The Scandinavian and its modern interpretation of traditional Nordic recipes are bound to become a small tourist haven, not to exclude the locals, who will appreciate the cuisine served with a bit of heritage.
The decor is quite similar to its sister company Sólon, with a contemporary interior, although if one looks closely subtle, decorative memorabilia from Scandinavia can be seen throughout, such as the small black and white pictures of famous monuments – a quaint little nicety.
The restaurant’s menu is based around the concept of the smørrebrød, a Danish culinary dish simply translated in to English as “butter and bread”. This well-known meal is steeped in history and a favourite amongst many Icelanders. The basic ingredients to the dish were originally dependent on the seasonal foods grown, but mostly comprised of fish or meat, butter and rye bread. The bistro has tried to keep to many of the same principles, by changing the daily specials around the seasons and highlighting the local fish as an integral part of the menu.
As a general rule, one should think of the open sandwich as a starter or light lunch, and the closed sandwich more for an evening main course. For an authentic Nordic experience, Scandinavian recommends Nordic beer and shot of schnapps, such as the Danish Ákavíti or Icelandic Brennivín, which are given in generous portions, to go along with the meal.
One house specialty is the H.C.Andersen. Named after the famous Danish writer, Hans Christian Andersen, it is pork crackling and liver pâté served on rye bread with port aspic and horseradish. However the combination of hard, crisp pork and the soft pâté was too harsh and awkward in texture. More successful was the Plaice dish with smoked salmon and caviar, and a hint of lemon, having more continuity in tastes and textures.
The convenient quality about the Scandinavian is its location in a prime spot on Laugavegur, with easy access from the hotels and the town centre. From this, the atmosphere of the restaurant has versatility and seems to adjust throughout the week. From the family friendly environment during weekdays, with a children’s menu to encourage families to visit, then developing a vibrant, nightlife mood at the weekends by staying open late and featuring a unique range of Nordic alcohols.
- Where Laugavegur 24, 101 Reykjavík
- What We Think Old-fashioned food with a modern twist, in the heart of Reykjavík.