Basil & Lime - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Basil & Lime

Basil & Lime

Published January 12, 2009

From what the name implies, restaurant Basil & Lime could well have a menu of Italian meets South-East Asian fusion cooking, or similar. In spite of that, we were greeted with a simple and well layed-out menu of authentic Italian dishes.
This is in tune with Basil & Lime’s location, on Klapparstigur, occupying the same quarters as the late Pasta Basta. In fact, restaurateur and chef Óli Gísli Sveinbjörnsson also prepared food at Pasta Basta. Four of Pasta Basta’s most popular dishes have even survived the revamp, including the ever popular Tagliatelli Langoustine and Chicken Fusilli, both served in mild, creamy sauces. Basil & Lime, much like its predecessor, takes pride in its pasta, made on location and always served at its freshest.
Along with the menus we were served fresh bread along with pesto, tapenade, hummus and olives as antipasti. The pesto, in particular, was fresh and delicious with tangy citrus flavour and refreshing raw garlic. Other items were up to standards. It is debatable how well the hummus fits in there, with its Middle-Eastern origins, but it still was proper hummus.
This was followed by Parma-ham with rocket leaves and cooked vegetables starters. The ham was fantastic, salty and thick. The portion was slightly too big, but some people may like that. The vegetables had a mild and delicate, nut-tinged celery flavour.
This was followed by seafood soup and a risotto. The soup was creamy, obviously made from proper stock, and tasted of both white-wine and brandy; certain to be a crowd-pleaser, even if such lavish use of cream is almost “too-easy”. The risotto was completely authentic and commendable.
Main courses consisted of Pasta Basta’s all time favourites, the Langoustine Tagliatelli and the Chicken Fusilli. Both were nice, but the fusilli was a clear winner.
The meal was complete, with a crème brûlée and a tiramisu at the end. The crème brûlée had a taste of lemon, which I disliked, and was straight from the fridge. The Tiramisu, however, was marvellous.
The surroundings inside Basil & Lime are not strikingly interesting and the food certainly rose above the next to completely dark dining room. To compensate for this is the pricing of the menu, which is unusually moderate for this hideously expensive, inflation-plagued country. All taken into account, you actually get a lot for your money: well made, unpretentious Italian food, with main courses as cheap as ISK 1.850, and the most popular ones like the langoustine for ISK 2.450. Of course, if your income is in dollars or Euros, this place is downright cheap. Don’t get bothered by anything else. Just enjoy the food.

  • Where Klapparstíg 38, 101 Reykjavík
  • The Verdict: Don’t get bothered by anything else. Just enjoy the food.

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