Thanks to the global financial crisis you can eat at some great restaurants in Iceland without suffering from your own personal financial crisis when the bill arrives. At these sort of restaurants the food will be exquisite but it will also be pretty fancy and sometimes you are more in the mood for the simpler things in life. Perhaps one of the simplest pleasures in life is the taste of fish and chips served by the sea.
In Reykjavik one of the best options for fish and chips is Sjávarbarinn
which is located in a row of warehouses right on Reykjavik’s harbour. The interior looks like a typical English fish and chip shop with slick and span plastic chairs and table and a long counter running along the wall. It is basic but I appreciate the lack of pretension. The only sign that you are in Iceland are the pictures of various whales on the walls and of course the food. Sjávarbarinn features an all you can eat buffet filled with a variety of hot and cold fish dishes and salads. Traditional Icelandic dishes are a feature such as an Icelandic fish stew and fermented shark. If you felt like it you could really be adventurous here although I was a little scared I might accidentally eat some whale meat and anyway as I said I was in the mood for some simple fish and chips.
For 1,200 ISK (around £6) you get a huge piece of battered haddock, thick cut chips and salad. The haddock is a winner. The golden batter crunches satisfyingly as you bite into it to reveal the fish’s pearly white flesh. I am not so sure about the chips which are more potato wedges than traditional chips. Perhaps this is the Icelandic way.
Even in a country where the local currency has been decimated Sjávarbarinn is very reasonably priced for a no frills fish and chip feast.
Details: Grandagardur 9, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland (Ph 517 3131)
Damage: Such a bargain my mother would approve