Iceland – a dream destination and I had finally arrived. It took an hour by bus to get to the city and my hotel. I was staying at Hotel Holt, located five minutes from the Hallgrimskirkja Church and close to the main shopping area in Reykjavík . It was early evening and I was eager to sample the food of the country. I would later go out for a Northern Lights tour and eating in the hotel seemed like a good idea.
Hotel Holt’s Gallery Restaurant is on the first floor of the hotel off the main entrance.
I was hungry and traveling solo. I was not feeling well and was in search of anything that resembled chicken soup, my go to comfort food. I had flown in from the U.K. and, since the cold started in the beginning of the trip, I had searched each country – England, Scotland and Wales, for the brothy penicillin. Now in a new country, hope surged once again as I thought, maybe Iceland will have the needed cure. I try to hide my disappointment as I see nothing that resembles a clear broth on the menu. They have a beautiful lobster soup with chocolate cream? Oh jeez – sounds like hot chocolate with fish in it! I ordered it anyway – I did not think I would have another chance at chocolate lobster soup and even if the cream started me coughing again, I could not pass up this opportunity.
It DID look like hot chocolate! Having committed, I took my first sip…. and I was hooked. The chocolate lingered in the background but was in no way sweet and complemented the other ingredients. The bits of fish added saltiness and texture. The consistency resembled a light lobster bisque. It worked.
Icelandic meat was next. I ordered the rack of lamb. Look at this presentation….
It was plated with chanterelle, pea mint, parsnips, and baked garlic. It was tender and tasty, not gamey. I wondered what made this lamb taste superior to others. I investigated and found Icelandic farmers do not use hormones. The lambs are released on the hillside to graze in the summer. Their organic diet adds to the flavor of the meat.
Well, no chicken soup but a really good meal! Stay tuned to see if I ever get my medicinal elixir in Iceland.
It was difficult to gauge where on the money scale this restaurant lands as Iceland is expensive and it took me a day to acclimate to the currency. The bill was $85.00 for appetizer, entrée and non-alcoholic beverage, making this fine dining (in my book anyway) and a splurge. It is possible to eat on a budget here and after this meal, that is precisely what I attempted to do or wanted to do….. OK maybe I ordered room service the next day….don’t judge…the food at the Hotel Holt Gallery Restaurant was GOOD! I don’t regret it!