Dinner at Grillmarkaðurinn (Grill Market), Reykjavik

Boy and I have decided that taking trips for our anniversary is going to become a thing. It sounds cute, but I think we both just want an excuse for more holidays.

Anyway, long story short, we’re in ICELAND!

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I made another video which I’ll post very soon, but here’s what we did for our anniversary dinner.

I made the booking, so it was a little bit of a surprise for Boy. I read so many reviews, websites, blogs, to make sure this was what it said it was – one of the best restaurants in town. And it looked it.

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Here’s Boy again with the serious face. Maybe it’s his new thing. Maybe he doesn’t think I’ll post them. Wrong again.

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We ate at around half 6 because we were on the search for Northen Lights at 9. The restaurant was still surprisingly happening with people.

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We lunged for the menus as soon as they were popped onto the tables. I was starving. I hadn’t eaten because I thought the flight was an hour, but I didn’t consider the time difference and turns out it was 3…. Fantastic.

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Boy picked out the wine. It was a great bottle, but more importantly, it was a bottle. Northen Lights hunting was about to get a whole lot more interesting.

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Then the bread came, with literally a paddle to spread the butter.

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This was the BEST bread. THE BEST. Not just because I was hungry. I need to get me a butter paddle…

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To start with we went for Crispy Traditional Fried Fish and Squid. The dried fish comes from Tyggvi in the Westfjords.

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It was good, but I don’t like things that are deep fried, so I probably didn’t enjoy it as much as the normal person would.

Okay, the next thing I was a bit weird about. Whales are a big thing in Iceland – just about every restaurant we walked past served them. It blew my mind because I’ve never seen whale on a menu in my life, let alone every menu. Here, one of the most recommended starters was the Whale, Puffine and Lingoustine Mini Burgers. Served with pesto, chorizo, and horesradish mayo.

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Which led me to my next thing – PUFFIN? There were puffin posters, sweaters, toys, mugs in every tourist shop, so I assumed it was their national animal. But they eat them too? My mind was literally blown. This was the whale below…

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I wasn’t really comfortable with eating the whale or puffin, so Boy gave me the whole Lobster one (although I took out the chorizo). Boy said the whale was delicious but puffin was a bit average in comparison.

For mains, I had The Fish Gourmet, which was a selection of the salmon, monkfish and salted cod. It came with sides of curly fries and lightly roased vegetables (spianch, baby corn and mushrooms)

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It was so good having the three to try. The only thing was, after a few bites in, I felt really ill. I don’t know if it was the temperature, or the travelling, or maybe my body didn’t react well to the cod. I tried my best to power through though, but ended up leaving an embaressing amount. The verdict was: Cod – Not my favourite (apart from black cod) so it was okay. Salmon – DELICIOUS. The cod roe on top reminded me of Ebi Mentai from Sushi Tei in Singapore. Monkfish – The steakiest of them all, and my second favourite.

Boy ordered the Rib Eye of Beef. It was highly marvled with a large swath of fat seperating the Longissimus from the Spinalis. Fat is where a lot of the distinctive flavour of beef comes from, making ribeye one of the richest flaour cuts avaliable. How obvious is it that I’m just copying what it says on the menu?

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Again, sides of the lightly roasted vegetables and curly fries. We lucked out because those were the two sides I would have probably ordered anyway.

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I thought the beef looked good, but Boy was a bit of a diva and said he actually didn’t like it that much. He said it didn’t have as much flavour as he expected, and it was a little dissapointing.

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You know what makes things better? Dessert.

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I was stuffed full (as was Boy) and we actually really didn’t want any. But everyone around us was getting The Grill Market Chocolate, and it looked absolutely insane, so we had to get it too.

It was served with mascarpone sabayone, warm caramel and coffee ice cream. It kind of reminded me of the dessert at Bob Bob Ricard.

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What a beauty. The perfect way to finish a night. For two not hungry people, we licked it clean. There was probably subtle swiping away of the spoons from each other too.

I popped the two chocolates that came with the bill into my bag for our little road trip later. Turns out I’d eat them before the Northen Lights Tour anyway.

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For the entire night, we watched this couple next to us get the tasting menu. One by one things like whale steaks and all sorts would pop onto their table. I resisted taking pictures of anything until their dessert came, which was PotLuck Dessert, where the chef selects the dessert on a large plate for everyone to share. Something came over me. I just couldn’t not take a picture.

This is when I pretended to take a picture of the wine glass, and then got a very crap shot… I just wanted to show you what it was like!

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This was after they’d demolished it because I was too chicken before. But you get the idea! A big wooden boat full of dessert. Aka the dream.

At 9, we did our tour with Mountaineers of Iceland, who picked us up outside where we were staying. We were lucky that it was just the two of us so we didn’t have to make conversation with random couples. Instead, we just chatted to our tour guide (who was lovely) and listened to Iceland radio – which was AWESOME, by the way. They just played classic tunes, old chart hits and American Anthems. I probably liked every single song that came on the entire trip. I know that’s a weird thing to comment on, but I felt people should know.

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We drove the jeep to the top of this hill, where we waited for the lights to come. Our guide said it was the weakest he’d seen in a while. Just my bloody luck.

The clouds were pink though, which I asked if it had anything to do with them, and he said it was because of the light pollution. Great. There was also a memorial light that Yoko Ono had gotten built for John Lennon, that lights up on the day of his birth every year, and turns off on the day he was shot.

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We waited and waited. There was a peak of light that came through, but it didn’t pick up on my camera.

We got back in the jeep and drove a couple more hours. Our highlight was this:

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Not what I was hoping for, but at least it was something! The annoying thing is I can’t say I’ve not seen the Northen Lights, but I also can’t really say I have. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to come back…

P.S: Iceland is the most beautiful, magical place I think I’ve ever been. Would HIGHLY recommend anyone to take a trip there! I think I’ll have to bring my family too next time…

7 Comments

  1. November 7, 2015 / 11:57 am

    I was on a photography trip and we set up camp for hours trying to see the lights on my last night – didn’t get a peep!

    • November 16, 2015 / 12:04 pm

      Ahhh that’s so frustrating! Hopefully you get the chance to visit again!

    • November 16, 2015 / 12:03 pm

      Definitely, let me know if you ever venture out there!

  2. Christine
    February 23, 2016 / 11:06 pm

    Hi – love your review, I found it whilst googling if we would have time to eat here and make our Northern Lights tour. It seemed to work ok for you. Food looks beautiful, 19 days and we will be there!!!

    • February 24, 2016 / 8:32 am

      We got a very early table but yes, 100% possible! Oh amazing, you will have the BEST BEST time I am so jealous! Fingers crossed that the Northen Lights area beaming beautifully for you!

  3. Isaac
    September 1, 2018 / 11:04 pm

    Just had dinner there with my wife. Very disappointing experience!!! Horrible service and tasteless food. Could not finish our main dish. The place is nicely designed, but absolutely does not worth it.

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