Meatball Monday – IKEA Canberra

Recently road signs have warned of major delays in the Majura area for at least a week starting this Monday 16th November. Why? If you somehow have not heard, the IKEA Canberra store is opening and everyone wants to be there. According to the Facebook event, over 13,000 people want to be there during their opening celebrations starting from around 6:30am and the store will open at 9:30am.One of my friends who has never been to an IKEA store before asked me ‘what is the big deal about IKEA?’; this made me ponder and I didn’t know where to start. I wanted to tell her that when it opens in Canberra on Monday it will be the most sustainable store in Australia using LED lighting, they have just under 2000 solar panels, they source sustainable salmon as well as becoming the first major retailer to source 100% of its cotton from more sustainable sources, just to name a few things. I also wanted to mention their charity initiatives supporting educational project run by Save the Children and UNICEF. Instead, I explained that most people want to improve their home and their personal spaces and IKEA helps people to do that regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds. Despite people saying that everyone’s houses will look the same, there is so much choice and room for personalising, I don’t think that would be the case.

I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek of  Canberra’s IKEA store on Friday and I wanted to tell you all what you’re in store for starting Monday.

Unlike other IKEA stores, Canberra’s store is single level and will be the first in Australia to have a ‘IKEA Cafe’ with coffees, cakes and some savoury options available. The IKEA restaurant itself has a 380 seat capacity and I would consider the whole menu to be a bargain and that’s not just comparing it to Canberra prices!The Market Hall is one of my favourite places to browse, even if my kitchen is full. IKEA plans to run workshops so customers see first hand how to use the products and produce. On top of all this, the IKEA Canberra store will have a free child minding for the children aged 3 – 10 that are toilet trained. Småland (pronounced small land for those who don’t speak Swedish) is available to parents to are on site (in store or in the car park) for maximum 1 hour a day, they have a capacity for up to 45 kids at a time with activities including colouring in, stadium seating for the ‘cloud’ tv and a ball pit which is 80cm deep. Be aware that this is a really popular facility and long wait times might apply. See the additional information below taken from their website:

We like to make visiting IKEA both fun for kids and easier for grown-ups. Småland is our free supervised play area, located next to our store greeter. So kids, come on in… We look forward to seeing you soon!

Småland is licensed under the Department of Education, so all children must be enrolled before coming in to play. This paperwork is only needed once a year. There is a limit on the number of children allowed in Småland to ensure their safety at all times. As a result, you may experience longer waiting times during busier periods.

IKEA launched ‘LATTJO’ their play collection that inspires everyone to play more together – everyday. I am tempted to everyone a snail hat this Christmas.With kids and their parents set as a first priority, IKEA have awesome parent rooms, the restaurant area has microwaves for warming milk, kids cutlery and even a small children’s play area so the parents get some peace while they’re eating Swedish meatballs.

There is so much cutesy things to buy for kids and the young at heartI love IKEA’s store concept where they create fully furnished areas, making it much easier to visualise the end product or lend creative inspiration especially storage in small spaces. If you’re like me and get your cardio work out from shopping, you’ll get over 1km walk if you don’t take short cuts.

Do you need some room inspiration? It took the IKEA staff 5 weeks to set up the whole store! Come and see their amazing space.

They have over 700 car parks available on opening day, with staff parking off site and taking a shuttle bus to the store; being a sustainably minded store they encourage everyone to carpool or take public transportation (extra buses will run from platform #9 Civic interchange).

Are you excited for IKEA Canberra?

Venue: IKEA Canberra

Address: 1030 Majura Road, Majura, ACT 2609

Phone: (02) 8020 6641

Extended trading hours
from 16 – 22 November

Monday: 9:30am – 9:00pm
Tues-Friday: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Regular trading hours
from 23 November onwards

Mon-Thur: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Regular Restaurant trading hours
Mon-Thur: 9:30am – 6:30pm
Friday: 9:30am – 8:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am – 6:30pm
Sunday: 9:30am – 5:30pm

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Beef wellington at Les Bistronomes

