Those who follow me on Twitter and Facebook may have noticed that I’ve been talking a lot about food. Mainly, food I’ve been eating. I normally don’t go much to fancy restaurants, except at work functions where I don’t have to pay, but recently I had dinner at three great restaurants that I want to share with you.
I should mention that I left the camera at home for all these outings, which is why I’m borrowing photos from the websites and Facebook pages of the restaurants.
Restaurant #1 : Tapas Húsið
Tapas húsið is relatively new on the scene but they only opened late last year. They are located down by the old harbor and combine Icelandic cuisine with the Spanish tapas tradition. The boyfriend took me there for my birthday, knowing that I love tapas and had been dying to try them out ever since they opened.
I’m no culinary expert and I can’t tell you which ingredients they use or whether something was too heavy on a particular spice or not so I’m just going to keep things simple. We ordered a 4 course set tapas menu, thinking that if it was too little we could always order a dish or two on the side, and because it was my birthday we ended up sharing a dessert as well.
The food was really good, the set 4 course menu plus desert was plenty of food and the service was excellent! I also enjoy how warm the place feels and the view over the harbor from the bottom floor is fantastic. They only thing that bothered me slightly was the fact they didn’t let us know we had to wait half an hour for the dessert we ordered and that made us late meeting up with some people after dinner.
I can’t tell you how much we paid since i didn’t pay – it was the boyfriend’s treat.
The verdict: Great food, cozy place, lovely staff – recommended.
Restaurant #2 : Grillmarkaðurinn
On Valentines day I invited my co-worker out for a meal to thank her for the help with that wedding that took place in her living room. We had both wanted to try the recently opened Grillmarkaðurinn, after hearing lovely things about it, and Valentines day worked for us both. We have very understanding better halves.
Not knowing what to have, we decided to go for a 8 course tasting menu that would let us enjoy a little bit of everything. This may have been one of the best meals of my life! The taste, how it was served, strange things done to traditional ingredients like the delicious green deep fried dried fish we had for starters and the fantastic service make this place top notch. Plus I really like the design of the restaurant, the furniture and the lights. I was told later that I should have checked out the bathroom because apparently there’s something special there. Next time I’ll drink a lot of water. The cherry on top was the desserts plate that we got at the end, where we basically got to taste everything on their dessert menu. Yum.
For all of this food – 3 starters, 4 mains and desserts – I paid 8.400 ISK per person. That seems like a lot but we both agreed that we got a lot for the money. You can get away with paying a lot less if you just order from the menu but I don’t regret a single króna I spent on this sampling menu.
The verdict: Cannot recommend Grillmarkaðurinn enough – amazing.
Restaurant #3 : Tapas barinn
Unlike the other two, Tapas barinn has been around for a long time. It’s been one of my favorites for ages so when I got the task this week to take a couple of Canadians out for dinner for work, Tapas barinn was an easy choice. Like Tapas húsið they put an Icelandic twist on Tapas with ingredients like smoked puffin and skyr.
The food we had was delicious and the Canadians were very happy with the meal. It was fairly busy that night though so we were sat in the side room with a big Swedish group and right beneath a loud speaker on full blast. Once we pointed out that the music was a bit loud, our waiter immediately turned the volume down which made all the difference.
The Icelandic set menu they have is fairly priced and it is a great choice for visitors who want to taste something Icelandic, plus you get a shot of brennivín before the meal. For me, this was the least exciting experience food wise but of course the Tapas barinn menu is very familiar to me and the other two new and extra exciting. The Canadians were happy which is really all that mattered in the end.
For food for three, two sangrias, soda for me and a couple of coffees after dinner we paid around 17.000 ISK which is about the same as we paid for two at Grillmarkaðurinn. So it’s a good price.
The verdict: Always good - definitely worth the visit.