From Iceland — HUMARHÚSIÐ


Published May 27, 2005


“I saw your turnover, going to Cuba in the autumn?”
“Well, you don’t jump around just anywhere, if Icelandair doesn’t fly there.”
“The owners have changed …”
“The owners have changed but it’s still about loyalty.”
“Air Atlanta?”
“I don’t even know if they have 400 seats. 400 seats are hard to find.”
“One plane only?”
“Well, if you’re going to fly the whole board over, you might as well invite the directors and staff. And if you’re flying the whole company over, then make sure you take your most important clients as well – that way, if the plane goes down, there will be no harm to anyone.”
“I see what you mean.”
“Anyway, honestly, I think this take-over will be the best deal you ever made.”
The cover faces of Icelandic business magazines seem to frequent Humarhúsið – the Lobster House – and honestly, if I were a cover face of an Icelandic business magazine, I probably would as well. Ideally located by Lækjargata, in one of Reykjavík’s oldest houses (1838), the place is elegant and cosy, the staff friendly, the wines excellent and the food might be the most adventurous Icelandic fusion around.
Icelandic lobster, by the way, seems to be excellent raw material. Strictly speaking, my lobster expert companion informed me, it is not lobster, but langoustine: smaller, juicier and with a richer taste than the more common Canadian or American lobster. Humarhúsið serves both in the improvised 5-course menu (7,900 – 11,900 ISK including selected wines with each course) which is no less memorable than the conversations in the parlour.
“Anyway, I’m going to California next week.”
“Oh, and you’re taking the family?”
“Oh, no, I’m going for a vacation. Gústaf, who left Kaupthing, has a house there. He’s inviting a few guys over for a week. Beach in the afternoon, computer games throughout the night.”
(If anyone can inform me whether computer games are a codeword for something really thrilling, or if Icelandic businessmen fly to California to hook up their Playstations, I would be most grateful.)
As an amateur in the lobster business I was astonished. My more experienced companion was delighted.
Tips: Don’t wear a leather jacket, they cause too much noise in the leather armchairs and sofas. And watch your head when walking around the upstairs parlour – my lobster expert companion and I both got a mild concussion.
Humarhúsið Amtmannsstíg 1
Tel. 561 3303

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