From Iceland — B5


Published July 27, 2007


B5 has put a lot of money into show: expensive accessories and the latest in Scandinavian design are undoubtedly meant to dazzle. Downstairs features a classy lounge and a “white whiskey room” made to look like the cellar of a pirate ship. It’s even got an X-box.
But restaurants are first and foremost places for good food. Right?
We started with a strapping serving of Lobster Bisque in an oversized bowl the shade of Victoria Beckham’s teeth. I might have a preference for greasier, under-seasoned lobster bisques (Sægreifinn, anyone?) but there was something either too buttery or too salty about B5’s take on the French favourite. My friend refused to agree with me, but eventually conceded that the 1490 ISK asking price was steep.
For the main course, I ordered the Fried Chicken in sweet chilli curry (1990 ISK) as per the advice of our waitress. This, of course, was probably an amateur’s mistake: I had naively pictured something fusion and creative, southern comfort meets Thai spices. What I got was three grams of sautéed chicken slices in a mild curry and a serving of rice. In reality, there was nothing to complain about but the lack of imagination. I could have probably gotten something similar and more authentic at Ban Thai for half the price. My friend ordered the Grilled Salmon with mint fruit salad, potatoes, and Italian cream sauce (2390 ISK). Again, we couldn’t figure out whether our mental pictures had failed us. Her salmon was somewhat dry, and the “mint fruit salad” was a mixture of melons and grapes seemingly cut up for a child’s school lunch. Something was soaring right over our heads.
The dessert was near-redemptive: a lukewarm chocolate cake with banana filling and a light serving of coconut ice cream. The dish was somewhat pretentiously presented with a glass of milk in the middle of a skinny tray with the two sweets on either side. We were disappointed to hear, later, that the best part of our meal was actually due to the geniuses at Sandholt bakery.
Don’t expect the food to talk as loudly as the design or the décor at B5. It’s a fantastic, hallucinatory place for drinks – but for dining, it’s annoyingly ostentatious. Maybe lunch is better?

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