From Iceland — Food for Thought

Food for Thought

Published November 12, 2009

Food for Thought

Garðurinn (‘Ecstasy’s Heart Garden’) is a small family run vegetarian restaurant, calm and serene enough to make even our conversation about movie classics Anonymous Rex and Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus seem spiritual.
The owners spend their time more virtuously, practicing meditation together with the staff of the health shop next door and following the principles of Sri Chinmoy—a Bangladesh born meditation guru whose thoughts and obituaries are also available for lunch reading. Faithful to Chinmoy’s principles, neither meat nor alcohol is on offer, and the TV screens a strict diet of relaxation tapes.
The menu is simple—a soup (650 ISK for half a portion / 900 ISK for a full one) and a portion of the day (900 / 1.450 ISK), or a shared dish-soup set for 1.500 / 2.200 ISK.
On our visit, the soup was basil and the portion of the day lentil lasagne. I ate my two male dates under the table, trying both soup and lasagne, while they were perfectly stuffed on just the lasagne.
The soup had fresh basil with celery and carrots, heavy thick stock and a homey, slightly yogic vibe—decide for yourself if that is a good quality or not.
The lasagne came with a side salad of good rucola and less appealing oily, crunchy carrots. It was thick and hearty comfort food for autumn lunches and Airwaves hangovers (though I’m sure you all know what Chinmoy might have thought about those), but the flavours were slightly blunt. While I adore Garðurinn’s eclectic idea, healthy food need not mean less delicious food—often quite the contrary. A good example of this was pudding, a raw health ball (heilsukúlur) with mixed dry fruit rolled in sesame seeds for all its organic and spelt ingredients: delicious and big enough to feed the three of us.

  • Address: Klapparstígur 37
  • What we think: Interesting concept, healthy food.
  • Flavour: Healthy.
  • Ambiance: Calm.
  • Service: Friendly.
  • Rating: 3/5
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