Located in a roomy, red building at Eyrarbakki, a small historic fishing village on the south-coast of Iceland, the restaurant Rauða húsið (The Red House) is a friendly place definitely worth visiting. Due to its popularity, the restaurant moved to a larger locale two years ago. Its two floors and small and cosy bar in the basement are open every day of the year, catering to big groups as well as couples and individuals from lunchtime to late in the evening.
This is predominantly a seafood restaurant, but while the main attractions on the menu are the various fish dishes, Rauða húsið offers plenty of options for meat lovers, including lamb-carpaccio and a steak and lobster combo.
Since it’s not every day that one has such delicious seafood dishes on offer, I decided to stick with the ocean’s delights. As a starter, the Rauða húsið speciality – a creamy seafood soup, rich with vegetables and the catch of the day – was an easy pick. Served with freshly baked bread and extremely tasty, chunky hummus, the soup alone would have easily sufficed as a main course, and is, understandably, a reason for the restaurant’s loyal customer base, which doesn’t let the 45 minute drive from Reykjavík prevent them from enjoying that delicious hearty dish. My dining partner was equally satisfied with his creamy lobster soup, with cognac and large pieces of lobster, and, as with my soup, it was a generous portion.
As a main dish, I ordered the lobster. Cooked to a melt-in-your-mouth perfection, served with salad, lemon slices and garlic butter, just as simple as a lobster dish should be in my view, it made me wonder why on earth I hadn’t visited this place long before. The Lamb-Symphony was too inviting to get my companion to try anything else. Although a little too well done to his taste, the lamb, together with the fresh herbs, potato-omelette and Madeira sauce, more than satisfied his expectations.
As if the aforementioned food wasn’t enough, there was still some room for the sweet stuff. The Lava of Þjórsá was the most tempting dessert. A warm chocolate cake with ice-cream and fruit, together with a cup of coffee, provided the perfect ending to an outstanding meal. The excellent service and friendly atmosphere made the stay even more pleasant.