Hidden gem in Reykjavík

Yesterday we tried a new Mexico restaurant in Reykjavík.

It’s located in the mid-centre.

The moment you walk into the restaurant, the warming, south-American waves hit you. Colourful carpet, Mexico music, pink purple lights, everything is just so bling bling and get your attention.

We tried the menu “Unexpected latino voyage” and that of “vegan voyage”. Both are six course, sharing menu.

For the latino, we had tuna carpaccio, beef tartar taco, chicken taco, cod fish, duck breast and beef. For the vegan version, we had grilled broccoli, home-made pickled vegetables, tofu taco, grilled celery root and almond milk ice-cream.

Burro

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Icelandic skyr, cream and BLUEBERRIES !!

When I lived in France, my regular breakfast was toast (with butter and jam), soft boiled egg and coffee. And this habit hadn’t been changed for almost four years !

And now, four year since I’m in Iceland, I believe that I found my new love, which is plain skyr, cream and blueberries. These three things go perfectly together. I was not a big fan of cream, but Icelandic cream they’re so good that you can hardly say no to it. And Icelandic skyr? It’s becoming a trendy in some restaurants to either serve it as an appetite or dessert, of course, they’ll do something fancier to enlighten the humble skyr. For most Icelanders, skyr means school, kids and not fancy at all ! One of my friends, she got so “amazed” when it’s served with a lobster soup.

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In one of the finest restaurants in Reykjavik, they serve skyr as appetite with olive oil and basil oil tomato confit.

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In Iceland, bilberries (known as aðalbláber, or “prime blueberry”) grow predominantly in Westfjords and the surrounding area. In most of the country, the closely related bláber occupy the same habitat. Both species are commonly found growing with dwarf birch and crowberries. Wild growth is vast compared to the population of Iceland and wildharvesting is legal. As a consequence, it is a popular activity in August when the berry season peaks. A popular use for bilberries is to eat them with skyr.

There’re two annual blueberry pick up festival in Iceland, one is in Súðavík (Blueberry days) in the West Fjords and another one is Ólafsfjörður, which is also an art and music festival. Both festivals run from August 16 to 18.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a big fan of design, art or not, Icelandic design, or Nordic design is something special and outstanding. They use a lot of material from the natural, such as leather, feather, rocks, stones, fur, etc. and most of the time, they’re rather simple and minimalism.

Approaching Christmas, small and big markets are everywhere, people are trying to show their stuffs around Christmas.

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List = Art, hönnu = design, safn = museum.

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Heaven without…

This morning when I was brushing my teeth, I suddenly realised that I’m actually living in a country without Starbucks, McDonalds and Nespresso. No wonder some people think Iceland is isolated.

Although in cities like Shanghai, Tokyo, there’re more and more Starbucks and people love it.

As a matter of fact, I’m never a big fan of Starbucks, even less for McDonalds, although I remember myself having breakfast there with my mum last year. As less I care about Starbucks, I love THE Starbucks in opera area in Paris, because the whole coffee house was an ancient opera house.

Yet in Iceland, you have decent local cafe house. One of the most popular chains is Kaffitar, following Eymundsson, which is actually a bookstore, but you can grab few magazines and cocooning there with a cup of soja latte. Then you have a bunch of coffee shops of course, Cafe Paris, Laundromat, Mokka Kaffi, just to name a few.

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picture source: fastandfood 

 

Mr. Glacier and his K bar

More and more restaurants, bars, guest houses, souvenir shops …

The tourist business is booming in Reykjavik.

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Last night, I went to a restaurant bar only few steps from where I live, called “K-bar”, I understood the meaning of “K” as soon as I see the menu. Korean, japanese, asian infused. It’s totally my cup of tea.

The decoration is retro, canteen-styled, warm, cozy.

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When we talked to the owner, he said that it’s his 3rd opening in Reykjavik, he has another one called “OK Hotel”, and the reason for this famous “K” is also because his wife and daughter has letter “K” in their names, how sweet is it!

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Since they just opened two days ago, the cocktail they’re having are limited, I tried one of their house cocktails – Cilantro Sour, which I thought was Silencio (a trendy David Lynch night club in Paris). I totally loved it. It’s made of gin, lime juice, sugar syrup and coriander. It’s smooth, attractive and refreshing.

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One of the funnies thing is that the name of the owner of the bar is Jökull, which in Icelandic means Glacier.