Article of the week from the Icelandic times
The Best is for the Bold and Brave
The Sea Baron’s Fish Meals attract visitors from all over the world
Iceland has a number of unusual and different foods. Many of them have their roots in seafaring history. The Vikings came up with many novel ways of preserving their foods and their traditions continue to this day.
Some of these foods sound unappealing, to say the least, when you first hear about them and it takes the adventurous soul to step out and try them. Iceland is for the adventurous and they reap the benefits of the brave. The timid stick to burgers!
A True Fisherman
A former fisherman and Coast Guard chef, Kjartan Halldórsson, also known as the Sea Baron, is the master of the unusual fish dishes. His lobster soup, for example, has gained fame around the world, earning it the title of ‘the world’s greatest lobster soup’. Understandably, he doesn’t reveal the secrets of his recipe but that doesn’t stop his restaurant from being filled every day with afficianados.
He entered the restaurant business by chance. One day, when standing by his boxes of fish, still packed in ice, a group of foreign visitors asked if he could prepare the fish for them. Quick to spot a new opportunity, he ran to the nearest shop to buy a grill - and was in business!. His visitors were invited to dine in his shop in this improbable restaurant. Word very quickly spread and soon he was shifting his boxes out of the way to make room for tables and chairs.
He took the unusual and created delicious meals that no-one else had thought of trying. He took old recipes, some of which sounded revolting, and from them, made meals that have established his reputation around the world.
A man of the sea, Kjartan’s restaurant is popular with the fishermen who sailed for many years from Reykjavik. It is filled with memorabilia, all donated by old sea captains and their families, that fill it with a character all its own. Handmade model sailing boats, pictures of ships of the past and stuffed birds fill the second floor’s walls, where groups of up to 35 can celebrate together and where the fishermen used to sleep when coming to land.
Dining as a Seafaring Experience
Eating at the polished tables, sitting on cushioned fish barrels, surrounded by paraphenalia of the sea, is an experience that will leave you with both good memories, a satisfied appetite - and perhaps, a rather shocked mind that you would actually have eaten fermented fish and that it tasted so, so good.
Special Until Christmas
Every Saturday lunch until Christmas, the restaurant offers Skata, a popular Icelandic traditional delicacy. Made from stingray prepared in a way I won’t describe here, this is a delicious meal you have to try. Ask how it’s made only after you have enjoyed it, though. The Sea Baron’s customers leave contented and return for more. What better recommendation is there?
See more articles on what Iceland has to offer at www.icelandictimes.com