Monday, March 10, 2014

i heart strange meats

Our reservation wasn't until 9pm, so it gave us plenty of time to get back to the apartment after our long drive, change, have a glass of wine or two, and play Cards Against Humanity until it was time to leisurely stroll to our restaurant for that night: 3 Frakkar.

This was a much more pleasant experience than our previous night's dinner, despite the wait service being horribly slow (we had to ask for water four times before she was her last night...we all wondered why ~_~*).

Our table ended up splitting on what to order - and I don't mean that in a sharing way necessarily. There was the adventurous side and the not-so-adventurous side. The adventurous side (as you can guess, I was part of this section), went all out in trying the new and exotic meats of Iceland. And I mean all out.

Starting out with the famous shark. This was just called "Icelandic Shark Specialty" on the menu, but we all sort of assumed before ordering that it was the putrefied shark we'd all heard of so much. The one that has a reputation where Icelanders put shark in the ground/snow, pee on it every once in awhile, then dig it up and eat it.

I don't think this was that though, to be honest. And btw the whole peeing thing is entirely a myth though they do really have putrefied shark meat on the menu - it's pickled in lye. But I digress.

This was small bits of shark that were frozen into small sugar cube-sized cubes. They were then dipped in a shot of Brennivin, Icelandic snaps or vodka.

It was...kinda gross, to be honest. The meat itself tasted like frozen tomato with a strange nasally fermented aftertaste. Not the best thing in the world. Like what seaweed sort of faintly smells like as it's rotting. And dipping it in the vodka just made it really...well, alcoholic. Did nothing to defrost it faster or make it more suitable for eating. Eventually I stopped eating the shark meat (which we ate with toothpicks) and just shotgunned my shot instead.

Another photo of the shark with some free bread on the table (this was used to eat the sauces of other delicious things on the table).

Our second time around with puffin. This one was smoked and still very raw-meat. I didn't like this one as much but apparently it resonated with some; even some who said they would not be adventurous (Actor).

Smoked mackerel. Probably the most normal thing on the adventurous side. It was tasty but in my memory, unremarkable. Tasted like nice smoked fish. With egg.

Whale, eaten sashimi style. That's right folks - completely raw and eaten in the Japanese style. They even gave us chopsticks, soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi. It was interesting eating it this way - very much like beef carpaccio. I wasn't offended at all - it was pretty good. Very fresh.

And now to the dinner entrees. This was guillemot (a sea bird) with game sauce. This was spectacular. This was also the dish that I probably had the most of, since all of the adventurous eaters ordered an entree except Two, who just got shares of all of ours.

A sweet, slightly smokey sauce that was just a little bit creamy. I loved every bite of this. The bird was also like a more dark meat quail, though clearly larger. I'd never even heard of this bird before coming to Iceland and here I was, chomping away on its bones (just kidding, here were no bones). O_O

Whale steaks. Or as they said on the menu, "Whale Pepper Steaks." Olive ordered this to get an according fill of whale and you know, it was fantastic here. Really just like steak - juicy, bloody, tender. No strange aftertaste. Which really made me suspect that our previous restaurant had had their whale for a little longer than was strictly protocol. Or this one just happened to be extremely fresh. It was freakin' tasty. From this dish I could see why people would continue whaling, even when it was against the law (I'm turning my shady eyes on you, Japan and Iceland). This is worth pretending scientific research for.

And very awesomely NonSequitor was also in our adventurous eaters group. He ordered the Icelandic horse to try again what could have been tasty.

It was. It really was.

If you hadn't told anyone this was horse, they would believe it was steak. It was that juicy, flavorful, and beef-like. Really, I couldn't tell the difference in a blind taste test (I'll get to that near the end of the trip).

And as a group to wash down our exotic or not-so-exotic fare, some dessert. This I believe was some sort of cake made from skyre, their equivalent of Greek yogurt/sour cream that isn't sour. Just think of thick, creamy, yogurt or cream that was just that - creamy. Maybe like creme fraiche. Tasty and so useful.

And the obligatory chocolate cake. If you have enough people eventually the chocolate will be had. I ignored this, fabulous as it looks. I'm still watching the chocolate with suspicious eyes.

This was our roundup of exotic eats. I'm glad we went at it again because it proved to me that whale, horse, and even guillemot can be prepared to extremely tasty heights. Not with weird aftertastes as we'd had in the other restaurant.

So satisfied. We all walked home and crashed early after that. Good day.

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