Mumbai — Furniture giant Ikea is set to open its first store and restaurant in India after years of trying, but arguably its most famous item, Swedish meatballs, is off the menu. Ikea, the world’s biggest furniture retailer, will cut the ribbon on an enormous 37,000m² outlet in the southern city of Hyderabad, complete with an 1,000-seater cafeteria. The restaurant will be Ikea’s largest and will cater to local tastes, with religious sensitivities in India dictating that beef and pork, staples of Swedish meatballs, will not be served. "There will be chicken meatballs and vegetarian balls," Patrik Antoni, Ikea’s deputy country manager for India, said. "Fifty percent of the food will be Swedish inspired — salmon and shrimp dishes, and so on. "We’ll also have quite a few Indian dishes such as dal makhani, biryani [and] samosas," Antoni added. The Swedish multinational, which revolutionised household furnishings with its range of affordable ready-to-assemble products, is betting big on I...

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