IKEA Ätbar Pop-up Restaurant

IKEA Ätbar it said with big letters in the window as I passed by Nordre gate 15. The familiar Swedish colors above the door. Another IKEA popup store? I remember there was one a few years back in Grünerløkka, but this time the name suggested a food concept.

Plants in the ceiling
Plants in the ceiling

I went here with a good friend of mine who works in the design industry. We were amazed to see how thoroughly the place had been made into an IKEA home. Kitchen, dining rooms and even a bathroom decorated with art on the wall. The old Asian restaurant that used to be here was completely revamped, walls and ceilings painted, everything decorated with IKEA furniture, lamps, plants, fresh herbs and kitchen equipment.

Everywhere was decorated with garden herbs and vegetables
Everywhere was decorated with garden herbs and vegetables
Carrots and celery
Carrots and celery

Obviously, this is a marketing campaign for the new IKEA catalog. However, IKEA has some really nice ideas about food that they want to communicate, and the concept in this store is brilliant. Norwegians throw away too much food – every 5th shopping bag if we are to believe the statistics. IKEA wants to help change this, and they start by cooking your food.

The chefs in the kitchen, led by Andreas Viestad
The chefs in the kitchen, led by Andreas Viestad
Magnetic wall with spice boxes
Magnetic wall with spice boxes

For six days only, from August 6th to 11th, IKEA invites you to bring something from your fridge or kitchen cupboards. Either vegetables or carbohydrates – not meat. A team of chefs led by Andreas Viestad and Tommy Østhagen will cook up a feast! Four large tables are decorated and everyone is invited. There are two seatings, one at 17.00 and one at 19.00. It is based on the first come, first served principle. Similar to the concept restaurant that IKEA had at the food festival Gladmaten in Stavanger this year, you sit down and dine with random people you don’t know. Brilliant!

An amuse bouche of pickled salmon, capers, red onion, lemon, olive oil and "krondill" awaited us at the tables
An amuse bouche of pickled salmon, capers, red onion, lemon, olive oil and “krondill” awaited us at the tables
Lentils with turmeric, cloves, coriander, toasted black pepper, lime and nasturtium flowers
Lentils with turmeric, cloves, coriander, toasted black pepper, lime and nasturtium flowers
A simple, but incredibly tasty salad with orange and anise seeds
A simple, but incredibly tasty salad with orange and anise seeds

I told Andreas Viestad after the meal that I was impressed by the level of cooking and the quality of the food they pushed out. My expectations were definitely exceeded. Just look at the amazing amuse bouche of pickled salmon that awaited us at the tables when we entered! Or the succulent piece of lamb with Moroccan spices. It is hard to believe this was almost a free meal.

Andreas Viestad with a leg of lamb that has been rubbed with Moroccan spices. Incredibly tasty!
Andreas Viestad with a leg of lamb that has been rubbed with Moroccan spices. Incredibly tasty!
The people of Grünerløkka enjoying their limited neighborhood restaurant
The people of Grünerløkka enjoying their limited neighborhood restaurant
Cream with berries from Sagene
Cream with berries from Sagene

Andreas told me that people brought a lot of interesting ingredients, which made the job easier for them, but they had also stocked up with some basic stuff and proteins.

– We can’t use the meat that people bring, due to restrictions, he explained.

Many of the ideas and recipes used were from Andreas’ cookbook Noe Godt Hver Dag, which translates to Something Good Every Day. I know which cookbook I will buy next, at least.

There are only two more days left to experience this, and I highly suggest you do! Now, check this amazing grill setup below.

Hard at work. Andras Viestad and Tommy Østhagen
Hard at work. Andras Viestad and Tommy Østhagen
Check the ingenious self rotating grill in the background
Check the ingenious self rotating grill in the background
Andreas making sure the grill is rotating through water power
Andreas making sure the grill is rotating through water power

Anders Husa

I am Anders Husa – a foodie living in Oslo. I eat at the best restaurants in Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and the major food destinations in the world. I share my foodie stories here.

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