Not normally being an adventurous eater, I was determined to try some of Iceland’s unique native dishes. I did plenty of online research before I went on the trip, and much of what I read directed me to Cafe Loki, right across the street from Hallgrimskirkja.
The menu offered four different offers for ‘Icelandic Plates’. I chose the second option.
I started with the Icelandic Meat Soup, which was excellent, and the perfect starter on this cold, rainy day.
The smoked salmon on rye bread was good and not that exotic. I ate the mashed fish on the other piece of rye bread second, and despite not looking (or sounding) appetizing, it was the part of the Icleandic plate I enjoyed the most.
The smoked lamb on flatbread came next. The lamb was good and the flatbread was the perfect combination.
I had heard a lot about the dried fish, and not much of it was complimentary. The advice I was given was to make sure it was coated in butter. I complied with that advice, but still found the fish impossible to bit through, no matter how hard I tried.
I left the fermented shark for last. I’d tried this n my previous visit in 1998, but had been unaware of what it actually was before I put it in my mouth. The incident has become one of my classic travel stories (a story for another post). This time, I was fully aware of what I was eating. Hákarl, as it is known, is one of those cultural experience that all visitors to Iceland should try… even if it is a rare (non-Icelandic) person who will find the taste good. People often ask me what it is like. The texture is similar to undercooked chicken, and it smells like ammonia, and the smell of it makes it nearly impossible to determine much of a taste.
I was proud I finished everything on my plate (other than the unchewable dried fish). Cafe Loki is a nice place with friendly staff, and I was pleased to have whittled away a couple hours there on a rainy day, trying food I wouldn’t normally eat and enjoying the views of the Hallgrimskirkja.
Europe 2013 Posts-
Beers & Bars of the Europe 2013 Trip Series: