Opened in 2006 at the art deco Hótel Borg, restaurant Silfur initially served French cuisine, but has recently updated its menu to offer modern Icelandic fare in the spirit of the current local food trend and the financial situation.
Bankers may have vaporised, but Silfur’s over-the-top modern luxurious décor sadly remains, a fossil from a time when you didn’t need style so long as you had enough money to swim in.
While design is not a strength, Silfur has made a name for serving some of the best food in town under the guidance of Chef Hafþór Sveinsson (who should also be spared from the style judgements – the portions looked good throughout our meal).
My date chose “Country” (6700 ISK) from the “Flavors” set menu selection. I freestyled, starting with Icelandic langoustine ‘three ways’ (2900 ISK): a traditional fried tail, an excellent bake with almonds and a mini burger with chorizo and grape tomato jam.
His hangikjöt carpaccio arrived with an upturned glass of smoke and disappeared just as fast. The fine slices provided a surprisingly delicate experience of the smoked meat, complimented by the beetroot salad. Minke-whale sashimi was refreshingly light on the gaminess that often blights the controversial meat.
For a main, I chose smoked duck with mango, oranges and a bed of wild mushrooms, onions and fresh radish (4900 ISK). Stodgy sweet potato croquettes were an unnecessary addition, otherwise the range of flavours well accented the endless pile of meat sufficient for three women my size—not all fine dining means small portions. My date’s lamb fillet, lamb rib and beef tenderloin were good, juicy and moist, though an overly generous dollop of buttery lobster hollandaise drowned the beef and there could have been more of the lovely Icelandic potatoes.
For desert, my date’s set menu included skyr mousse with blueberry ice cream, while I tried the signature desert (1500 ISK) with chocolate cake, vanilla and raspberry sorbet, chocolate parfait and fresh raspberries: all excellent.
Service was professional and pleasant and through the course of the meal we were surprised with extra offerings: first, with lovely battered scallop “cigars” and horseradish sauce; and before dessert, with layered shot glasses of mango mousse and passion fruit soup. I wish all shots in this town were as good.
- What we think: Fine Icelandic dining in a pre-financial crisis setting
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