In recent years it has become a widespread tradition for many Icelanders to attend a Christmas buffet at some point during the weeks before the holidays. Over the years Hotel Loftleiðir has earned a good reputation for its ambitious and elegant Danish buffet. Serving traditional Danish courses best enjoyed with a cold Tuborg Julebryg and live Christmas carols, it has become one of the most popular and best known buffets in town.
After a brief and informative tour around the buffet with our hosts, my date and I headed for the starters. Since this was a Danishstyle buffet it was packed with different kinds of herring. The variety was such that should I attempt to tell you about all of them it would take up the whole article. Suffice it to say it offered all the classic forms of herring plus one I had never come across before; the “Gammel Dansk-Herring”. For those of you that didn’t know, Gammel Dansk is a Danish bitter, brewed with a large number of herbs and spices, similar to Jagermeister. The herring was covered in a jam made out of the schnapps which gave it a rather unexpected but very enjoyable taste. I also had the seafood terrine, which was new to me. I must admit I don’t have a clue how it’s made, but wow did it taste good! The smooth texture and salty yet sweet taste made it something to remember.
Next on my menu was sweet n’ sour pork side, warm Danish liver paté with bacon and reindeer paté. All of it absolutely delicious.
For the main course I had the smoked duck served with potatoes au gratin and a very special beetroot and horseradish salad. The duck was excellent, not overcooked as so often happens, and the salad its perfect sidekick.
I wish I could say this article did the experience justice, but I can’t, so I strongly recommend that you try it for yourselves and I promise you won’t regret it.