I have a confession to make – I dine at the IKEA restaurant without shopping at IKEA. In fact, it’s the first thing I did when the new IKEA opened at MAF’s new Festival Plaza in Jebel Ali. The restaurant’s look, lay-out, feel and atmosphere is copy-paste from the first one in Festival City. If you’ve been there and liked it, there’s a very strong chance you will feel the same about this new branch.
The one and only change I could spot was what you do with your tray when you’re done. In the Festival City restaurant, one was encouraged to place used trays in a kind of holding area from where their staff would take them to be cleaned. At this new branch you just place your tray on a conveyor and hey presto! it’s gone. How cool is that?
The food is the same. Everyone I know either split between with grilled salmon, the meatballs or the (still only AED5) chicken shawarma (from the bistro downstairs). I used to alternate between all three but have laid off the shawarma since starting this low carb diet. Thankfully the salmon and meatballs can both be had with a side of vegetables as opposed to fries or rice. My only concession is the dollop of lemon-dill sauce on the salmon or the gravy on the meatballs – yum.
The salads are fantastic as are the desserts (which I skip). But if you are so inclined, try the sinfully delicious Dime cake. The coffee is organic, better and shamefully cheaper than Nero opposite. The staff are courteous, positive and always smiling. Believe me, this canteen style restaurant is worth a detour.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.