Pick a god and pray for our reporter’s digestive system as he tries 16 different types of flatbread in one sitting.

In the first week of June, the world’s first ever IKEA convenience store opened in Harajuku. Boasting a furniture outlet fit for smaller living situations within urban sprawl and a café, obviously the initial question anyone has isn’t whether or not the IKEA furniture sold has painfully vague instructions but what is cooking in the café kitchen. We sent our whiz-reporter P.K. Sanjun to thoroughly investigate this serious matter.

The most shocking discovery was the dearth of Swedish meatballs. P.K. questioned if he was truly in IKEA or in a cursed timeline. Instead of IKEA’s titular Swedish meatballs, the convenience store offered a different Swedish speciality that was special to the Harajuku location: tunnbröd.

Essentially the Swedish version of flatbread, tunnbröd is culturally analogous to the tortilla or the crêpe, often used to wrap a variety of savory items such as sausage or roasted herring. Of course, when encountering a menu of 16 different tunnbröd, the only logical reaction is to… simply try them all in a single go. To save our readers the trouble and to satisfy their curiosity, P.K. endeavored to rate them all on a scale of one to five stars based off their taste and price. This was no easy feat, but as expected of an individual who once attempted to devour 80 croquettes in one sitting, we knew we had entrusted this task to a skillful veteran.

Let the rankings begin!

16. Veggie Teriyaki Cheese Sausage — 400 yen (US$3.74) — ☆☆

Filled with tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, teriyaki sauce, and vegan cheese, the arrangement didn’t sound bad at first. However, P.K. was mistaken at the first bite—the texture of cheese was overwhelmed by the teriyaki sauce, and despite the savory goodness one may expect of teriyaki sauce, it was too cloying to be considered a pleasant meal.

15. Egg Mayo — 200 yen (US$1.87) — ☆☆☆

Consisting only of egg, green onions, mayonnaise, and a lining of lettuce, the egg mayo tunnbröd is refreshingly light and tasty. However, P.K. found the portion of this tunnbröd to be lacking—perhaps it would be best for a child to eat?

14. Caramel Nuts — 150 yen (US$1.40) — ☆☆☆

A tunnbröd with whipped cream, nuts, and caramel sauce. There was nothing to criticize when it came to the taste, but P.K. did feel that it was relatively empty, almost succumbing to a sense of “Huh? What am I eating again?” upon his first bite. However, the Caramel Nuts tunnbröd was the cheapest of the 16 flatbreads, saving it from a two-star status.

13. Veggie Teriyaki Sausage — 250 yen (US$2.34) — ☆☆☆

Despite having a helpful stuffing of tomato and lettuce, all P.K. could taste was teriyaki. While teriyaki isn’t the worst condiment out there, having too much of it was akin to downing a shot of pure salt. Unless you’re a hardcore teriyaki lover, P.K. Sanjun definitely ranked this flatbread as a hard pass.

12. Veggie Cheese Sausage — 250 yen (US$2.34) — ☆☆☆

Boasting vegan cheese and sausage, the Veggie Cheese Sausage seemed appealing initially only to be a total let-down. P.K. expected a stretchy cheese texture, but the cheese flavor was thin. Outside of his disappointment for the cheese, the overall taste of this tunnbröd was simple and still delicious.

11. Double Veggie Sausage — 400 yen (US$3.74) — ☆☆☆

P.K. shouldn’t have been surprised that the sausages made out of green peas tasted like green peas, yet he was anyways. Paired with lettuce as well as a generous serving of mayonnaise, P.K. mused over whether or not the portion size justified the price. Even though it was double the sausage, something still felt lacking, leaving the Double Veggie Sausage in the three-star tier.

10. Strawberry — 350 yen (US$3.28) — ☆☆☆

A straightforward dessert crêpe with strawberries and whipped cream. Though it costed the same as the Blueberry, the Strawberry had less fruit pieces, and therefore, by the laws of P.K.’s all-tasting palate, deserved a lower ranking.

9. Blueberry — 350 yen (US$3.28) — ☆☆☆

A simple crêpe-like creation with blueberry and whipped cream. While there was nothing out-of-the-galaxy about the taste, P.K. supposed it was a good enough sweet treat for folks who like blueberries. However, considering its portion size, he wasn’t sure if the price was reasonable.

