The only one of its kind in town, Tapasbarinn serves up a gigantic menu of around 60 different tapas, from the all-Espanõl olives to more local takes like whale and lobster.
While tapas on its home turf is mostly a quick bite by the bar desk, the Icelandic version is a sit-in affair. After testing the patience of the waitresses—who tended to always be there when not needed and never when needed—we tackled the abundance of choice: We decided to share a fiesta of 9 tapas, all priced between 600–1100 ISK.
We loved the fillet of lamb in delicious liquorice sauce. We also enjoyed the salt fish croquettes, comfortably warm and soft in the inside, yet crunchy on the outside and served with a good aioli. We ate bacon wrapped scallops and dates, a successful variation on the ever-so-good combination of meat and dates. We tried patatas bravas, which were too mild, but were cheered up by the refreshing salad Valenciana with melons. We also got a dry salt fish Catalana and equally dry tuna teriyaki.
Again on the overcooked side were escargots with good buttery mushrooms at the bottom of the portion. And when the table did not fit more plates, we ate a generous bowl of hearty Valencian paella from a bar stool. Of all the dishes those with local ingredients emptied faster than the more authentic Spanish efforts.
And regardless of the waitress’ disbelief when faced with the amount of food we were ordering, we easily had room for dessert: Ice cream and a lovely, sweet and soft Crema Catalana with strong coffee (1.090 ISK including coffee), por favor.
- Tapas Bar Laugavegur 20b
- What we think: When in Iceland, do Tapas as the Icelanders do
- Flavour: Spanish in abundance; also main courses on the menu
- Ambiance: Cosy
- Service: In Sunday gear
- Rating: 4/5