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Fat Git, our writing cabbie, gets into lumber with laminate and lingonberries in the M62's best looking restaurant

Published on March 10th 2008.


YOU get a lot of funny jobs when you are out on the bimble, and a lot of funny suggestions.

If I had a cigar for every time some punter said “Why don't you park up and we'll sort the fare out another way?” I'd be a rich man by now.

You say no to most of them, and especially if it's the pension run, but it can get a bit iffy at times. Which is why I sometimes like to take Tony on the box.

Nobody in their right mind would bring a woman here on a promise, not unless they wanted a house full of scented candles, wicker
boxes and tealights
for their trouble

Tony is my cousin. OCD, panic attacks, you name it, so he needs calming down. He stayed in the house for three years once, but he just got claustrophobic.

You'd hardly know he was there when he comes on the rank. He just sits there most of the time, texting people. Usually his legal team about his compo claim, which has been going on years.

But what our kid does best is come in really handy if something needs humping, and I entirely mean in the heavy gear department.

And so it proved to be last week, when a wait-and-return came through on the set, to go up to Ikea.

Happy days, you might think. But I have been on incapacity benefit for 15 years and I could feel my stress levels going. It could only mean a load of flatpack so I was straight round to his mam's.

We turned up at this council house and the woman said she was going to get some laminate for her conservatory. “Not f***ing laminate,” Tony muttered, right out of the blue.

“Is he coming too?” she snapped, looking at him as if he'd just crawled from under a stone. A lot of women react that way. I told her he was no trouble, but I could sense that today might be a tourettes day.

Have you ever been to Ikea? They think of everything. Ball pool for kiddies to play in and even a big caffe. The Family Restaurant.

So I knew where I was going the minute we got in there. “Come 'ead,” I said, turning to Tony. But he'd got off.

He's always doing this and I found him, 15 minutes later, in office chairs, swivelling round really fast on one called Klappe.

He fancied a load of meatballs, and said he would go Dutch. I told him it was Swedish in here (I was panting with exhaustion), so we joined the queue, but only after he'd gone whizzing through the shop on the chair, swearing and laughing.

It's a bit weird the Ikea cafeteria. For a start you don't know where to queue, whether you are at the back or the front, and people were getting their cakes ( and eating them, in my case) before their main meals.

The drinks cups are at the tills and the coffee and hot chocolate are around the corner with the condiment packets, away from the knives and forks which are back at the tills. In fact they didn't have any knives left. Probably just as well, I thought looking at Tony. They could learn a lot from Sandbach services, he said, where he once pulled (he tells me for the umpteenth time).

But nobody in their right mind would bring a woman here on a promise, not unless they wanted a house full of scented candles, wicker boxes and tealights for their trouble.

I got the fish and chips (£4.25). “Eeeyye,” said a pleasant serving lass, “Do you want peas with that?” She was just my type, a bit jolly, and I stared into her eyes, as green as the peas. “Eeeyye, will you be wanting bread and butter?” I would.

Tony got his meatballs (£3.50). They do them in three sizes: Ladies portion, gents portion and Fat Git portion. He got the tart's size, and we eventually found a seat.

I have to say, it's not unpleasant in here with free tea and coffee refills (75p) and we had a cracking view of the Fairway over in section F of the car park. All these big birch tables and chairs and the lampshades that you actually sit at have price tags dangling from them, and they even tell you where you can find them in the shop. “Do they sell a bin called 'Git' in here?” sneered Tony in between mouthfuls of garlic bread which they could call “Kardboord” if they were flogging it in the shop.

Now I have scoffed fish and chips at some of the finest establishments in the land. The Magpie cafe in Whitby being the best. This, it gives me no pleasure to report, gave me no pleasure. The fish was cod or coley, I dunno, it wasn't specific, and the breaded coating was heavy and thick and stodgy. It's not the fault of the staff. All the gear comes in frozen and is cooked to a formula at Ikeas nationwide, globalwide for all I know. The peas were the colour of pond life and the chips were tasteless frites from a freezer bag. You might like it though.

The meatballs were better. Ten in number and had something lashed on the side called lingonberry sauce which the Scands enjoy. Looked and tasted like cranberry to me, mind. They also chucked a load of pale gravy on them. It looked awful but tasted great and me and Tone both burped contentedly all the way back up the M62.

The cakes? Fabulous. A really nice almondy tart for just 75p, and a passion fruit thing (£1.75) with a big mint heart on, which was as pretty, soft and moist as I imagined my last date, Pauline, to be, when last we met.