8. Blueberry & Raspberry — 400 yen (US$3.74) — ☆☆☆

A medley of blueberry and raspberry pieces on top of fluffy whipped cream. Even though there weren’t as many blueberry pieces as expected, the addition of raspberries provided for a surprising upgrade, and thus worthy of a 50-yen price increase.

7. Choco-Berry — 490 yen (US$4.59) — ☆☆☆

A pleasant mixture of raspberry, blueberry, and chocolate. In general, raspberry, blueberry, and chocolate mix well, so P.K. wasn’t surprised that they tasted good. However, when compared to other tunnbröds, the choco-berry didn’t perform great cost-performance-wise, especially compared to the almighty Salmon tunnbröd.

6. Classic — 390 yen (US$3.65) — ☆☆☆☆

A hearty meal with shrimp, sausage, mayonnaise, and velvety mashed potatoes. The classic has the main staples associated with traditional tunnbröd. While it’s not impressive enough to land in the top five, P.K. figured that if you’re lost for what to get for your first Tunnbröd, there’s a reason why it’s dubbed the Classic.

5. Apple Cinnamon — 300 yen (US$2.81) — ☆☆☆☆

With whipped cream, apple pieces, apple jam, and cinnamon powder, the Apple Cinnamon tunnbröd is a delightful spread. However, the apple cinnamon loses one star as the apples were simply cut and placed in the crêpe, making a rugged texture. Perhaps if they were caramelized, P.K. would have been convinced to give it an extra star, but alas.

4. Semla — 390 yen (US$3.65) — ☆☆☆☆

Semla is a traditional sweet roll from northern Europe, commonly associated with Lent or Shrove Tuesday a.k.a the day before Ash Wednesday. Though traditionally made out of wheat bread and almond paste, IKEA’s rendition of the roll includes whipped cream, sliced almonds, and almond paste. Admittedly, part of the appeal for this tunnbröd was its novelty, but P.K. thought the almond paste was delicious nonetheless and would definitely recommend it overall.

3. Salmon — 500 yen (US$4.68) — ☆☆☆☆

Out of all 16 tunnbröds, the Salmon is the most expensive one, though it wasn’t a huge surprise due to its contents: lettuce, smoked salmon, and tartar sauce. The smoked salmon and the tartar sauce melded perfectly into an earthy, savory blend; P.K. could see this tunnbröd being earnestly devoured by individuals who are fond of salmon dishes.

2. Veggie Sausage — 200 yen (US$1.87) — ☆☆☆☆☆

What helped the Veggie Sausage squeeze into the top of the rankings wasn’t only its cheap price, but also the light sweetness of the green peas. With a delicate balance of flavor, P.K. had only praise, and no complaints, for this tunnbröd. This one was no doubt the best cost-performance-wise, blowing P.K.’s expectations out of the water as he took bite after bite.

1. Choco-Banana — 290 yen (US$2.71) — ☆☆☆☆☆

The Choco-Banana had a classic combo of ingredients: whipped cream, chocolate, and a bisected banana. However, the deceivingly simple appearance of the tunnbröd plus its low price was what helped launch it to the top of P.K.’s list. Compared to your average crêpe, the chocolate portion was chocolate cake rather than a viscous cop-out of chocolate sauce, making the Choco-Banana more filling than it seemed.

Out of all 16 tunnbröd, P.K. ranked the Veggie Sausage and the Choco-Banana as his top two picks due to their low price and delicious taste. While interested folks around the area can visit the Harajuku IKEA store to try the tunnbröd themselves, we highly recommend taking COVID-19 preventative measures, such as social distancing and wearing a mask, as well as ordering takeout from the store for maximum safety. If you’re still not feeling up to visiting the store yourself, take a break and peek at IKEA’s past culinary encounters with sakura season and spring rolls.

Café Details 
IKEA Harujuku / IKEA原宿
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingu-mae 1-14-30 inside With Harajuku
東京都渋谷区神宮前1-14-30 WITH HARAJUKU内
Open 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Images © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]