The restaurant Fish Market is the latest addition to the Icelandic restaurant flora. Co-owner and head chef, Hrefna Rósa Sætran has already amassed quite a reputation for her work as a chef, and is a permanent member or the Icelandic national team of chefs, (yes, like other national teams, this one travels and competes with other nations’ national teams), so the expectations were high.
The restaurant itself is located in an old wooden house that has been extensively rebuilt, without killing the house’s charm. The interior and overall design of the place bears witness to the owner’s ambition. Decorations are simple and unpretentious, with black and warm earth-tones dominating the colour scheme. The attention to detail highlights the overall simplicity of the place, such as the salmon skin covered stair railing and the salmon skin bound menu.
The restaurant was surprisingly busy, considering that it opened less then a week ago. The staff were extremely friendly and relaxed, but went about their work in a professional manner. The downstairs dining area where we were seated overlooks the busy kitchen, where head-chef Hrefna gives firm orders to her staff. Light and ambient electronica played softly in the background. Put together, these elements create very easy-going and enjoyable settings for a good meal.
As the name suggests, The Fish Market specialises in fish courses, and as the menu claims, inspiration is sought in Asian traditions. The menu offers an exciting combination of traditional Icelandic raw material and exotic tastes. Typically, starters are priced at around 2000 ISK and include the obligatory lobster soup, sushi and sashimi, as well as tofu, quail and beef dishes. The main course comes at 3500–4000 ISK and includes something called Organic Funky Chicken, eggplant taco and tuna toast. For desert, you can expect to pay around 1500. We opted for a selection called the Tasting Menu (6900 ISK), several specially selected small dishes from the menu designed for sharing and brought to the table continuously, and a bottle of flowery Australian Riesling.
Every dish was a feast, but the highlights were the spareribs, presented in a Soya glazing that gave the meat a salty but exotic taste, the delicately prepared sushi, and a dish called Black Cod Real Deal. I am glad to report that the Fish Market lived up to its expectations. SBB