After a long day driving along Iceland’s extraordinary South Coast it was with a little relief that I pulled into the sleepy coastal village of Stokkseyri, my last stop for the day. Not only was I ravenous, but it had been an extremely hot day by Icelandic standards; blue skies had stayed clear all day, allowing for the sun to beat down all day. In other words, I was gagging for an ice-cold bottle of Icelandic beer.
Stokkseyri, is a small village of 445 inhabitants. It seems perfectly nice, and has even attracted the attention of Jonsí from Sigur Rós who once named a song after the place. That’s not why I’m here though. I’m here for Fjöruborðið.
Fjöruborðið, I was told by Icelandic pals, has been receiving rave reviews for some time now, but this was coupled with some concern that it had started to live on its reputation. It is no doubt the very same reputation that meant the car park was absolutely full. I take the last space. This place is clearly popular.
Fortunately I had booked ahead, which saved some time, but I did end up waiting for a short while before being sat at a table.
The menu at Fjöruborðið makes some bold claims, such as ‘golden lobsters hook their claws together and dance a belly dance while mermaids serve tables amongst shrimp wrapped in seaweed, clapping shellfish and inquisitive haddock’. Hmmm. They say of the soup ’People have struggled against storm after storm to get here and enjoy this soup. The desire for it can be so strong that rational thinking simply blows away with the wind’. But do you know what? They might just be right about the soup. The soup is ridiculously good; creamy, thick, full of tomatoes and a good portion of succulent white lobster tails. It was divine. If I’m ever in the position of having to choose my last meal, soup from Fjöruborðið would be the starter.
Next up, perhaps not surprisingly, is lobster. Other dishes are available, but it would seem churlish to have anything else. The lobsters here are actually langoustines, but really who cares? They are freshly caught today not far from here. They arrived cooked and served in an iron skillet; they have been sautéed in wine, butter and garlic. There are ‘trimmings’ available, but with the exception of a chunk of rustic bread, I gorge myself solely on lobster after lobster, getting my fingers greasy and my stomach to bursting point. Accompanied by a well-deserved ice-cold beer, it was superb. Seldom have I enjoyed a meal quite so much. This is proof that exceptional ingredients need little messing with; other restaurants, particularly some in the UK, need to sit up and listen.
The desserts looked particularly fine; massive delicious wedges of sticky toffee this, chocolate that and a messy but cream filled pavlova. I am too stuffed with lobster, sorry langoustine, to even consider one.
Instead, I take a walk on the seashore that lies only a few meters from the Fjöruborðið back door. It is a glorious evening, and the sun is still high in the sky despite the late hour. The sea is silvery and shimmering. I have a wander around, and try to make room for one of those desserts after all.
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