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[Review] Matur og Drykkur, Reykjavík, Iceland

Matur og Drykkur (which in Icelandic means ‘Food and Drink’) is a restaurant just off Reykjavik’s Port where the rough and industrial outdoor meets an indoor cosy and relaxed setting, kitted with small wooden tables, candle lights and the modest open-plan Kitchen to set the atmosphere of the Dining experience.

The Menù created by the brilliant Chef duo Garðar Þórðarson and Johnny Winsten is Classical Icelandic cuisine with a modern twist, attentive ingredients and considered source selection. Whilst you enjoy a glass of Champagne and homemade sourdough bread and butter you can take a peek into the open plan kitchen and overlook as tradition is reinvented yet authentic. Home recipes are updated to feel international but familiar.

If you’ve never tried authentic Icelandic cuisine before but like I have seen Viking depictions and read tales of fresh fish and Skyr do not worry, Matur og Drykkur has it covered. Fish pairings are delicately balanced, with every plate worth devouring. Opting for the Icelandic Tasting Menu, you can decide between (Meat/Vegetarian) accompanied by freshly brewed beer or Wine.

Dry fish chips are then paired with whey butter and pickled dulse keeping it aquatic but sweet. Halibut soup with mussels, apples, and raisins are rich, creamy and subtle yet main courses dive into the true culture of Iceland from Head of Cod, glazed in chicken stock and blueberries to another Nordic specialty, Lamb, roasted celeriac, potatoes, pickled red currants, and grated lamb heart.

The pair Garðar Þórðarson and Johnny Winsten uses their exceptional understanding of Icelandic culinary history including generalised bad cuts or throw-away (AKA Fish Heads) but has chosen to use them and excel in its application,  showcasing not just their understanding of taste, but also Matur og Drykkur’s commitment to sustainable and local produce.

Matur og Drykkur is just one of many establishments that have made a commitment to seasonal, local ingredients which has earned them notoriety on the Michelin guide and rightly so. Matur og Drykkur is more than just ‘Food and Drink’ but offers a small slice of history, just a stone throw from the city center of Reykjavík.

“Our aim is not to shock, but rather to produce incredibly good, fresh food based on local culinary traditions,” Gísli Matthías

Book: Grandagarður 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland (+354 571 8877)

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