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Eating Fermented Shark and Indulging in the Finest of Dining in Reykjavik

fine dining reykjavik, best places to eat iceland, best restaurants in iceland, slippbarinn, laekjarbrekka, traditional icelandic food, where to eat in iceland, iceland adventures, romantic places in iceland, pouring red wineIceland, home to an endless array of natural beauty, notoriously unpredictable weather patterns and some of the most outlandishly decadent dining experiences in the world. After living in our Kuku Camper for 2 weeks, we decided it was time to treat ourselves with 2 days of living like a local in the incredible city of Reykjavik.

iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark icelandIt was our first night in the city, we had settled into our cozy little AirBnB and decided to start our evening right with a cheers at the dockside gem, Slippbarinn.

slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurantLocated next to the Reykjavik Dry Dock, this trendy spot has some of the most creative, and dangerously delicious, drinks on the entire island. With concoctions like Mr. Boom Bastic, The Fabulous Hulk (Drew’s favorite) and Pipi Gonzalez (not on the menu, but my personal fave), you can’t help but want to order more if only for the sake of saying the ridiculously-fun names!

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slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn drink menux, iceland bartender

slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn drink menu, pipi gonzalezNow on to the food. Which was ALL. DELICIOUS.

things to do in reykjavik, reykjavik art, architecture reykjavik, iceland bucket list, beautiful things in iceland, iceland food, slippbarinn, traditional icelandic feast, fermented shark icelandThe incredibly fresh Icelandic Seafood Platter displayed 2 beautiful tiers of locally sourced Bluefin tuna tartare, scallop ceviche, grilled langoustine tail and salmon sashimi… believe us when we say it was INCREDIBLE. We recommend not leaving Iceland without eating this. 

slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn menu, best food in reykjavikDrew was in heaven with the warm and savory gratinated Buri cheese mixed with honey and pine nuts that all melted effortlessly over the perfectly-toasted bread slices:

slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn menu, best food in reykjavikI was all about the light and refreshing flat bread, topped with goat cheese, pear, pickled chili, grapefruit and pesto.

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slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn menu, best food in reykjavikAlways on the hunt for incredible vegetarian dishes, I was served the Winter Salad, which is not what it sounds like. This warm dish was overflowing with locally sourced vegetables: roasted artichoke hearts, Icelandic root vegetables, hazelnut pesto, and charred hazelnuts, all topped with a bed of melted isbui cheese and garnished with a fresh herb salad. It was wonderful.

slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn menu, best food in reykjavikAs we let the food settle into our happy tummies we sipped on another incredible drink that the attentive wait staff presented us with. We watched as the sun finally began to set (around 10pm) just beyond the ships and snow-covered mountains in the nearby distance.

slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn menu, best food in reykjavikAnd with just enough room, it was time for dessert. For Drew it was the warm and fluffy, doughnut platter, topped with a sweet carmel glaze, dusted with powdered sugar and served alongside a lemon fruit crème and homemade jam:

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fine dining reykjavik, best places to eat iceland, best restaurants in iceland, slippbarinn, laekjarbrekka, traditional icelandic food, where to eat in iceland, iceland adventures, romantic places in icelandIn perfect contrast with all the trendiness that is oozing from the docksides at Slippbarinn, if you are looking to experience an unforgettably, intimate evening in Iceland, filled with the finest foods, wine and atmosphere, Lækjarbrekka cannot be missed.

iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark icelandBuilt as a home in 1834, the dark and elegant Lækjarbrekka, meaning house on a hill by a lake, is known as the most romantic restaurant in all of Reykjavik. What was once a 19th century bakery is now a charming restaurant frequented by honeymooners, the Prime Minister and Iceland’s President alike, all seeking Iceland’s finest since 1986.

