Sixteen years ago Reykjavík’s food palette lacked seasoning and spice. It was a time where the average Icelander had tried almost every fruit on its waning tree and was in dire need of some taste bud rejuvenation. Luckily, Austur-Indía félagið came to the rescue bearing exotic spices and Eastern recipes. Since then, they’ve loyally fed our addiction for aromatic Indian cuisine—and they never fail!
The food is praised for its fusion of exotic spices with the natural and freshest of Icelandic ingredients. The chefs and spices that make up Austur-Indía’s signature flavour have ventured here from all over India, and the result embraces the taste of its most familiar and remote regions. It is the epitome of an authentic dining experience.
Apart from supplying us with vibrant and fragrant flavours, Austur-Indía has also been a great influence on Reykjavík’s approach to foreign food and culture. Since the day we’ve been blessed with its presence, ethnic restaurants have been sprouting up all over town. However, while many of them wither away, Austur-Indía has remained an unmoveable rock in the restaurant industry and is one of the city’s most dependable restaurants.
“We’ve never forgotten to offer quality and consistency for the right value,” explains Chandrika Gunnarson, one of the restaurant’s founders. “Even after the financial crash, when restaurants and businesses were raising their prices, we didn’t. We were willing to take some of the hit because we knew everybody else was.”
Chandrika illustrates that they key to their success is not only because of their excellent quality food but the treatment of their customers. “We like to treat them as guests and making them number one is our priority. It’s a simple philosophy and doesn’t take a genius to figure out, but it does to put it into daily practise.”
“Customers return knowing they’re going to get great quality food and leave satisfied. I’ve eaten there for the restaurant’s lifespan, and I’m still not bored.”
From dining celebrities, politicians to students, Austur-Indía félagið emphasises an atmosphere where your average Joe can show up in his t-shirt and jeans and enjoy the comfortable, unpretentious and down to earth ambiance. So loosen that waistbelt and go fill yourself silly with some of Reykjavík’s best cuisine.