Located in a beautiful old building in the town centre, Humarhúsid, or the Lobster House, has all the charm of old-world Scandinavia. If you’re looking for an excellent – if somewhat traditional – Icelandic seafood restaurant, Humarhúsid never fails to impress. The interior is elegant and classically furnished: colours are dark and muted, juxtaposed with fresh white flowers, crisp tablecloths and twinkling chandeliers. Service is formal and impeccable and the clientele includes businesspeople and diplomats.
The specialty here is of course lobster, although what Icelanders call lobster is in fact its smaller and even more tasty relative: the langoustine. Here you’ll find it served a variety of different ways, from the superb lobster bisque to sautéed in garlic or chilli, au gratin or simply grilled.
There are plenty of other Icelandic specialties on the menu, some of them pretty exotic. Try the reindeer tartar, a beautifully tender, perfumed meat accompanied by foie gras in an apricot crust, or char-grilled scallops with avocado and mango salsa. Adventurous types can try a whale steak with a red wine and rosemary sauce, or go for classic filet of lamb in nut crust with smoked lamb hearts and morel sauce. Fish dishes include glazed filet of salmon with ginger and blood orange, and roasted filets of salted cod with cherry tomatoes and vanilla. The delicious desserts include a chocolate trio – chocolate fudge cake, white chocolate mousse and chocolate ice cream.
The wine list is fairly extensive with a good range of both French and new world wines, and after-dinner drinks can be enjoyed in the cosy lounge next door, complete with leather sofas, a fireplace and stacks of magazines to browse through.
Humarhúsid, Amtmannsstígur 1, 101 Reykjavík, tel (+354) 561 3303 web: www.humarhusid.is