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Fresh Meat In Reykjavík

Three new bars in Reykjavík and more restaurants than you can shake a wind-dried cod at
27.8.2012
Words by Ragnar Egilsson
THE BARS

Dolly just opened at Hafnarstræti 4 and is already vying for/clambering up the shitheap towards... the title of the hippest place in Reykjavík. Two floors with an electronic bent, slightly more bar than club, patrons of Faktorý, Bakkus and Kaffibarinn should feel right at home. Will this be the new Sirkus? Only time and the number of vomit-stained, sequined masks of the Aztec god of death Mictlantecuhtli will tell.

The club Mánabar (The Moon Bar) opened in the nick of time, with the carpenters throwing their tools out the back just as the first punters on Culture Night started pouring in. Located at Hverfisgata 20 where Buddha Bar used to be (and Hverfisbarinn before that), Mánabar has gotten a major make-over with a more sensible lay-out and explicit references to outer space.

Gay bar Kjallarinn opened on Gay Pride, which means we now have two brand-spanking new gay bars (for branding and spanking!). It’s located quite far up Laugavegur, at number 73, below the beef floggers at Restaurant 73. The main gay rights advocates in Iceland are called “Samtökin 78,” so it’s an opportunity missed by only 5 houses.

THE RESTAURANTS


Steikhúsið or “The Steikhouse” (sic) is the first house in Reykjavík to be made entirely out of beef. Lady GaGa is rumoured to have bought it with a check made of prosciutto. Also, they seem to serve steaks and are located somewhere by the old harbour opposite The Burger Joint. Now you have two choices for fucking up your arteries!

For the more health conscious we have Bergsson Mathús at Templarasund 3. Possibly named after the celebrated feminist writer Guðbergur Bergsson, but more likely a relative of celebrated entertainer Felix Bergsson. No fixed style of cuisine other than organicish-freerangeish-localish-rawish. You get the picture. Slip out of those lycra pants and windbreaker and head there after your morning jog for a detox smoothie or whatever you non-smokers do with your free time.

Sakebarinn recently opened above Sushibarinn so customers will now be forced to stand in the doorway between the two places with a maki in one hand and a sake in the other. It’s a devilish scheme that might be just crazy enough to work. It’s located at Laugavegur 2 and seems like a pretty nice place (see, I’m not always mean).

Then there are the two wild cards. Buddha café on the other side of the street from Sakebarinn. Not to be confused with the bar formerly known as Buddha Bar up on the corner or Gautama Buddha, who was a mild-mannered vegetarian who disapproved of alcohol. It is only a matter of time until the owners of the Indian restaurant Gandhi (www.gandhi.is) learn of their existence and the two duke it out in an orgy of mindless violence.

Finally, some maniac decided to open up a sushi fast food place in the Iða building at Lækjargata 2a. It’s called Soya Makibar. And I’m talkin’ Subway-style fast food with a sauce of your choosing, not conveyor belt sushi. It’s so wrong it just might be right.

THE WISHBONE

First there was Eldsmiðjan (The Forge) and then there was Gamla Smiðjan (The Old Forge), Ölsmiðjan (The Ale Forge), Kaffismiðjan (The Coffee Forge) and Sushismiðjan (you get the idea). Now get ready for Vatnssmiðjan, where water is lovingly crafted out of base metals using nothing but iron ore and a blast furnace! Those who have tried it swear by its faint aroma of cast iron and sweat from the blacksmith’s brow. Mmmm, how quenching!

The inventive people behind SushiSamba continue their chain of ingenious fusion restaurants. First was the Austrian-Indonesian restaurant Javaltz, with their signature dish the “Bika Ambonstrudel.” Then we got the Japanese-Easter-Islandic place Rapa Nori with their line of endangered palm trees wrapped in seaweed. Last year they opened the anachronistic Texan-Palaeolithic place Tex-Mex-T-Rex, which is slowly gaining a foothold after some initial setbacks with their selection of raw buffalo wings.

This year they have outdone themselves with the family friendly Inuit-Italian joint, Pastablubber. There the kids can take a ride in a slide set inside a putrefying whale carcass while mommy and daddy get to pick their own baby seal and club it with an espresso machine. Fun for the whole family, carefully modelled on existing chains for quality insurance and sure to be a hit like their other wonderful fusion places!

I probably don’t need to tell you guys about it, seeing as it was all over the news last week, but they have caught the mythical serpent Lagarfljótsormurinn in the east of the country. Only an hour after the news got out, the mad scientists at Roadhouse had already designed the perfect hickory smoked dipping sauce to go with the crunchy cryptid. Those who have tried their finger-licking Hi Ho Serpent burger know what I’m talking about.

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