Published August 9, 2011

Ragnar Egilsson

Thai Reykjavík is an extension from Suðurnes-fave Thai Keflavík. They recently opened in the old location of Kínahúsið, a friendly old building that’s well situated in downtown Reykjavík.
I arrived just after lunch service, having missed the very reasonable 1490 ISK lunch offer. I ordered the Satay Kai (1.490 ISK) starter and Pad Thai (1.590 ISK), the Satay Kai being a Pan-Asian street food, and Pad Thai a basic national dish of Thailand.
The Satay Kai arrived more boiled than charred, served in one of those fashionable high bowls that are very poorly suited to a brochette of chicken crowded in with a tossed pickled salad and a small bowl of satay. I like my satay emulsified and heavy on the peanut, and this sauce was neither. To top it off there were two small hairs on the rim of the plate.
Pad Thai. The prawns were actual prawns (jumbo shrimp) and were surprisingly good. However, those six lonely prawns felt out of place on the sea of sloppy noodles. The noodles were overcooked and chewy, and the whole thing was heavy on fish sauce and oil. The tofu was soggy, the eggs were strips of omelette instead of scrambled in and the whole thing was as depressing to eat as it was to look at. It definitely needed more tamarind, more crushed peanuts. Oh, and one less hair.
With a little more attention to detail we could be looking at a kick-ass hangover dish. But instead we are left with this.
Here’s the thing, Thai Reykjavík is quite affordable and would work fine as a sloppy lunch deal for Johnny Bricklayer (God knows it would have worked fine for me back in my masonry days). But it doesn’t work with this location and presentation.
The options are either to scale down the presentation or whip the kitchen into shape. Frankly, we have enough sloppy Asian takeaway food and it would be great to see them going up against Ban Thai.
Thai food shares with Mexican food an amazing scalability. You will get Thai places that cover the whole spectrum, everything from bland inner city feeding-slots to fine dining experiences that rely on atmosphere and fresh ingredients. And every grade in between.
The location, exterior and decoration could lead you to believe Thai Reykjavík was aiming higher, but Thai Reykjavík falls far on the darker end of that spectrum. 

Thai Reykjavík
Rating: 2.5
Address: Lækjargata 8, 101 Reykjavík

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