From Iceland — Silfur


Published September 22, 2006


Silfur is a new restaurant at Hótel Borg, run by the proprietors of Sjávarkjallarinn, which is often lauded in this magazine as being Reykjavík’s best for upscale dining. Silfur sees the owners expand beyond Sjávarkjallarinn’s seafood slant, while remaining firmly in the ‘upscale’ category. This is indicated by Silfur’s extravagant décor, and by the restaurant’s upscale pricing. Most importantly Silfur’s claim to the upper reaches of Reykjavík’s restaurant palate is confirmed by its professional yet friendly service, adventurous menu and faultless presentation.
Silfur’s menu informs that the restaurant cooks new style French cuisine, advising patrons to order four to five caourses, as all of them are served as entrées. We went with the restaurant’s recommended Flavours menu (6,800 ISK), which offers a selection of courses the chef deems favourable. We also put wine selection in the hands of our waitress. Both choices proved well founded, as the selection of five courses and several starters along with the waitress’s recommended red and white wines refused to fail us throughout our three-hour meal.
The smoked eel foam was intriguing, as were the imaginatively presented scallop carpaccio and seafood soup. Venison with foie gras, artichokes and wild mushrooms were cooked to a rare and tender perfection, and was a close contender to the plate of pigeon with truffle polenta and apple. Our favourite was a tuna carpaccio topped with foie gras, celery and salted nuts, the pleasant burst of flavour and texture it provided provoked literal yelps of pleasure. Due note must be given to the dessert menu, who’s ‘snickers’ put its mass-produced namesake to shame.
I am by no means an overly experienced restaurant critic, something which caused me untold anxieties throughout the meal. “This marinated kangaroo looks, smells and tastes great. But what if I’m being fooled by common culinary tricks? I’ll sound like an ignoramus in my positive write-up,” I would think. Seasoned food critics may well find faults with Silfur, but on this particular Sunday night it made for one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in Reykjavík. HM

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