As anyone who spends much time in downtown Reykjavík will attest, finding a good, affordable place to have lunch can be a gruelling task. After a while, all those sun-dried tomato pastas, chicken breast tandooris and mushroom soups lose their charm; what started as an inventive addition to Reykjavík’s diner kitchens soon became redundant.
It was thus refreshing to encounter new Laugavegur restaurant Vor’s menu, which is at most times far removed from what’s being served in comparable places. With a few exceptions, the restaurant provides an original approach to feeding downtowners, leaning heavily on French and Mediterranean styles.
The “Rich carrot soup with ginger” seemed the obvious choice for a starter. The soup was fine in the taste department, but sorely lacked the richness indicated by its name. A disappointment that was, but the soup still merits a second chance.
We next sampled the three salads on offer at Vor. The house speciality Spring Salad contrasted nicely with January’s subzero temperatures, and the rucola salad was considerably boosted by soft Parmesan cheese. A green salad seemed like the perfect idea post Christmas bingeing, and exceeded itself with a fine lemon vinaigrette.
The Sweet Chilli Omelette was satisfyingly simple in composition; a nice consistency was further enhanced by a homemade chilli jam. Our favourite course of the meal was without a doubt the Mediterranean-style grilled lamb pepper steak. A good selection of cooked vegetables, including tomatoes and black olives, provided a fine tableau for the very properly handled steak. Not as satisfying was the tuna and its accompanying cannellini bean salad. While some pieces of tuna were near-perfectly fried, others weren’t, and such an inconsistency managed to ensure the course didn’t fully live up to its potential.
With affordable pricing, food that’s well above average and a comfortable atmosphere, Vor is a excellent choice for lunch in the 101 area. The coffee was pretty good, too.