fiskmarkaðurinn, reykjavik

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interesting seafood in reykjavik. the entrance of this restaurant is very unassuming for one that is meant to be a popular hotspot owned by a member of the Icelandic culinary team, and when you get it, there’s a sort of modern organic aesthetic going on. prices are high, and the food is asian-inspired.

we started off with a complimentary dish of crusty soft baguette – loved the sesame seeds on top – served with a dish of mayonnaise mixed with black rice. I don’t exactly remember what was in this, but this tasted just like japanese mayo, and that’s difficult to spoil. this was followed by a dish of salmon tartare on fried wanton skins with fish roe; quite nice and we thought the flavours were very reminiscent of chinese steamed fish. it was alright; when you give something chinese-inspired to asians, it’s very difficult for us not to judge it based on what we’ve had before – this is, after all, our food.

that bridged the wait for our starters, which was a lobster soup with coconut milk as well as minke whale sashimi. this lobster soup was good and served in a very modern style, with the soup being poured out of a sake flask onto lobster tails, and mussels on the side. this was good, but still didn’t make us think wow – hereon in we concluded that Icelandic lobster soup just wasn’t for us. the minke whale was very good – we ordered it in order to cross it off our list of local delicacies – and was served seared around the outside and in thin slices on a bed of pungent wasabi mayo and soya sauce. it was like very blue rare beef, and less gamey than you’d expect, like a cross between raw tuna and beef.

we shared a tuna which came on crispy well-seasoned fried onion as well as miso paste, but unfortunately the plate was also strangely doused – and i mean the entire bottom was soaked – with olive oil, which made the food just a bit too greasy. such a waste.

the other main of monkfish was very nice though, firm and accompanied with a large fried scallop. I don’t think the kitchen does very well with fried food – the taste of the oil was still apparently on the scallop and I left the fried batter on the plate.

this was good, but we’ve had far better in london, and it really is a little too expensive for what it is. I think you should try and get reservations for the grillmarket – or grillmarkaourinn – way ahead (we were told it was booked full two weeks in advance) because the food there sounds better.

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