Ikea Restaurant & Cafe, Marsden Park

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The beauty of a GPS is that it gives you the con­fid­ence to take the road less trav­elled or the ‘scen­ic’ route. A trip home from the Blue Mountains saw D and I take a detour via Marsden Park to vis­it the Lindt Factory Outlet. We took a wind­ing road down a steep moun­tain and we’ve not seen so much untamed bush­land in a very long time, prob­ably not since high school. Midway through a stretch of road with fields dot­ted with horses as far as the eye can see, we began to won­der if we weren’t head­ing even fur­ther away from Sydney.

But we arrived at Marsden Park even­tu­ally and got dis­trac­ted by the IKEA long before we made our way to Lindt.

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We stumble into the cafet­er­ia after D checked out their free lock­er sta­tion nearby, and the Nordic Fruit Water ($1.99 for a glass with free refills) catches our atten­tion for the sole reas­on that it dispensed…

… a Sparkling Nordic Pear Water. The drink smells like pears but doesn’t taste of it. Rather, it reminds of the dis­tinct taste of L&P from New Zealand only that this is less sweet. We like pear, but we like L&P too, so this was a winner.

Another fla­vour dis­pensed by the machine is a Still Lingonberry. We’re not famil­i­ar with the fruit, though we agreed that the drink tasted like a typ­ic­al ‘red fruity drink’, slightly tart, slightly sweet. Lingonberries are appar­ently pop­u­lar in Nordic coun­tries and have a sour, slightly sweet and bit­ter flavour.

Their Sparkling Nordic Raspberry Water has a very refresh­ing mel­low sweet­ness of fresh rasp­ber­ries. There’s none of that arti­fi­cial rasp­berry cor­di­al fla­vour of our child­hoods in this. We’d have pre­ferred a heav­ier emphas­is on the ‘spark­ling’ part of the descrip­tion, though, and that applies to the pear too.

Sparkling Nordic Lemon Water tastes just like reg­u­lar lem­on­ade from Schweppes. We also try their Green Iced Tea for com­plete­ness, which tasted like a sweet, fizzy lem­on green tea from Lipton with an awful deter­gent-like aftertaste.

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A few months earli­er I’d got­ten D all excited over Almondy Cake with Toblerone, only to real­ise that it wasn’t avail­able to Australia. A quick look at the food selec­tion at IKEA and we spot a slice of the Almondy Cake with Daim ($3.90). This was as close as we’d get to the Toblerone ver­sion for now, it seemed.

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Unfortunately, the almond car­a­mel base lost its prom­ised crunchi­ness from sit­ting out­side too long, so the milk chocol­ate coat­ing with crushed almonds was the high­light, cut­ting through the sweet­ness and heav­i­ness of the base and cream. We’d have enjoyed more chocol­ate for a more indul­gent treat.

On a second vis­it, we try the Passionfruit Cheesecake ($3.90), seduced by the rib­bons of pas­sion­fruit sauce. The cheese­cake itself had a bright and sweet yet tangy pas­sion­fruit fla­vour with a light tex­ture and the pas­sion­fruit sauce added that extra deli­cious kick.

Eventually, we get around to try­ing the savoury food options. These are the Swedish Meatballs, Chips & Gravy ($13.90) with lin­gon­berry sauce. The meat­balls were tender, although pro­cessed, and the gravy had a sur­pris­ing dairy fla­vour to them that I’ve not encountered in gravy before, while the lin­gon­berry jam added a well-com­ple­men­ted pop of sweet­ness. The chips were enjoy­ably crispy.


And this is the Children’s Fish and Chips ($3.49) with peas. The ‘fish’ are fish-shaped! Overall, this plate was great value for $3.49.

The down­side, though, was the ‘fish’ were less of a deep-fried fish fil­let, but more pro­cessed with a dis­tinct veget­able fla­vour — is there any fish at all?!

Children’s meals come with a com­ple­ment­ary jelly cup. This lime one had a punchy fla­vour, although the jelly frog has become weirdly soft and not chewy from sit­ting on top.

IKEA Restaurant & Cafe is at 1 Hollinsworth Rd, Marsden Park NSW 2765.