Monday, September 03, 2007

Friðrik V

Kaupvangsstræti 6
600 Akureyri
+354 461 5775

I vent hiking in Northern Iceland and used the opportunity to visit that most rare of things and exiting restaurant in Iceland outside Reykjavik. Fridrik V (the name not to honour some long dead Danish king, the owner’s name is simply Fridrik Valur) is actually some years old but has recently moved to an extremely smartly renovated former industrial building. I’m not sure but I believe it was an industrial meat processor of some sort.

Fridrik V is a pretty classic brasserie but very much with an Icelandic twist. So Icelandic ingredients feature very prominently and get used in innovative ways. I wanted to have their five course tasting menu but as we only managed to show up at 21.30 and it takes at least 3 hours to serve we decided to go a la carte. We had:

  1. Local lobster cooked in five different ways – this consisted of five lobster tails each cooked differently. The Icelandic lobster is properly known as Norway Lobster and it very much different from other lobster. It is the size of a large langoustine but tastes like a very tasty lobster and apparently it is of the same genus as regular lobster. There was lobster stewed in a cream sauce (very dull), lobster in teriyaki sauce (good, not great), grilled lobster with potato mash (very good, add some truffle to the mash and this would be great), and two other versions that I’ve forgotten;
  2. Carpaccio of beef with lemon oil and local cheese – ok. Reasonably good beef prepared properly;
  3. Lamb cooked in two ways served with Icelandic cabbage and wild thyme – The cabbage kind of disappeared but the wild thyme is the perfect partner for Iceland lamb that is just the most perfect ingredient. This is was lamb chops cooked perfectly and an absolutely perfect dish;
  4. Farmhouse ice cream from Holtsel in Eyjafjörður with fruits… locally made Italian Gelato… very good;
  5. KEA skyr a´la FRIÐRIK V - This dish was a real success. Icelandic skyr is a dairy product that resembles Greek yogurt or fromage blanc, it is however not the same. It is very versatile produce but rarely used as anything other than breakfast food. Fridrik however has worked out a method of using it as an absolutely brilliant dessert. The skyr was served as skyr brule (as in crème brule a really fantastic dish) skyramisu (as in tiramisu, this was also fantastic. Skyr is much more sour than the cream that would normally be used but I do not like tiramisu because its too rich), stirred skyr (skyr and local cream, this is a classic Icelandic dish and very good) … two short… do not remember.

A fantastic addition to the Icelandic restaurant flora.

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