From the outside, Fish Market (Fiskmarkaðurinn) in Reykjavik, Iceland looks like a traditional restaurant as it located in an attractive old-style wood building, however once inside, the décor is anything but traditional, and the Asian design perfectly complements the Asian-inspired cuisine of Chef Owner Hrefna Rósa Jóhannsdóttir Sætran.
Fish Market located on two levels has a sophisticated Asian ambience with bamboo posts that create privacy, bamboo greenery placed along the walls adds visual appeal, as does the low black leather tufted wall at the back of the lower level dining room that also features a lighted wall with bamboo silhouettes. For diners that want a dinner with a view, there is a small sushi bar where diners have the opportunity to watch the chefs in action in the open kitchen.
The upper and lower dining rooms feature wide plank wood floors, low hanging artistic black lights provide soft illumination, black curved back chairs flank polished oak tables that are minimally dressed with pottery plates, black napkins, cutlery, and chopsticks on bamboo rests to best showcase the food.
Fish Market Restaurant
Edward and I had dinner at Fish Market in late September 2009, and to appreciate the nuances of Chef Hrefna's culinary vision we had the Farmers Market Tasting Menu, which provided us with the opportunity to understand her focus of using the freshest Icelandic ingredients of fish, meat, and poultry, and putting them in what she calls an "Asian costume."
Our tasting menu began with a glass of champagne to pair with clams marinated in soy and lime with thinly sliced red onion and black roe that were presented on a bed of wagame salad that was marinated with sesame oil and sesame seeds and garnished with a lemon wedge. It was light and lovely with a fresh taste of the sea.
Clams Marinated in Soy and Lime
Next on the tasting menu was robata grilled king crab claws. The restaurant prides itself on its robata grill, which cooks at an extremely high temperature to sear the food and retain the juices, and the king crab claws were a vision, simply prepared and succulently sweet and delicious.
A green market salad followed presented in a deep bowl with romaine lettuce, wasabi dressing, mandarin orange sections, soy jelly, wasabi peas, and sesame seeds, that was garnished with noodle Parmesan rolls. What Edward and I especially enjoyed about this pretty salad was the harmonious blend of flavors and textures, the crunchiness of the wasabi peas and the crispy Parmesan noodle rolls, the sweetness of the oranges, and the slightly salty soy jelly.
We continued with maki rolls with salmon, wagame salad, nigiri sashimi with tuna and wasabi caviar, sashimi salmon, halibut, wasabi, and pickled ginger, which was very fresh tasting.
Another highlight of the tasting menu was satay marinated ocean catfish on a bed of rice with baby corn, fresh pineapple, and chili. The flavors, while intriguing, worked well together, without any one ingredient overshadowing another.
Marinated Ocean Catfish
For our last savory course, there was Atlantic salted cod marinated in orange, cinnamon, and clove, with pan-fried cabbage, chili and coriander potato mousse, ceviche tomatoes, olive purée, bacon sauce, and smoked haddock topped with ceviche onions.
Atlantic Salted Cod
We finished our evening of tasting with a delicious selection of desserts that consisted of coconut panna cotta, skyr cheesecake (a traditional Icelandic cultured dairy product similar to strained yoghurt) with blueberries and blueberry syrup, m&m brownie with caramel, exotic fruits of lychee, passion fruit, pineapple, and physalis (cape gooseberries), as well as pineapple sorbet and lychee sorbet.
Selection of Desserts
After having dinner at Fish Market we understand why it continues to be a very popular restaurant on the Reykjavik restaurant scene since it opened in August 2007.
Fish Market (Fiskmarkaðurinn) is open for lunch Monday - Friday from 11:30 am - 2:00 pm, and for dinner from 6:00 pm - 11:30 pm.
Read about Fish Market (Fiskmarkaðurinn) in the Chefs' Recipes section in English and Icelandic where Chef Hrefna Rósa Jóhannsdóttir Sætran shares a taste of Fish Market with her delicious recipes for a two-course menu of Wild Salmon with Yuzu Miso and Onion Pakoda and Breast of Puffin with Smoked Eel, Mango, and Coco.
Fish Market (Fiskmarkaðurinn)
Read other articles on Iceland in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, Fashion, and Adventures sections.
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