Grillmarket – Exotic Local Meats

Grillmarket (Grillmarkadurinn in Icelandic – sorry if I messed up the name, my keyboard does not have Icelandic characters) is a restaurant in Reykjavik that sources as much as possible from local farmers.  They use fire, smoke, logs and coal.  Here is a picture of the kitchen upstairs.  The restaurant has two floors, we sat downstairs.

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The first thing I ordered was an Icelandic wasabi martini.  It was delicious.  I found that the cocktails in Iceland, in general, were very good and well balanced.  I also learned that Iceland produces their own wasabi.  It was milder in flavor than Japanese wasabi, and not as green.  More on that in another post.

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To start, we ordered a couple of local meats that I have not seen on a menu anywhere else in the world I have been – puffin (which is bird that is prevalent here), whale, and a trio of mini burgers including whale, puffin and langoustine.

The whale steak was presented on a charcoal grill and served with Icelandic wasabi.  The charcoal flavor came through very well, and the meat was very tender.  I don’t know what type of sauce they put on top, but it was sweet.  I wonder how the whale meat would taste on its own.

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The puffin had a tougher texture than chicken and no distinct taste.  I was surprised that it was a “red” meat.

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Lastly, the trio of sliders.  Each one had a different taste, but I enjoyed the langoustine the most because I could taste the “lobster like” flavors.

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For the mains, we had a trio of meat – lamb, beef and duck.  We ordered a side of salad to go along with this.  Each meat was delicious.  I especially enjoyed the lamb and the duck.

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We also had the horse with a side of potato puree.  The potato puree was the only thing I was disappointed in.  I thought they were under-seasoned.  The horse was very tender and did not have a distinct taste.

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We also had lamb skewers with a side of grilled corn.  The lamb skewers were probably my favorite item of the meal.  Extremely well seasoned.  One thing I saw everywhere in Iceland driving around was the sheep and lamb all roaming free.  I’m not surprised that it was so good.

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We finished the meal with a dessert platter, beautifully presented, and a shot of schnapps.  One of the dishes was finished tableside (I tried to upload a video but the connection is too slow here; its basically hot chocolate poured over the brown ball on the right side of the platter, which melts the chocolate ball).

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Overall service was good.  Not overly attentive but not lacking.  The venue itself is very nice.  Rustic and modern at the same time.  I ordered many things because I thought this would be my only chance to try them, such as the whale.  The meal was enjoyable but I probably would not go back just because there are so many places in Reykjavik that look amazing too.  8/10

 

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