fine dining reykjavik, best places to eat iceland, best restaurants in iceland, slippbarinn, laekjarbrekka, traditional icelandic food, where to eat in iceland, iceland adventures, romantic places in iceland, pouring red wineIceland, home to an endless array of natural beauty, notoriously unpredictable weather patterns and some of the most outlandishly decadent dining experiences in the world. After living in our Kuku Camper for 2 weeks, we decided it was time to treat ourselves with 2 days of living like a local in the incredible city of Reykjavik. iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark icelandIt was our first night in the city, we had settled into our cozy little AirBnB and decided to start our evening right with a cheers at the dockside gem, Slippbarinn. slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurantLocated next to the Reykjavik Dry Dock, this trendy spot has some of the most creative, and dangerously delicious, drinks on the entire island. With concoctions like Mr. Boom Bastic, The Fabulous Hulk (Drew's favorite) and Pipi Gonzalez (not on the menu, but my personal fave), you can't help but want to order more if only for the sake of saying the ridiculously-fun names! slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn drink menux things to do in reykjavik, reykjavik art, architecture reykjavik, iceland bucket list, beautiful things in iceland, iceland food, slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, incredible hulk drink, pretty cocktail slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dockWe watched as the bartenders artfully juggled bottles, glasses, swizzle sticks and garnishes, all while looking particularly sharp in their superhero bow ties... they really need to start selling these. slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn drink menux, superhero bow tie, best bow tie ever, slippbarinn bartender slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn drink menux, iceland bartender slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn drink menux, iceland bartender slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn drink menu, pipi gonzalezNow on to the food. Wish was ALL. DELICIOUS. things to do in reykjavik, reykjavik art, architecture reykjavik, iceland bucket list, beautiful things in iceland, iceland food, slippbarinn, traditional icelandic feast, fermented shark icelandThe incredibly fresh Icelandic Seafood Platter displayed 2 beautiful tiers of Bluefin tuna tartare, scallop ceviche, grilled langoustine tail and salmon sashimi... believe us when we say it was INCREDIBLE. We recommend not leaving Iceland without eating this. slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn menu, best food in reykjavikDrew was in heaven with the warm and savory gratinated Buri cheese mixed with honey and pine nuts that all melted effortlessly over the perfectly-toasted bread slices: slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn menu, best food in reykjavikI was all about the light and refreshing flat bread, topped with goat cheese, pear, pickled chili, grapefruit and pesto. slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn menu, best food in reykjavikFor the main course Drew had the grilled sirloin of lamb with toasted onions, rutabaga puree, oyster mushrooms and brambleberries all covered in a homemade onion jus. In case you were wondering, there was nothing left. slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn menu, best food in reykjavikAlways on the hunt for incredible vegetarian dishes, I was served the Winter Salad, which is not was it sounds like. This warm dish was overflowing with locally sourced vegetables: roasted artichoke hearts, Icelandic root vegetables, hazelnut pesto, and charred hazelnuts, all topped with a bed of melted isbui cheese and garnished with a fresh herb salad. It was wonderful. slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn menu, best food in reykjavikAs we let the food settle into our happy tummies we sipped on another incredible drink that the attentive wait staff presented us with. We watched as the sun finally began to set (around 10pm) just beyond the ships and snow-covered mountains in the nearby distance. slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn menu, best food in reykjavikAnd with just enough room, it was time for dessert. For Drew it was the warm and fluffy, doughnut platter, topped with a sweet carmel glaze, dusted with powdered sugar and served alongside a lemon fruit crème and homemade jam: slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn menu, best food in reykjavik, dessert in reykjavik, slippbarinn dessertPour moi, it was the light and airy Slippbarinn chocolate cake, made with Iceland's famous OMNOM (Madagascar 66% cacao) chocolate. These decadent morsels were scattered amongst a bed of freshly whipped cream (which Drew loved scooping up to place on this doughnuts) and a sea of warm caramel. slippbarinn, best drinks in iceland, best bar in icecland, trendy restaurant in rekyjavik, reykjavik best restaurants, where to drink in reykjavik, where to eat in reykjavik, icelandair restaurant, reykjavik dry dock, slippbarinn menu, best food in reykjavik, dessert in reykjavik, slippbarinn dessertPerfect for a fun night out with friends, a trendy gathering with colleagues (happy hour every day from 3-6pm) or a delicious evening alongside your significant other as you celebrate having lived the Icelandic van-life, Slippbarinn seriously has it all. fine dining reykjavik, best places to eat iceland, best restaurants in iceland, slippbarinn, laekjarbrekka, traditional icelandic food, where to eat in iceland, iceland adventures, romantic places in icelandIn perfect contrast with all the trendiness that is oozing from the docksides at Slippbarinn, if you are looking to experience an unforgettably, intimate evening in Iceland, filled with the finest foods, wine and atmosphere, Lækjarbrekka cannot be missed. iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark icelandBuilt as a home in 1834, this charming location has a rich history that adds to its appeal. Leading up to the 1970's, the historic home had been sadly neglected and it's fate was uncertain until a group of determined citizens decided to paint it and revive it, literally transforming it over night! The townsmen honored this act and ultimately declared it as a protected landmark, making it possible for us to enjoy the traditional Icelandic dishes that it has been serving up since 1986. iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark icelandWhile we may not have been on our honeymoon, we were looking for a one-of-a-kind way to commemorate our last night in Iceland, and we truly couldn’t have chosen a more wonderful place to do just that.

iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark iceland, romantic dinner reykjavikAfter a few sips of wine, Drew decided upon ordering the Traditional Icelandic Feast, which was unlike anything we had ever heard of, ever. To start, he was served cured lamb, minke whale, wind dried fish and Icelandic seaweed, alongside 2 cubes of fermented shark in a sealed jar…!

iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark icelandFermented shark, now what’s the story behind that?! Well, the Greenlandic shark, which is what Icelanders have been eating for centuries, is itself poisonous when fresh! This is because of the fact that it has no system “to relieve itself” other than secreting through its skin, causing it to have an extremely high content of urea and trimethylamine oxide. So, in order to prepare it for consumption, the meat is buried in a shallow hole on a slight hill and is then covered with sand and gravel. Stones are then placed on top of the sand in order to press the shark, ultimately removing the poisonous fluids from the meat. The shark ferments in this fashion for 6–12 weeks and is then cut into strips and hung to dry for several months before being served… Woah.

iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark icelandIn order to keep the scent of ammonia from disturbing the ambiance of the restaurant, the fermented shark must be served in a jar like the one seen above. Drew was instructed to eat the fermented shark, or Hákarl, last, followed by a shot of Brennivin. Eating Hákarl is often associated with hardiness and strength, and after watching him down that without a flinch, I would definitely have to agree. He said the after taste of the ammonia was the roughest part… luckily next on the Icelandic Feast menu was the incredibly smooth and delectable Cream of Langoustine Soup, which coated his tastebuds and throat in all the right ways:

iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark iceland, romantic dinner reykjavikI was served the freshly foraged, locally sourced, Dinner Salad:

iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark iceland, romantic dinner reykjavikWith palettes primed, we were set for the main course. My vegetarian Chickpea Cake was served beneath a blanket of arugula, parsnip crisps and roasted sweet potatoes, all placed alongside a sweet and savory coconut sauce:

iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark iceland, romantic dinner reykjavikDrew’s dish, known as Mountain and Bay, consisted of a pan fried lamb fillet, grilled langoustine, potato terrine and thyme sauce… need we say more?:

iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark iceland, romantic dinner reykjavikBetween unforgettable forkfuls, sips of belly-warming wine and loads of laughter caused by our Icelandic van-life stoires, we wished the night could have lasted forever… and in many ways it did.

iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark iceland, romantic dinner reykjavikDrew stepped outside to capture this timeless moment just as our desserts were being served… when he returned to the table he was welcomed with this:

skyr yogurt, skyr ice cream, icelandic dessert, iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark iceland, romantic dinner reykjavikA plate which displayed the creamy and rich Skyr mousse with blueberry sorbet and oat crumble, paired with a sweet dessert wine, while across the table sat a warm morsel of chocolate cake, topped with vanilla glazed strawberries and vanilla ice cream…

skyr yogurt, skyr ice cream, icelandic dessert, iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, fermented shark iceland, romantic dinner reykjavikBy the end of the night the only thing that was left behind was our slowly burning candle, which had burnt all the way down to it’s golden base. May the memory of this land, people and cuisine, burn brightly in our hearts until our next return.

iceland food, where to eat in iceland, best restaurants in iceland, lækjarbrekka, best food in iceland, romantic dinner reykjavik, burning candle, candle lightFor more fine dining in Reykjavik, be sure to take a look at our post on Lava, the beautiful, gourmet restaurant inside the world renowned Blue Lagoon. And for more tips on what to do while visiting Iceland, be sure to check out our EPIC Iceland Bucket List!

2 Comments

  1. Reply

    Philip

    May 19, 2015

    So happy you are featuring several articles on your experiences in Iceland from both the adventurous point of view and the city/dining environments. Love this country and this is making me relive one of my most favorite trips to date! Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories and experiences, as always!

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      May 19, 2015

      Always love your input! So glad our stories are taking you back to relive your sweet memories, what an incredible place right?! Something for everyone 🙂 Keep up the spirit!

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