From Iceland — Maru


Published November 3, 2006


Maru’s website claims that the Japanese restaurant emphasises take-out orders. This is fitting, as their near flawless take on sushi and Japanese cuisine in general is somewhat at odds with the all-too homey feel one encounters when dining there. Case in point: our first course, an unrelentingly delicious and thoughtfully presented tuna sashimi salad, was served about three minutes after our aperitifs. While Maru’s take on Pink Mojito was perfectly competent, its sugary flavour did little to complement the fine dish.
One of four waiters (!) who tended to us that night soon came to the rescue however, and brought us lovely bottles of Asahi and white wine, altogether more fitting drinks. The courses kept on coming in an equally untimely fashion, our table soon brimming with plate after plate of fishy delights (and one noodly, meaty delight) that tasted really good, but would certainly have benefited from a more thoughtful presentation; the haphazard style in which the food was served doesn’t reflect Maru’s seemingly upscale aspirations (as indicated by its decorations).
However, I stress that nearly all the food sampled was of the highest quality, and the fish was extremely fresh, even if some courses were decidedly better than others. A spicy tuna maki was just a dash away from perfect, as were salmon, white fish and tiger shrimp nigiri. The miso was well up to standard as well, leaving a rather bland noodle affair as the one dish that didn’t particularly impress our otherwise pleased taste buds. It was still pretty good, however. A dessert menu limited to blueberry sorbet, vanilla ice cream and chocolate cake, although all fine courses in their own right, was perplexing in light of Maru’s otherwise Japanese-style menu. Even infusing the ice cream with some green tea would have made for a more authentic end to the delicious meal.
A single piece of sushi at Maru will set you back about 2-400 IKR, well comparable with what other sushi places in Iceland offer. For a full meal, without drinks, one can expect to pay about 2,000-4,000 ISK, which seems fair. HM

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