This is Sjavagrillid Reykjavik
Sjavagrillid has an casual ambience that’s quite unassuming. Lovely and adorned with wood accents everywhere. You feel cozy. Plates of food are quickly served on beautifully crafted wooden platters and creations from the chef remind me of a combination of winter warmth and cool ocean, much like that of what defines Iceland.
To start, sugar salted scallops, gently pickled cucumber, and an oat crumble. Fresh like the sea. Crisp and sweet. Enlightening.
In laissez-faire approach, a dish featuring a carefully crafted piece of pork belly appears in front of my eyes. With a few bites, the moist, juicy mushrooms burst with flavor and happily pair themselves with the flesh of sweet, lean pork belly. To provide structure, balance, and a base to the exorbitance of flavour, a soft whipped potato nestles the other elements that playfully tease on my plate.
A surf and turf interpretation in the form of tender pulled beef and plump grilled langoustine. Another dish that brings warmth and comfort in the winter months. Blanketed with hollandaise and brightened with dices of sauteed green apple and leaves of micro chervil. Textualized with the familiar rye crumble.
To balance the earth and the sea, a progression to a shining star of the eve. A smoked salmon so perfect and flavors gently sealed, a smoke so sweet like the undercurrents of a licking ocean. Paired, a generous heaping of horseradish foam. Light and delicate with intentional spice, much like an impending snowstorm whispering through a cool breeze during the winter night. Wasabi powder evaporates into the other elements before it hits my mouth. I treat it like snow, and try and catch a tickle with my tongue before it melts. Mustard seeds marinated and tossed with chive. Poppy seeds lightly sprinkled onto deliberate surfaces of the fish. Fresh dill. Rye crisps. Pickled cipollini onion petals. Yes.
Ocean critters touching the earth. Organic barley, dill snow, salmon cured in lemon and oil, then sous-vide to be a perfect, perfect, perfect mi cuit. Ocean perch grilled ever so gently with a slight finish of earth, separating at the touch of your fork as if to flake into submission. A sturdy stint of squash and perfectly pan fried broccoli to accompany. Carrot purée draped onto the plate for a silky finish if desired.
Grilled lamb. Potato purée. Grilled green apple. Romanesco broccoli and hints of other root vegetables. Bearnaise foam to pair, served separate from the main attraction. Simple, yes, but the lamb is quite impeccably grilled. My favorite part of this dish was the green apple. The flavor I can’t describe but that of a candied sweet apple grilled and tender, yet somehow still crisp and juicy. Micro chervil to garnish.
A simple and delicate beginning to dessert. Two generous quenelles of raspberry sorbet surrounded by oat crumble. Little hills of cinnamon scented vanilla pudding accompanied by marshmallows, black with a dominating presence but understated in interpretation of licorice.
My spoon chases the little bits of oat and I use two spoons to pile more crunch on to the cold sorbet and luxurious pudding.
A heavenly finish. An ocean of creme brûlée and meringue torched for colour and a bit of flavor but not so much for texture. Fresh raspberries, compressed green apple, then beautiful quenelles of sweet tart green apple sorbet slowly melting into a pile of crumbled pecan and cocoa nibs. To add a bit of mystery and depth, licorice meringue for texture, colour, flavour, and surprise.
This is Sjavagrillid Reykjavik. Have a visit.