Situated in one of the older buildings in downtown Reykjavík (built in 1834), Lækjarbrekka has been a celebrated institution of fine dining since the location was extensively renovated in the early eighties. On an interesting historical side note, the house was originally built as a bakery by the first bread mogul of Iceland: Danish-born Daniel Bernhöft, who also founded Bernhöft’s Bakarí, the country’s oldest operating bakery.
As you would expect, the interior of Lækjarbrekka is in keeping with the architecture outside, creating a cosy but elegant feeling by imitating elements of design from the period in which the house was originally built. The service we got immediately upon our arrival was professional but, thank god, personal. There is a tendency for some of the more exclusive restaurants in Iceland to hire competent but emotionally vacant waitstaff – as if someone cracking a smile while pouring your wine might ruin the ambiance. Not so here, our waiter was helpful and cheerful throughout, which is so much more relaxing than being part of some kind of scripted performance.
When the menus came we opted for a selection of game and lobster, dubbed Game Feast and Lobster Feast respectively on the menu. Considering the ingredients and the skill with which they were prepared, these meals were actually very reasonably priced at just under 6,000 ISK for all three courses. The puffin, reindeer, lobster, duck and more lobster were all expertly prepared and presented, so, once again, we are forced to sound like a tourist brochure in the restaurant review section. From the creamy lobster soup to the skyr dessert I especially requested instead of ice cream, there was hardly a false note, and the wine and cognac that the waiter recommended fit perfectly. In a desperate attempt at being critical, we must admit a post-meal massage from a fair maiden would have been nice.