Case Family in Hong Kong

Ikea Restaurant Shatin: Method to the Madness

Posted in Daily Life Blurbs by jpcase01 on August 28, 2013

Have you ever been so hungry you could eat a horse? Whenever I feel that way I like to head over to the Ikea Restaurant in Shatin which has to be the worst kept secret in Hong Kong, that place is crazy every time we go there. It’s good food for cheap prices so I usually like to try to get over there once a week. However, there is a method to the madness that can make things much more bearable and I’m going to share it with you.

First thing is how to get there; a short walk from Shatin MTR Station, exit on the north side and walk down the ramp. You will most likely pass the mobile softee but I would suggest you hold out on the kids at this point. Once you enter Home Square, the escalator heading to Ikea is pretty hard to miss. Once you get up to the Ikea level you have your first decision point. If you have a baby I suggest you proceed toward the Fairwood and actually enter at the exit then take a right. There you will see a crèche and if you have a baby they’re usually pretty easy working with you to open the door to let you into the restaurant. If you don’t have a baby and don’t want to throw your gweilo weight around then I suggest you go in the normal entrance and keep an eye for the sign that says Shortcut to: Ikea Restaurant, go down the escalator and you’re there. One thing to know is that it’s best to go with at least 2 adults.

As you come in you might want to get a general idea of what you want but you’ll have plenty of time to decide as you wait in line. Now, you have the next decision point, that picture where you see people standing next to tables, those people are squatting to cop the table when the people finish their meals. I suggest you divide the labor up between the adults; and the hunter – have hunt the table and the gatherer – have get the food. Mel and I got that backwards our first time and it caused a lot of unnecessary role confusion and frustration. Now if for some reason you go there with 1 adult and multiple kids I suggest you be prepared to wait awhile after you get your food to find a table (10 to 15 min.) or you can try to have the kids stalk a table but that’s never worked for us.

Next, you want to get ahold of one of those handy push carts and proceed to get the food. We paid about $13 USD for honey glazed ham, 20 meatballs and pasta – that’s hard to beat anywhere. Now if you have kids I suggest you drop them off in the octagon while you’re getting your food and securing a table, it’s even great to get a seat at the octagon and just feed the kids while they’re playing. Please remember to clean up after yourself because it’s a huge pain for the waiting people when you don’t and you might just get in a scuffle. So on this trip Javi ate 10 meatballs on his own and insisted I take a pic of his belly afterward.

A couple of suggestions if anyone knows the Ikea management from someone with a lean manufacturing background. There is a nice space outside right next to the restaurant perfect for some alfresco dining when the weather cools a bit. Also, the shopping carts could be moved fairly easily to another location which would allow for quite a few more tables. Anyway, I’d be highly surprised if Ikea makes any money off the restaurant anyway so it’s worth the hassle to me. Ok, last piece of advice, to leave you have to walk back through the store (at least we haven’t been able to find a quicker way out) and you will pass the bistro which has soft serve ice cream for $2.50 HKD which will save you about 7 HKD if you get it there rather than the mobile softee.

There’s also a pretty big Pacific Coffee in Home Square even though the Ikea restaurant’s filter coffee is pretty good. There is also a store across from Pacific Coffee call Industrial Revolutionary that Javi loves because it’s designed like it’s the inside of a massive clock which he thinks is Big Ben. I know this is a long post but I hope it’s helpful should you decide to brave the Ikea restaurant madness.

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