After a few beers at Mikkeller and Friends we walked over to Matarkjallarinn Food Cellar; a warm subterranean restaurant that felt like a sexy log cabin with cozy candlelit tables, plush carpets and piano player up front twinkling away on a mahogany grand piano. Being that this was the final night of our 10 day trip we were absolutely exhausted and more than ready to let the Chef make all of our decisions with the Chef's Tasting menu. What would follow was three hours of absolutely stunning food.
Crab Egg Roll with BBQ sauce & pickled celery on the left of the plate and Seared Scallop with jackfruit and mint on the right.
Tuna Tartare with sliced avocados & wontons with chili oil
I've had hundreds of tuna tartare dishes in my life but this was exceptional. The simple avocado and sesame let the deep fresh flavor of the tuna shine through. I may never have a tuna tartare this perfect ever again.
Beef Carpaccio with rucola, lemon, black truffle and shaved Parmesan
House baked bread- a thick, malty loaf studded with cranberries and whipped butter
Tiger Prawns with ponzu and chili mayo
These were quite similar to the prawns we ate the very first day of our trip at the Barbary wrapped in a crispy shredded katafi.
Beef Ribeye & Lamb Tenderloin served with Bearnaise, roasted root vegetables and a small pot of crispy potatoes.
Both the lamb tenderloin and ribeye were so tender I didn't even make use of the knife when cutting it up, the fork did all the work.
For dessert their version of the classic Lion Bar candy with chocolate, peanuts and crisped rice served with a scoop of raspberry sorbet and warm salted caramel drizzled on top.
Wow after 10 days of incredible food and drink I really didn't think much more could impress us but this meal was outstanding. Each dish was similar to what we've eaten before at other restaurants but here it was just ten times better. The carpaccio had more flavor, the steak had a better char and even the cocktails were the best we had all trip; a delicious Misty Moss for Mr. T made with bjork liquor and moss syrup and a Birch Drop for me made with birch snaps, cointreau, lemon juice and egg white.
In addition to the incredible food the piano player was wonderful. He went back and forth from classic pieces by Mozart and Bach to Jay Z's New York New York and Springsteen's Born to Run without ever missing a beat.
I also loved the laid back elegance of Matarkjallarinn; it was fancy and fabulous but also had a sense of humor. Of course this all comes at a price and Matarkjallarinn certainly wasn't cheap. In fact it was our most expensive meal of the trip but completely worth it. With only 24 hours in Reykjavik I'm more than happy three of them were spent at this wonderful establishment.