It was a gorgeously sunny and crisp mid-morning when my date and I ventured out to Nauthólsvík for the Sunday brunch at the bright and airy Nauthóll Bistro. With the expansive deck that wraps around the one-storey building set aside the water one would expect to cross the threshold and enter a particularly posh summerhouse. Instead, waiting on the other site of the large glass doors is a stark white retreat bustling with groups of girlfriends, tri-generational families and loveydovey couples all dressed sharply to sample the ample spread of salads and other continental fare and hot cases brimming with bacon, eggs, roast potatoes and even grilled turkey breast and accompanying sauces (3.300 ISK for adults and 1.650 ISK for children 12 and under).
Having arrived beyond the midway point of their serving period (11:00– 15:00 every Sunday) my date and I spied that out fellow diners, who were squeezed in rather tightly, had already devoured their first plates and were rising from their seats for seconds (or thirds). We followed the hallway to the adjoining room where the buffet was set up and had a hard time deciding what to go with first. It was then and there that I developed my brunch buffet strategy: cold stuff, followed by hot stuff, followed by dessert (yes, there was dessert).
From my cold plate I sampled delightful little rolls of smoked trout; two cold salads, one barley based with onion, tomatoes, bell pepper and olives and the other comprised of many of the same veggies but based on miniature balls of pasts that I likened to overgrown couscous; a small round of bread topped with cocktail shrimp; and the most delicious deep red and delicate prosciutto that was drizzled with a Dijon, balsamic blend and crowned with rucola and pine nuts— heavenly!
From the warm selection I sampled the omelette, which was light and f luffy and laced with greens and burst cherry tomatoes; a couple large wedges of roast potato, which I found to be slightly dry; and succulent turkey breast freshly sliced to order by a Nauthóll chef, which I accompanied with a savoury mushroom sauce. The turkey breast was a gorgeous touch and, with the scent of autumn in the air, reminded me of traditional holiday meals of my childhood.
While I was entirely too satisfied to consider a heaping plate of sweets, I still strolled back to the buffet room where a more modestly sized table displayed tiramisu, a caramel cream cake, chocolate fudge squares a trio of fruit (strawberry, pineapple and melon) ready to be skewered and passed beneath the streaming milk-chocolate fountain.
OK, I ended up caving and tasting the caramel cream cake (holy moly was it ever good) and some strawberries in liquid chocolate from the fountain, which were every bit as wonderful as one would think fresh strawberries in chocolate to be.
Satisfactorily sated, my date and I happily strolled home along the water, already planning to spoil ourselves at Nauthóll again sometime very soon. Possibly next Sunday.
What we think: Wonderfully decadent bunch.
Flavour: Simple, fresh and smartly combined.
Ambiance: Bright white and airy,but slightly cramped seating.
Service: Professional and polite.
- Nauthóll Nauthólsvegur 106, 101 Reykjavík
- Website: nautholl.is
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