I haven’t been back to Les Bistronomes since late last year but when our plan A of eating Mr. Papa’s new menu fell through, TimmyC was very quick to point out that I hadn’t taken him to eat beef wellington yet. So as we were eating our dessert from Peppercress, we proceeded to order our main at another restaurant on the other side of town, as true foodies do.Complimentary house bread served with ash butter. I liked the concept of a whole mini loaf served to the table but I didn’t like the execution, I crumbed EVERYWHERE. It was hard to cut with your normal table knife but a serrated knife would have just glided through this baby. The bread was delicious, the butter was incredible, and I was just messy.Apparently people don’t usually leave this much mess, I’m just special.They have gone all ‘home style’ with these plates.Entrees~

Charcuterie platter cured meats, salami and rillettes with bread ($24.00). This platter was much bigger than I remembered, I’m glad I only ordered one serve of the pork belly. I really enjoyed the mixture of cured meats served with bread and gherkins, although the hot sausage was not to everyone’s liking. For me personally it would have been nicer with fruit/cheese/more bread to break up the salty meat taste.Caramelised pork belly and warm celeriac and truffle veloute served with shaved apple and celeriac crisp ($22.00). This was much smaller than I expected for the price we paid, despite being very delicious. Luckily the platter was bigger than we expected or I would have started to get hangry before our mains were due to come out. The veloute made me almost want to lick the plate but I’m a lady so I ended up soaking up every last bit with bread instead.Mains to share ~ pre ordering is recommended

Boeuf en croute (beef wellington) mushroom duxelle and foie gras served with a side of your choice ($88.00 for two people 30 minutes cooking time). We had pre-ordered just one beef wellington when we made the reservation so that we could try other things, even though it is recommended for two people I think it suits 3-4 people so that everyone isn’t stuffed by the end of the mains and you get a bit of variety. Chips are the best thing to get as a side as it is hot, crispy and well seasoned and sometimes you just need that hit of salt between bites. I absolutely loved the jus and poured extra all over my serve.

It might not look like much but I think this baby can feed more than two people.

Look at it glisten when I add more jus.Ash crusted duck a l’orange style (whole duck) served with red cabbage, orange and pine nuts ($80.00 for two people 25 minutes cooking time). We were shown our smoking ash encased duck before it was taken away to be cut in the kitchen; it was gone for a considerable amount of time before we were actually served the dish, so much so that I thought that they had given our duck away. I usually prefer ‘dark meat’ as I find breast can tend to be dry and disappointing, but because the duck was cooked whole and encased in ash, every part of it was moist and juicy. The meat had a combination of smoky duck flavours which paired perfectly with the sweet red cabbage and orange segments. It was hard to choose a favourite out of the two main dishes because both were amazing.

Excuse the blurry photo, I wanted to take one ASAP before it smoked out the whole room.When it is served, it has beautiful vibrant colours.Look at that juicy tender meat.Dessert~

Traditional apple tart tatin served with triple vanilla ice cream ($32.00 to share for 2 people allowing 40 minutes cooking time). This dessert is made from scratch and you would have to order it while ordering your meal. As delicious as the passionfruit soufflé and the crème brulee is, I’m glad that we didn’t order another dessert. It might sound expensive but it easily satisfied all four of us and shared between the four of us it came to only $8.00 a serve which is pretty decent. The apples were soft and sweet, the pastry was buttery and the caramelised sugar parts get stuck in your teeth, all in all a fabulous dessert.

I added the fork for scale, when you’ve eaten two courses already, this is enough to share between 3-4 people.It is so pretty with its shiny sticky sugar.I noticed some tables having a long wait time for their mains, but if you order an easy to share entree like the platter and you have good company, you wouldn’t generally notice the wait time. The restaurant started to get a little smoky towards the end with everyone’s ash encased mains being presented to them and the restaurant was closed up to keep the warmth in.

We left completely satisfied and happy as we had a good variety of delicious food. It did get a little salty towards the end and I had to prompt for more water as I was drinking so much, but I think I’ll have dreams about the tart tatin for months to come. Don’t forget to use your Entertainment book for this one!

See you first two posts here and here.

Welcome back, I’ve missed you

Whenever I’m in the Jamison area, I always check on the status of Dumpling Inn and when I checked this week I was pleasantly surprised to find the roller shutters up and they were open again for business. They have been opened since the 10th February and everyone must have missed them because they have been very busy ever since.

Welcome back Dumpling Inn, I’ve missed you.

Getting our usual ‘peking shredded beef’, ‘four season beans with minced pork’ and ‘tasty chopping meats in seasame rolls’.IMG_9639