The year 2019 wasn’t kind to many restaurateurs. Let’s be honest, it’s a tough business. Nevertheless, Iceland’s culinary scene is seeing the emergence of new players and the old guard stepping up their A-game. Restaurants continue to diversify; we’ve got ourselves an izakaya inspired spot, while tasting menus are being questioned and reinterpreted. The scope of “Icelandic cuisine” is broadening to include not just produce and products but also their sourcing and seasonal integrity on this harsh island by players big and small. Whether it is globally recognised Nordic fine-dining or fragrant Thai curries, traditional Icelandic cuisine or family-friendly sushi, to everything in-between, this guide to the best of everything Reykjavík has to offer has been hand-picked by our exacting panel of passionate gourmands. From budget bites to fanciful fare, we’ve got you covered. Skál!
Whatever lamb is being served here, rest assured it’ll be a meal to remember. With experienced chefs who share an unbridled passion for meat and fire, all the plates come out perfectly executed. Such is their love for lamb, that every Sunday they host a traditional Sunday roast with all the fixin’s—sugared potatoes, green peas, mushrooms and a slow cooked leg of lamb plus a little family-style dessert for just 2990 ISK. And if that isn’t your cup of tea, then both their lunch and dinner menus showcase three different cuts of lamb.
You don’t need to sell a kidney to taste good Icelandic lamb. This little restaurant is built around the animal; even the walls are adorned with graphic illustrations of the clipped ear tag patterns of sheep. The flatbreads and selection of sauces like the herby zhoug are designed to highlight the grilled meat.
By foregoing frivolous add-ons, Matarkjallarinn lets the lamb speak for itself. Whether you order the grilled lamb chops or the popular shoulder it will be cooked to tender succulence. Icelandic lamb is prized for its clean, grassy flavour and here it is showcased in a fittingly unpretentious fashion.
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