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Ikea Malaysia Introduces All-New Plant Balls In Its Restaurants [Review]

Ikea Malaysia Introduces All-New Plant Balls In Its Restaurants [Review]

Ikea’s plant ball makes a good alternative and sustainable choice on days when you want to eat less meat.

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Ikea Malaysia just introduced its all-new plant ball, a sustainable alternative to its popular meatballs, nationwide starting 8 May 2023.

The plant ball is made with yellow pea protein, oats, potatoes, onions, and apples.

Ikea Malaysia said making the plant ball was more sustainable because the plant ball consists of only 4% of the meatballs’ climate footprint, which contributes to Ikea’s efforts to be climate positive by 2030.

Does this mean the popular Ikea meatballs will go away? Don’t worry, the meatballs will remain. The Ikea plant balls are just an alternative for those who want the option to make a sustainable choice or on days they don’t feel like consuming much meat.

Ikea aims to make 50% of its restaurants’ main meals plant-based by 2025 to attain its sustainability goals.

The Taste Test

When it comes to plant-based or vegetarian food, companies aim to make the food taste like meat.

In this case, I liked that Ikea isn’t trying to make the plant balls taste like meat and is upfront about what makes the plant balls.

Ikea plant balls served with mashed potatoes, broccoli, and lingonberry jam. Image: Adeline Leong/TRP

Based on first impressions, you can immediately tell which are plant balls and meatballs because the plant balls looked lighter than the meatballs.

The first dish is 8 plant balls with mashed potato and broccoli.

When cut, the plant ball texture looks quite smooth and you can see a few small chunks of the ingredients. The plant balls are also served with the popular lingonberry jam.

Ikea Plant Ball Wrap. Image: Adeline Leong/TRP

The second dish was the Plant Ball Wrap which contained plant balls, carrot sticks, tomatoes, and lettuce.

For dessert, I tried the chocolate, coconut, and lingonberry gelato ice creams. Out of the three flavours, I loved the chocolate gelato.

All three gelato ice creams were smooth and delicious. The coconut and the lingonberry ice cream have a strong coconut taste. I had no issues with it, but it’s a heads-up for those who dislike the taste of coconut.

The Verdict

Personally, I liked the taste of the plant balls. It had the very mild taste of peas and oats and went well with the lingonberry jam. The best I can describe is it’s close to the taste of potato balls (begedil).

After demolishing about 12 plant balls, I didn’t feel too bloated and had to take away the other half of the wrap.

Ikea’s plant balls are a good option on days when you don’t feel like eating too much meat. The hang-up about eating plant-based food is usually the belief that it must taste like meat or not being able to feel sated without meat.

However, I think Ikea’s plant balls showed that a non-meaty dish can be just as tasty and good. As always, it’s up to each individual’s tastes and preferences.

Some of Ikea’s plant-based menu offerings are: 12 pcs Plant Ball, Kids Plant Ball with Mashed Potato, Broccoli and Lingonbetty Jam, and 5 pcs Plant Ball Pasta. Image: Ikea Malaysia

Other than the two plant ball meals I’ve tried, Ikea’s plant-based menu includes:

  • 12 pcs Plant Ball with Mashed Potato & Broccoli
  • Kids Plant Ball
  • 5 pcs Plant Ball Pasta
  • Plant-based Creamy Puff
  • Plant-Based Cutlet with Tomato Sauce Pasta
  • Plant-Based Chargrilled Chicken Pesto Spaghetti
  • Mixed Salad with Plant-Based Pieces and Italian Dressing
  • Kids Plant-Based Nugget
  • Gelato ice cream (choice of Chocolate, Lingonberry, Strawberry, or Coconut)

To find out more about Ikea’s food offerings, visit here.

Why Eat Plant-Based Meals?

A plant-based diet is not to wholly replace meat consumption. At the moment, the rate most of us are consuming meat is taking a toll on the environment.

If we’re not careful, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said our food production will take a heavy toll on our natural resources and the world will run out of food soon. A way to prevent that from happening is for us all to eat sustainably.

Ultimately, it’s not good to go on an extreme end of a scale by adopting a wholly plant-based, vegetarian, or all-meat diet.

A win-win solution is to balance our consumption of plant-based and meat products.

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