Wow is this the biggest restaurant in Singapore? That was the question that came to my mind when we stepped into this huge cafe. There seems to be hundreds of tables, matched by as many people. That was during off-peak hour on a weekday at the Ikea Tampines restaurant.
Ikea Tampines Restaurant
My colleagues think that I am a mountain tortoise. They are right. Ikea Tampines has been around for a long time and this was my first time there. Even the cashier had to restrain herself from laughing when I asked for a carpark exit ticket. Unlike Ikea Alexandra where such a ticket is needed to get complimentary parking, there is free parking at Ikea Tampines the whole day long for everyone – no need for purchases. The car park is huge and only the “good lots” near the entrance were taken at the time of my visit.
The warehouse area of Ikea Tampines is also much larger than the area which I am used to at Alexandra. But the sector which took my breath away was the huge Ikea Tampines restaurant. This is the biggest restaurant in Singapore that I have seen (please let me know if there is one that is bigger). Perhaps the MBS and Sentosa Resort convention centres convert into larger banquet venues than this Ikea cafe. But those are private events and not public restaurants where one can just walk in for a meal.
Lunch at the Biggest Restaurant in Singapore
It would be a waste to be there at an off-peak time and not eat something right? The Ikea restaurant was bustling but not full. The turnover was such that there was enough tables available, with the slight bottleneck being the cashier area.
The food ordering procedure is the familiar Ikea cafeteria style – push a trolley and load up on the items that you like and pay at the cashier. There was a short winding queue at the food counters but everything went smoothly. It took around ten minutes from start of the queue to payment. But i can imagine that this can be a crowded space during peak hours such as weekends or shopping seasons just before festive occasions. Here are some pictures of the food displays at Ikea Tampines restaurant.
My Ikea Restaurant Food
My food items that I selected for my impromptu lunch at the largest restaurant in Singapore I have ever been was rather modest – chicken wings (2 pc $3.90), lotus leaf rice ($6.80) and fried plant-based gyoza (5 pc $3.90).
Together with Swedish meatballs and salmon fillet, the chicken wings at Ikea must be some of the most popular dishes in Singapore. The smallest quantity that could be purchased is two. They were as good as I remember them to be – very well marinated and super crispy. Yum!
These “plant-based” gyoza look like new items on the Ikea restaurant menu in Singapore. Overcoming a mild hesitation as to what “plant-based” means, I proceed to try some as they seemed attractive to the early lunch crowd. They were indeed rather nice, as would be anything deep-fried I think.
Lotus Leaf Rice
My most substantial item was looked very authentic like those in Chinese restaurants. Opening up the leaf revealed a rather bland slab of glutinous rice. Digging further into the rice revealed a salted egg yolk, some slices of mushroom and chicken. It was not a very interesting dish for me. I think it was better when this item was first launched in 2018 – see our post Ikea Lotus Leaf Rice – curiosity makes me fat. There is however a positive observation – they have kept the price constant at $6.80 since 2018!
60 Tampines North Drive 2, Singapore 528764
Store opening hours
Sunday – Thursday: 11am – 9pm
Friday and Saturday: 11am – 11pm
Restaurant opening hours
Sunday – Thursday: 10am-9pm with last order at 8.30pm
Friday and Saturday: 10am-10.30pm with last order at 10pm
Bistro opening hours
Sunday – Thursday: 11am – 9.30pm
Friday and Saturday: 11am – 11.30pm
Free Parking at IKEA Tampines
Weekdays, weekends & public holidays
from 7am – 11pm