03 December, 2009

Saegreifinn's World-Famous Lobster Soup (plus some Mink Whale)

I knew vaguely that Mark Bittman was a food writer for the New York Times, though I never really followed his blog posts. And then I saw a couple of episodes of the TV show "Spain: On the Road Again", where he and three cohorts (including the actress Gywneth Paltrow and famous chef Mario Batali) savor culinary delights all throughout Spain. Oh, so that's him...then I promptly forgot what he looked like. Honestly, what male would take their eyes off the lovely Claudia Bassols for one second to look at some guy?!

My opinion turned in his favor though, when R. sent me his review of the seafood restaurant Saegreifinn. Bittman raved about the lobster soup at this rustic shack situated right by the harbor in downtown Reykjavik. My appetite was whetted further after reading yet more press about Saegreifinn - see owner Kjartan joking around with a journalist in this Three Sheets Iceland video, as well as a Amateur Traveller podcast mentioning Saegreifinn and yes, the lobster soup.

Scanning the assortment of fish skewers on display, the mink whale caught me eye - I asked the lady manning the counter what it tasted like. She replied, "Somewhere between beef and liver". Though not especially fond of liver, my adventurous instinct was unable to resist such a novelty, thus I decided that mink whale it would be. You know, in the spirit of "When in Reykjavik...". And of course, a steaming bowl of lobster soup each for R. and I, shivering as we were from the freezing temps.

(Note: Before you hate me, mink whales are not endangered, and it is legal to eat them).

The much-hyped, world-famous lobster soup lived up to its billing. Slightly sweet, filled with chunks of local lobster (see pic). The mink whale? Well, the waitress' description was right on target - it looked like beef and tasted like liver. Neither great nor bad, though we both agreed that R.'s grilled cod was the tastier dish between the two, and that Saegreifinn's reasonably-priced seafood is a welcome departure from most of Reykjavik's dining scene where sticker shock is the norm.

On the way out, guess what I spotted tacked on the wall by the door - a yellowed newspaper clipping of Mark Bittman's review, no less. Well done, MB. Maybe now I'll pay closer attention to "Bitten". Just maybe.

Check out more Iceland posts here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

mink whale kabobs? No thanks - I'll have the swordfish kabobs. Lobster soup looks like a safe bet though.