Previously in this series:
Well, what can I say? My first IKEA ever!
While PH is still in eager anticipation of its very first IKEA store, Singapore already has two to date. I say, “What’s up with that Philippines ?? ”
If anything, I can only describe it as humongous.
The one we visited was the store in Tampines. We took the shuttle and arrived in time for brunch, or thereabouts.
There’s already a long line at the counter when we arrived and the huge dining area is already packed with hungry souls. It isn’t this much people we traveled with at the shuttle service coming here so I guess the others came in earlier from other hop-on points, or have used other mode(s) of transport.
A friend suggested that I try the Swedish meatballs and one of the cakes, so I did. I got myself a chocolate cake with crunchy caramel.
Now, what I like about Swedish food (if this is in fact representative of authentic Swedish food), which I am trying for the first time, by the way, is that it’s more on the healthier side. It noticeably uses minimal sodium and sugar. The ingredients too are probably mostly organic, if not all.
It’s delicious, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that it’s not as seasoned as much as we are used to with our own dishes. Filipino food, as we all know, is BIG on flavor. Like it’s all savory, sweet (or both) in our world, right?
This focus on providing healthy alternatives is actually a good thing. With the increasing number of cases of degenerative, lifestyle diseases like diabetes and cancer, we do well to be more mindful of the food we eat. We ought to go easy on sodium, sugar, rice and all other bad carbs, and add more of the different veggies instead.
This flat lay though. Hands down.
After that filling and satisfying meal, we are now ready to explore this giant of a maze where it seems like anything and everything you would ever need for an ideal home could be found – from linens, to decor, to furnitures, to all sorts of knick-knacks, you name it. You literally need to follow the arrows on the floor so as not to get lost.
The thing that strikes me the most is the fact that customers are actually encouraged to try the couch and the bed to check how comfortable it is to their liking. Something that’s very different from what we are used to in the Philippines where you would often see signs that say “Thank you for not sitting” or not lying on the bed, or something to that effect.
As a matter of fact, I found myself some nice spot in some (er, not-so-discreet) corner where I had to doze off. I couldn’t help it. For that brief moment, I was the epitome of the saying “masandal, tulog”.
You should cut me some slack, guys. I have very punishing work schedule.
If it’s any consolation, I’m not alone in this. As you can see here, R too has found herself some cozy spot for some snooze.
And this here is the difference (quite literally) between sitting-pretty (left) and sleeping-pretty (right). 😀
If anything, I guess you can call this a testament to IKEA‘s high-quality and comfort, right? Because really, “you’ll doze off in no time”.
Haha! Did you see what I did there? Some segue, huh? And no, I did not just pull-off some tagline 😀
We were feeling pretty beat that day, we hadn’t really made anything out of our itinerary for after. So we just prepared to go back to the hotel. We decided to have some snack first on the way (albeit a bit heavy) and a few more shopping.
The mall we passed by adjacent to the train station has a food court with purveyors selling laksa. Toast Box (where we decided to eat), used to have a branch in Manila at Robinsons Place, but it was short-lived. It didn’t quite took off after its launch. The menu might have needed some tweaking, I surmise.
But this laksa right here? It’s good. Nothing bad to say.
We went back to the hotel afterwards.
By the way, I think our choice of hotel couldn’t be more perfect. We recommend it to anyone whose budget is somewhere in the mid-range. Hotel 81 Premier Star is what it is, of the Hotel 81 chain.
The rooms are clean and has this minimalist Japanese zen vibe. It’s pretty much stripped down to just the basic necessities (to bring down cost and maximize space), but not sacrificing aesthetics, functionality and comfort. It’s still complete with everything you would practically need but without the frills.