Fiskmarkadurinn or Fish Market is responsible for the best birthday dinner I’ve EVER had in my life, that’s 29 solid years by now..
A few minutes after landing in Reykjavik we headed to Fish Market on a friend’s suggestion which happened to be right next to our hotel. It was a beautiful day with snow covering the trees and the walk to the restaurant included crossing a frozen lake which gave us a bit of adrenaline rush, exciting already. We arrived all layered up and were directed to a cozy seating area and our coats taken for cloakroom. Dressed up all nicely we ordered some cocktails to really enjoy the place and soon we were seated around a table in a nice corner of this cozy place.
The interior was absolutely amazing and reminded you of the mastery of Nordic designers from copper lambs to rock bows and tree lamps mashed in with very modern electrics. Our night was turning out to be awesome.
The menus were made of fish skin and were quite unique with a great variety and since this is Fish Market the rock star was fish. We decided to go for main course directly and ordered cod, flounder and lamb and since I had been dying for it; minke whale with horseradish and a soy sauce based sauce.
We chatted amongst ourselves only to be pleasantly disturbed by the waiter who brought some bread and butter for us, both of which were quite unique. The butter was slightly whipped on an open plate as a blob with added sea salt and the bread with raisins and dried apricot. The combination was absolutely divine and we discovered some icelandic genius at the bottom of the bag which had the bread in; some hot stones to keep it warm for us. We loved it!!!
The next surprise was salmon tartare on crisps which was complimentary and arrived on a big piece of lava rock, again amazing!!!
Our night continued to get more and more amazing this point onward. The main course arrived shortly and from the first to the last bite we loved every single moment of it and for a few minutes we just focussed on our plates.
the Icelandic mountainous lamb was medium well and while the exterior was hard and texture slightly granular like all mountain animals meat, it was still amazingly soft and flavoursome inside and I loved every bite more than last. The portions were quite generous and the sides complimenting the entrees perfectly. Another amazing thing was the staff explaining every single dish in details when they served it which makes such a huge difference even though we had read the menu. For some reason it just makes the food taste better.
Eating whale and shark has always been on my bucket list and this was about to be checked (whale part only and for the purposes of clearance the whale served by restaurants is minke whale which is not endangered and strictly regulated by the government). The whale arrived raw on a nice platter with the sauce and cranberries and horseradish. The first bite was pretty inconclusive taste wise and second bite onward I realised the texture was more like fish, looks more like meat and taste somewhere in between but it was an amazing experience and I’m glad it was at this place (A nice losing virginity story to tell after all, eh!).
The food finished sadly and we decided to not get any dessert because we felt at a happy place with right amount of food in our stomachs and also we wanted to make some snowmen on the frozen lake because none of us ever got a chance to do that in our childhoods, sad!
The staff was amazing enough to bring a nice bowl of dessert with a candle to wish me Happy Birthday (again complimentary!!!) and there’s that warm feeling that just trickled down my throat when I blew the candle. We all dipped in and to our surprise the dessert was absolutely amazing, even more than food. This little bowl of heaven has white chocolate cheese cake with sorbet on top and exotic fruity bits which went together so well that we couldn’t stop ourselves until there was nothing left we could eat (to be honest I wanted to lick it clean but we were dressed too nicely for that).
The bill was around £50 per person which is not cheap by any standard but I didn’t feel bad for a single second because this was one of the best dining experience of my life. I wish I knew how to thanks The Fish Market chef and staff for making my birthday so perfect and special.
p.s we did get a lot of snow when we left the place and made some snowmen as well as played in snow like 3 year olds, best birthday ever!!!