Friday, May 10, 2013

​Sjávargrillið, Reykjavík

 If you go to trip adviser and check what is the first restaurant listed for Reykjavik you will find ​Sjávargrillið. A place with so much good publicity was to be tried. Due to the little fuzz around the place, the only way to get a table for diner is currently to book ahead. So we went to ​Sjávargrillið with high expectations.

The place is located in the very centre of Reykjavík, you will pass by it many times, if you are sight seeing or shopping in the centre. The place is relatively small and decorated in a a kind of bistro hype style (the bow ties on the coaches are a good find).

We went for some of their full diner menu sets, because this was was suppose to be our (one of) the best food experience in Iceland. 

The Fish feast in one hand, which consisted of a shellfish soup as starter, the fish of the day and some white chocolate mousse threat for dessert. On the other side of the table we went for the so called 'Taste of Iceland' menu: a small sea food appetizer, a starter plate with what I will call 'forbidden' meat, an amazing Lamb dish and a Icelandic chocolate cake for dessert.

The fish menu was fine, no doubt on that, but wait a minute, wasn't this suppose to be the best place in Reykjavík? Then we have to admit that the fish dishes were only average. The presentation of the dishes is something they should improve a bit. The presentation is messy and the food journey lost a bit of its wonder.

About the 'Taste of Iceland', that is tricky one. What I called 'forbidden plate' consist of the main tourist meat attractions, puffin and Minke Whale. To be honest I will remember this dish forever, but not because I had an amazing food experience, but because afterwards I realized that even if whale meat does taste good (let's be honest), it is mostly hunted and prepared in restaurants in Iceland because of the tourists. And all this cause big damages to environment.

Another sad thing is that the Minke Whale meat tends to be one of the cheapest meat in the most of the restaurants. The reason is that it is cheaper to hunt these animals than to grow cattle on the island. That's not right. If you are interested in whales, more in their real habitat rather than in your plate take a look to

But let's talk back about the food.

The lamb course was probably the highlight of the evening. An amazingly tasty piece of lamb. Sometime soft  sometime crispy that was just delicious. Icelandic lamb is the best I ever tasted so far (but I found even better lamb dishes in other places around the island).

A small comment about the desserts: They were fine, but again we were expecting more from this place. For a chocolate lover, the chocolate cake was tasting very mild while I was expecting chocolate explosion in my mouth.

And last but not least, let's have a word about the service. First of all let's say here that Reykjavík restaurant scene seems to have a problem with its waiters and waitresses. It's not like the parisian waiter who won't even smile and be mean on purpose, it's just that even if they try hard sometimes to act professional there is this kind of distance which makes you feel that they don't really care about you as a customer. Also, the biggest issue we found with the service was the speed at which the dishes were brought. Kind of express service. We even observed that on some neighbors tables some warm dishes were brought to table while customers were outside for a smoke. 

As a conclusion, if you want to save money in Reykjavík, you can skip this place, it is not anything you will remember forever. As a matter of fact, by talking with many Icelanders, this place is mostly filled up with tourist, not with locals. So remember the basic rule of 'always go where locals are going'!

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