It seems that Iceland is the ” Must Go To” place this year, has always been on my list but we somehow never got there, until now. Recently himself declared” I know what our Christmas present will be, a trip to Iceland,” and so we went.
On our second night there we wandered over the frozen lake ( not actually on the lake, but on the road which crossed it) to DILL. On Trip Advisor, it is rated as the best restaurant in Iceland and is the only one with a Michelin star.( Did the inspectors really go all that way to review just one restaurant?) Again on Trip Advisor, it is rated as being expensive, of course this is very subjective, but a 7 course tasting menu, came at a cost of £92, which at Londons prices, is fairly reasonable. The cost of the wine pairings however cost another £79, which obviously pushes up the price of a night out. Then again, it is not obligatory to take the wine pairings and also one has to remember that in Iceland alcohol is very heavily taxed. With a population of only 330,00, money for social services, education etc, has to come from somewhere.
Dill is a small restaurant, with maybe sixteen or eighteen covers. reservations are for either 6.30, or 9.30. For us 6.30 is a tad too early, whereas 9.30 too late, but we took the 9.30 and then were able to push it forward a little.
It is housed in an old Barn and is connected to a bar and a Pizza restaurant as well. Apparently it is possible to order some of the dishes that are served in Dill, in the Pizza restaurant. (# 1 Daughter, the willowy Blond, was there recently with her three little ones and this is what they did)
Dill prides itself on fresh local ingredients, simplicity and taste. But I have to say we were a bit underwhelmed. Simplicity, it was not and taste was on the bland side. Simplicity? when we were told that the rhubarb, on one of the dishes, had ben cooked for 45 days, not 44 and not 46, BUT 45 ! I would surmise that, it is not simplicity.
These were the various Amuse Bouche, all of which are very attractive, set upon leaves they found and pine needles and crispy chicken skin. The most disappointing was the local bread, which was actually hanging from the rafters and the SKYR butter.
Skyr is Icelands answer to Yoghurt, and is very similar to the German Quark a cross between yoghurt and sour cream is the closest I can think of.
The second picture is Turnips, which have been dried, whilst the third is Reindeer, which had been shot by the chef. The fifth is Artic Char on Cabbage, the char having been dried was in fact quite salty ( and I am someone who like salt!) The lamb dish was very nice and it came with heart and liver ( which I passed along to himself). The best part of the meal however was the bottom right, it says, brown butter, celeriac and pine oil. The crumb, which I assume was the browned butter, reminded me very much of Speculoos, a Belgian biscuit. The other dessert, the purple one above was made with dill oil, blueberries and whey that had been marinated for 5 months.
The next night I insisted that we try one of the many Fish and Chip shops that abound in Reykjavik, and went to the Icelandic Fish and Chip shop. Unfortunately, again I would not recommend it. I am a self confessed connoisseur of Fish and Chips, an absolute fan and if this were to be my last meal request, then it would have to be Fish and Chips. The fish has to be in Batter, crisp and dry and the chips have to be also CRSIP, not a soggy mess. The RAC club on Pall Mall do a very good rendition of Fish and Chips. Himself is not so keen, but there has to be alternatives but sadly it was also not great.
So, obviously I had fish and chips, the choice of fish was Cod, Tusk ( is cod like and of the Ling family) or Ling ( Ling is a deep water fish a cross between Cod and Conger Eel) I chose the Cod.Himself chose the mussels, we are big fans of mussels, having lived in Belgium for 13 years where they are almost the national dish.
The mussels were small both in size and quantity ( a kilo per person is the norm) and they were small. This time of year they should be of a reasonable size. My fish, the batter and fish were fine, but chips??? where were the chips? Only sautéed potatoes and not chips.
We only saw such a tiny part of the Island, just around Reykjavik the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon we saw several very interesting museums but we would like to go back to see the Fjords and the Glaciers and try some more of their interesting and definitely different foods.