Matur og Drykkur: eating traditional with a twist in Reykjavik
Eating in Reykjavik, like in every Nordic country, can be a truly unique and unbelievable experience if you are willing to let yourself go, set aside a bit of budget and spend it in food. Matur og Drykkur in Reykjavik is one of the places where to enter, spend a couple of hours and go out with a big smile on your mouth.
Nestled inside the premises of an old fish factory in the port area (now restored and really enjoyable), Matur og Drykkur maintains the same structure and at the walls you can see vintage photographs taken right inside the factory as a way to maintain the bond between past and present. Past and present are also the constants of the cuisine of this Reykjavik restaurant which offers traditional cuisine slightly revisited, always paying attention to using local, seasonal and typical ingredients.
Matur og Drykkur offers three menus: Icelandic, Seafood and Vegetarian and each menu consists of 8 courses that can be individually paired with drinks. You can also choose a 3-course menu or individual dishes to build a more customized experience but I personally think the menus are the best choice and pairing food with drinks is the X Factor element to not underestimate.
The complete menu list is available by clicking here. We have chosen the Icelandic and the Seafood menu paired with drinks.
If the initial taste of dried fish matched with a local vodka, Brennavin, leaves your palate in contemplation, the halibut soup with mussels, apples and sultana grapes leaves you happy and satisfied. The piece de resistance of the menu is certainly the head of cod cooked in chicken stop in the Seafood menu and the lamb with rutabaga, grated lamb heart, kale and crowberries in the Icelandic menu. The desserts are the worthy conclusion of a perfect menu: the classic Icelandic fried donuts served with syrup and the skyr, typical yoghurt-like, with blueberry granita, both coupled with local herbal digesters.
The executive chef at Matur og Drykkur is Ívar Þórðarson, Head Chef is Arnar Sævarsson and the cocktail master is Baldur Hraunfjörð but an applause goes to all the staff in the restaurant that has created a pleasant, formal and even relaxed atmosphere despite a culinary offer worthy of the best Michelin restaurant: not a coincidence that Matur og Drykkur was added in the Bib Gourmand Michelin Guide and everything suggests that they will soon get the first Michelin star too.
For non Icelandic people, Matur og Drykkur is not a cheap place but in general Iceland is not a cheap place when it comes to eat: this is an experience to do if you want to tantalize your taste with something different, if you want to understand the culture of food in the Nordic countries and if you want to invest in a unique sensory experience of its kind. And in a time where we are not able to appreciate anything more, used as we are to consider everything for granted, I really suggest to avoid many touristy thing you’ll find in Iceland and treat yourself with a rewarding dinner!
Check out our road trip to Iceland:
If want to know more about Iceland and follow our advices, you can continue browsing the section dedicated to Iceland by clicking HERE and also visit the InspiredbyIceland website, full of information and advices; get in touch with us by visiting Veru’s Instagram and Giuseppe’s one, follow Giuseppe on Flickr and 500PX and Veru on YouTube and do not forget Twitter. You can get in contact also by sending us an email if you need more advices or information.
[All photos are copyright by Giuseppe Milo. The trip to Iceland has been part of a journalistic and photographic project. Thanks to Inspired bIceland and Matur og Drykkur for hosting us. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and not influenced in any way]