A CLEAN, WELL-LIGHTED PLACE - The Reykjavik Grapevine

A CLEAN, WELL-LIGHTED PLACE

A CLEAN, WELL-LIGHTED PLACE

Published September 8, 2011

Ragnar Egilsson

Durum is a lunch place. It’s more than a hole-in-a-wall, but not by much. It’s clean and white, with some plants strewn around the place. Some of them herbs, some there for decoration. It’s modern, but not too modern. It’s somewhat geared at young people, but all kinds come there for lunch. There are seats indoors and there are seats outdoors, but most people take their food elsewhere. They have Middle Eastern cuisine as the name implies, but they also carry paninis, smoothies and soups of the day. It’s the type of urban lunch place you’d find tucked away downtown-but-not-quite of any middling-to-major city. It’s definitely tourist-friendly, but it’s not a tourist place as such. The staff are not as jaded as at a chain restaurant, but they’re not invested in the place either. They’re vegetarian-friendly, but vegetarians could do better.
The meal arrived quickly, but not so quickly as to worry the customer. The first time around I had their döner kebab, which was actually quite good and probably what I will order there from now on. The second time I had the chickpea veggie stew with coconut milk, which tasted about as interesting as it sounds but is probably good enough for a vegetarian on a thirty-minute lunch break I suppose.
What I’m getting at is that it’s not the kind of place there’s much to say about. And in this case I don’t think that’s such a bad thing, even. The chimerical menu means a loss of focus and uneven results. I had some sandwich there a while back that I didn’t feel like finishing, but I can’t remember what it was. But I didn’t The name is a little misleading I guess—as it gives the impression it’s a North-African place. But it’s a definite improvement over the old name: “MMMM”, about which the less I say the better.
I don’t mind Durum. May it be around for however long it needs to be around.  

What We Think: Durum makes a pretty good kebab but mostly it’s a clean, well-lighted place for when that’s all you need
Flavour: North-African-Italian-Smoothie
Ambiance: The WiFi works well
Service: Distracted but polite
Rating: 2.5/5

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