Did you know that Café Paris serves brunch every Saturday and Sunday? Assuming you just shouted out a surprised ‘no!’ I’ll admit that neither did I until a short while before my brunch-mate and I walked across Austurvöllur headed there for that very thing. While there are three brunches from which to choose—Healthy, Standard and Luxury—my dining companion and I were both feeling rather self-important on this particular Saturday noon-hour and ordered two Luxury Brunches (1.790 ISK) and a refreshing glass of orange juice each (390 ISK).
The two brunch platters and the auspiciously pale juice were delivered one after the other by a waiter with offputtingly filthy hands as though he has just strapped on an apron after topping up the oil in his car and recalibrating the engine, and a waitress with a certain knack for slamming orders as hard as can be onto the table. Maybe she thought we weren’t paying her enough attention. Maybe she was just hired for her subtlety. I don’t know.
Our Luxury Brunches came in the form of a large square platter on which was arranged an omelette, bacon, sliced fruit, a crêpe, roast potatoes, bread, meat, cheeses, marinated veggies and a smoothie. It certainly looked nice and some of the meals components were, but others could have been better.
Starting with the good, the roast potatoes were really lovely and golden brown and were not at all greasy, as ‘home fries’ in other breakfast establishments can be. The smoothie tasted of sweet strawberries and skyr and was a really nice and refreshing treat, as was the sliced melon. The crêpe was also pretty good, especially when spread with the strawberry jam that came with the meal.
The omelette, on the other hand, was a tasteless rectangle of spongy egg topped with a crispy brown layer that separated from the rest when cut into. The marinated veggies were in actuality a blend of artichokes, sundried tomatoes and whole cloves of garlic so drenched in herbed oil that they may as well have just been served in the jar from whence they so clearly were sprung. Also, that pale juice we were served was actually an extremely diluted pineapple juice, not the orange juice that had been ordered in both English and Icelandic.
For a casual, no frills brunch this one really wasn’t bad, and the price was alright. But when the name says ‘luxury’, you tend to expect more and, in this case, that’s not what was served.
What we think: Not so luxurious, but still good
Flavour: Sometimes good, sometimes bland and spongy
Ambiance: Generic café
Service: Disinterested and dirty
- Café París Austurstræti 14, 101 Reykjavík
- Website: www.cafeparis.is