“Oh yeah. How the f*** did you get on with her?” blurted the Tourettes Kid all of a sudden

So I told him exactly what had happened.

Rating: 12/20
Breakdown: 5/10 Food
3/5 Service
4/5 Ambience
Address: The Family Restaurant
Junction 8/9
Gemini Retail Park
0845 355 1140

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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

NoelMarch 10th 2008.

Just come back from a late shop in IKEA , please dont try anything else but the meatballs . I had the Thai chicken curry and the missus the vegetable curry . BIG MISTAKE , really dreadful . I went to complain and the halfwit behind the counter told me "well we have only had a few complains tonight , its dead slow ' Hey guys , stick to flatpack furniture and meatballs , dont get ideas above your station

jomovMarch 10th 2008.

Mmmmmm the meatballs are deliscious!!

J LekMarch 10th 2008.

I regularly for want of better word dine in Ikea's rather marvellous canteen-like restaurant. I only ever eat the meatballs (their signature dish) which are delicious and complemented by the gravy and lingonberry sauce.The meatballs are available to buy frozen from the shop beyond the checkouts.

FrontButtocksMarch 10th 2008.

There's nowt better than hitching the caravan up to the back of the Datsun cherry an' gerrin off for a nice weekend down to the IKEA car park in that lovely seaside town, Warrington, for the weekend. Them meatballs are thumping delicious and the kids have no end of fun kicking the OAP's right in tyhe crutch if they don't give em 'change for a big thumping bowl full. My Margerie will even give a blow job out for a tenner...

SSMarch 10th 2008.

I went for the first time on Saturday, to the one at Ashton. I have been in better transport cafes - actually that's an insult to transport cafes. I queued up after getting my cake first? and then waited. After deciding on the meatballs because everything else looked dried up and disgusting,the peas were nearly white they were that overcooked.I then waited (there was a queue of about ten people)while I watched the one girl who was serving pick out the bad chips out of the scrapings that were left and then try to serve them to me. I said I would wait for a fresh batch and was given a dirty look. After waiting 5 minutes, she then tried to give them to me again and when I insisted that no, I didn't want them she said ' well you'll have to wait over ten minutes and glared at me. I said ok and then looked at my husband and said 'Do we really want to pay for and eat this slop, with abuse on top' and promptly walked out in disgust.Don't bother going, its run by inexperienced staff, probably paid peanuts with frozen s**t for food.

eddy rheadMarch 10th 2008.

How can anyone actually moan about the quality of the food and service at IKEA? Its a bloomin furniture store for crying out loud and the food costs about 22p or something.I seem to remember making a similiar point on this site once when someone went to Blackpool and was shocked to discover the place was full of cheap tat and disgusting unhealthy food. The big yellow sign above the door says 'IKEA' and not 'Juniper' you numpties.

KathyMarch 10th 2008.

IKEA meatballs are lovely!! I go regulary (living 3 minutes away from furniture heaven does help). You can even buy them frozen in the little supermarket as a meal deal and make em at home - delicious!

wayneMarch 10th 2008.

I hate the place. The whole Scnadinavian we're superior smugness of the place annoys me and the food is vile. Come on folks the meatballs are fit for husky dogfood alone. And then there's the queuing --- aaargh its hells and **** furniture that falls apart.

John McrMarch 10th 2008.

I went last week and with an Ikea Family card i got Meatballs and a drink for £1, perfect!

LianeMarch 10th 2008.

Just moved house, so been to Ikea four times in the last five weeks. Aaaaagh!I do enjoy the meatballs, in a grubby-food way. But the gravy is powder-from-a-packet - I've seen it in the food shop bit. That's a bit offputting.The only thing that's bad is the cleanliness. Every time I've been, every surface in the dining room has been utterly filthy. Seems like the staff are overworked.

davyMarch 10th 2008.

I tend to go there for the whippy ice cream cones. It makes a pleasant change from our local ice cream man whose cones are always soggy, he sells dodgy gear and his van would make excellent tv on how clean is your workplace. Also you can get them really nice chocolates (are they called Marabou or Carabou - wonder what's in em?) for about 60 quid a tube. Lovely

SvenMarch 10th 2008.

Eddy honestly the point is that these people at IKEA think they are better than they are and any article that bursts that bubble of pomposity is fine by me.

AnonymousMarch 10th 2008.

I.ve never met a cabbie that I would want to pay in any other way than cash!

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