A BIGGER SELECTION OF ASIAN FOOD
In one fell swoop NAM (Nútíma Asísk Matargerð) have started offering bento boxes, proper dumplings (so they say) and banh mis. I thought Iceland was speeding up its adoption of foreign trends but these ones took ages. I haven’t had a chance to eat there yet and the only location so far is way out in the burbs, but here’s hoping this catches on. Ban-Thai is still good, Sushibarinn is still good, Noodle Station is still bothering Skólavörðustígur with the fragrance of that insanely addictive anis-broth and Núðluskálin won me over pretty fast.
SMALL ETHNIC PLACES WITH RAW PRODUCE
Tyrkneskur Bazaar recently opened in Síðumúli 17. Offering halal lamb in various cuts, fairly affordable goat and sheep feta, yufka, sausages, seasonal fruit (occasionally) and the usual (albeit humbler) array of spices, nuts and dried fruit. Thai/Vietnamese speciality store Mai Thai is still around and holding up despite the recession. A couple of more Polish places popped up this year to the continued joy of my pickle-ravaged household and the Polish sausages at Laugalækur put the spring in my step and the gout in my joints.
A GREATER FOCUS ON LOCAL INGREDIENTS
With the New Nordic tsunami sweeping over everything, it is small wonder that local ingredients have remained front and centre in 2011. A part of me suspects this may be yet another sinister Danish attempt at subtly disguised xenophobia but probably that’s my post-colonial paranoia talking. The restaurant scene in Iceland has been a little too uniform in their adoption of the trend but there’s no denying that as far as trends go this one has a lot going for it.
A GROWING FARMERS’ MARKET SCENE
It doesn’t really have a fixed presence yet but it’s only a matter of time, as last summer it seemed you couldn’t open the door without running into one. Yes it may be a little bobo and it’s definitely too pricey for your average stiff to switch over completely, but if it means raw milk, non-watery beef and five kinds of kale then you’ll see no complaints here. And try not to forget Frú Lauga and Kolaportið as this trend blossoms in 2012
AN EXPLODING MICRO-BREWERY SCENE
El Grillo, Bríó, Kaldi, Gæðingur, Einstök, Móri, Pils, Úlfur, Skjálfti, Lava, Bjartur, Jökull, whatever you’re all called. There’s 320 thousand of us—you’re all insane. Skál!