Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Can I have some headcheese with that?

Hilariously our culinary adventures continued the next morning after a very late start and checkout of our first hotel. Actor and NonSequitor had very early morning flights the next night and we had planned it so those remaining would continue on while they stayed in Reykjavik to try the second attempt at northern lights. The rating was high that night; we were hopeful they would see them.

Our first stop was at Cafe Loki. Hilariously this restaurant had been reviewed on the promotional videos you could watch on the Icelandic Air flight over. Several in our group watched this and decided it would be a good place to go after getting further recommendations for it from other people (I was asleep on the flight over, as I quite frequently am).

It was an adorable place covered in local artists. I found one particularly interesting for my tastes:

This person creates miniature libraries and frames them in shadow boxes. I think you can see why I would be attracted to them.

I considered buying one, but after doing the conversion for price I realized even the smallest one (already sold, btw), would kick me about £100. Sigh, no, I can't afford to blow that kind of money on art at the moment. Not when I'm doing this much traveling! :D

Anyway, to the food.

This place had a lot of awesome things on the menu like dried fish and the shark again. I decided to go with something different though, something I'd heard of before: sheep's head jelly.

It just sounds appealing, right? Actually upon more thought I figured it would be like the pig's head terrine I'd had with my sister in Helsinki. I was right.

On my plate (pictured above), clockwise: sheep's head jelly on flat bread with pea salad on the left and turnip on the right, fish mash on rye bread, and smoked trout on rye bread.

I'll say here and now that the rye bread was fantastic. They're so known for it in Iceland that they even made an icecream out of it:

Which was absolutely delicious and basically what icecream is like if you mix in sweet grainy bread. I loved it.

Back to my plate though: the sheep's head jelly. It was...delicious, of course. As all head meats are. It was exactly a terrine - jellied meat product with bits of beat in it. The best bits of meat, really - cheeks and smooth facial muscles. Yes yes and yes.

The fish mash was good as well - mashed fish in a sort of potato-y creamy salad. The smoked trout was extremely smokey and rich. My favorite part, hilariously enough, was the turnip (orange stuff on the right). It was sweet but pure tasting, like a really clean watery butternut or acorn squash. Almost like cantaloupe that doesn't have the weird flavor in it. Just mildly sweet. I could eat that stuff everyday.

I also tried some of Actor's skyre waffle, since this is another thing that Cafe Loki is known for. Imagine a waffle, covered in caramel sauce, stuffed with sour cream that isn't sour. Yeah, pretty awesome, right? Right.

Cafe Loki, definitely one I would recommend. The owner was our waitress, who was spotlighted in the Icelandic Air videos. We met a celebrity. :D

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