MTV boyfriend popped the question on the remote Snaefellsnes peninsula in Iceland which must surely be one of the more unusual places to propose. I still can’t pronounce Snaefellsnes properly but I can say that the landscape is bleak but beautiful with rocky outcrops formed from ancient lava fields and shadowed by the snow covered Snæfelljökull glacier. Even in such an isolated location MTV boyfriend made sure we were staying somewhere with decent champagne to celebrate. Hotel Budir is on the edge of a lava field one side of the hotel faces out to the sea where you can see otters heads bobbing on the water as they head out to fish and from the back of the hotel the glacier looms in the distance. Despite its location Hotel Budir is known for innovative food produced in the restaurant with it’s strong emphasis on the use of local produce.
It was always going to be hard for a meal to live up to such an occasion but Hotel Budir rose to the challenge with the Chef’s selection menu. Sipping on champagne we started with a basket of home baked dense white bread served with a sun dried tomato pesto. It would be hard to get produce more local than the slow cooked trout which we were told by the waiter came from a lake about seven miles away. Thick cut slices of velvety trout were served on slate drizzled with sauce made from seaweed and skyr a yoghurt like Icelandic specialty.
Next up came paper thin slices of duck breast layered over chunks of roasted apple. The flavour combination was inspired as the sweet apple complemented the peppery duck. This was followed by another satisfying starter of two chubby scallops quivering on a smear of parsnip puree.
The main course on the menu was a fillet of Icelandic lamb served with flakes of slow cooked lamb shank, roasted onions and a scattering of local wild flowers. You hear a lot about Icelandic lamb and it does have a distinctive almost gamey taste which is a result of the country’s geographical isolation and the diet of the lambs reared in Iceland’s unspoilt highland pastures. The serving side was generous although I would have preferred my lamb more on the rare side so that I could appreciate more of the unique flavour.
The only let down to the meal was dessert which was a “chocolate plate” which primarily comprised a fudgy chocolate brownie served with some skyr with blueberries. It was decent enough but it was evident that there was no pastry chef at Hotel Budir and the dessert did not quite meet the high standards of the rest of the meal. Still can a girl really complain when her boyfriend has just asked her to marry him and the waiters are bringing over some complementary dessert wine to assist in the celebrations.
Details: Budir, Iceland (Ph +354 435 6700)