Ah, IKEA. A warehouse both loved and hated, everyone has an opinion on IKEA.
Since originating in Sweden, it now has around 315 stores in 27 countries. Personally, I love to go to IKEA, but the biggest downside for me, apart from all the children who always seem to be crying in there, has always been the vegan option (or lack thereof) in their restaurants.
Their vegan option so far has been dry falafel with an even more dry couscous salad. The sauce has been tzatziki, which is certainly not vegan. Therefore, it has been a downside so far to eat there after hours of endless shopping. Us vegans are also hungry! And we love food, maybe even more than other customers?
Vegan Oslo have today been at IKEAs launch party for their new product catalogue. Fun fact; the IKEA catalogue is printed in an edition of over 175 million annually, and it’s said to be the most widely distributed book in the world, second only to the Bible!
We were served delicious food at IKEA's new pop up restaurant that’s located in Nordre Gate 15 in Grünerløkka, Oslo. Finally, IKEA has some good news for vegans as well: from September 1st, their restaurant is serving succulent vegan vegetable balls with a serving of quinoa salad and a delicious spinach tomato sauce! We are very analytical when it comes to taste, so it is a pleasure to report that this meal tasted really good! The vegetable balls are made from only chickpeas, carrots, corn and kale making them a good, healthy option for carnivores that want something other than their standard meatballs! IKEAs goal is to sell 1/3 of what they sell in meatballs as vegetable balls.
This year's catalogue theme is all about being together, especially in the kitchen. IKEA will launch smart solutions for the kitchen, not only to save time and space, but also to reduce unnecessary disposal of food, which is of course a familiar problem for most of us. It's all about having a good overview of the kitchen and our groceries, recycling more, planning our meals better, and, for example, inviting friends round to eat up the left-over.
This concept is precisely what the pop up restaurant in Grünerløkka, IKEA Ätbar, addresses. For one week starting August 6th, the pop up restaurant will offer workshops from 12 to 14 (Saturday 11-13), which deals with topics such as growing your own herbs, keeping order in the kitchen, preparing better table settings and even cooking classes for children. From 17 to 21 the restaurant itself is open, where the concept is that guests bring with them some groceries, which experienced chefs will make a nice meal out of.
Vegan Oslo would also like to encourage you to bring some vegan food along, such as tofu and tempeh, to put the chefs to the test whilst making other guests aware that there are tasty, healthy and sustainable vegan food out there. Here we can get a new platform to introduce these foods to the other guests and the chefs who work there.
If you don’t live in Oslo or have the opportunity to stop by the pop up restaurant, you can certainly look forward to September 1st and IKEAs first proper vegan meal in your local sotre!
Their catalogue will be officially released August 10th.
Words by Berit Rokstad
Pictures by Berit Rokstad and Julia Quirk