs now comes with vegetables. VEGETABLES! I have no idea when this became a thing, but I’m not a fan. What the heck is that green, yellow, and orange doing on my plate? Mon dieu! They’re cluttering the plate! So now, because I feel bad wasting food, I get guilted into eating vegetables when all I really want are the Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes. Argh. Good thing Ikea also offers desserts, because chocolate cake is the perfect thing to wash down those bland veggies!

dear ikea, I hate you

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with Ikea. The value! The range! The actually decent quality and design! But then there’s the crowds! The ridiculously long path! And today, the lack of things in stock!

It’s been a long few weeks. I’m exhausted and overwhelmed with work, but the other night I decided to stop by Ikea after work to pick up a few things. It’s pretty out of my way, but I’m swamped with stuff most evenings and weekends and I always overestimate how much I’m going to enjoy an Ikea trip. It was supposed to be a quick trip, so I decided to enter through the checkouts and loop around the marketplace in order to avoid the showroom. I wanted to pick up four things. Three were out of stock. Argh. I was so frustrated at that point I just said “screw it” and dropped my yellow bag with one item in a corner.


Then I did what any normal person would do in such an unfortunate situation. I got myself some consolation Swedish meatballs at the restaurant. And the meatballs were overcooked. Sigh. Seriously, Ikea? Seriously?! Right now I hate you, Ikea. Not ready to forgive you yet.

ikea in shanghai

After an English tutoring session, I took a little shopping trip to the wondrous place that is Ikea. Other than the Chinese people wandering about, it was a standard Ikea that could’ve been anywhere. Oh, and I used my new phone (Xiaomi 2S) to take the photos, hence the weird aspect ratio … I think I’ll go back to using my point-and-shoot.

131005 a

Shanghai has three Ikea locations, and I went to the Shanghai Baoshan one, which is a short walk from the Dachang Town station on line 7. It was easy to spot the big blue box with the bright yellow Ikea sign, but this one’s interior circulation was more annoying than usual because you had to take a series of escalators up to the 4th floor for the showroom, then work your way down to the 1st floor for checkout, and not all elevators went to all floors, and they had these really annoying ramp escalators. Ugh.

131005 b

The Swedish meatballs were fairly standard, but I’ve definitely had better at other Ikea locations. The little Swedish flag makes me happy, but the mashed potatoes tasted off and they gave me such a small portion of lingonberry jam – sad!

131005 c

At the end of the day, I was just so happy to get out of there. Every time I visit an Ikea, I always expect it’s going to be an amazing experience where I get so much cheap and glorious stuff. And every time I leave an Ikea, I always end up stuffed on Swedish meatballs, exhausted by the circuitous walking path, and exasperated that Ikea has fooled me once again. This time was no different. But alas, I got what I needed and have no reason to return any time soon.