Review: Icelandic Fish and Chips restaurant, Tryggvagata 11 – The Volcano House, Reykjavík, fishandchips.is
Having read good reviews of this “organic bistro” as they call themselves, I was curious to try this place. Fish and chips are a very popular combination here in the UK, but often seen as a fast and cheap food that is usually very greasy.
At Icelandic Fish and Chips, the menu varies depending on what fish are available, and the fish is very fresh of course. The batter is spelt and barley, and the “chips” are more like potato wedges baked rather than fried and come in different varieties. They have also invented a whole range of “skyronnaise” dips. Basically they are doing a healthier version of this than what people might be used to.
My choice of what to order was quite difficult as there were many things I would have liked to try. They are quite clever to give lots of different options of fish, potatoes, side dishes and skyronnaise, meaning you could go back lots of times trying different combinations! I finally went with:
Wolf fish (sounded the most exotic one on the menu) with garlic potatoes, mango skyronnaise and an orange side salad.
As if it wasn’t embarrassing enough eating alone, I also just had to take pictures – the food both looked and smelled unbelievably good when it arrived. Luckily as I was there during a mid week lunch time there were only a few other people there!
My verdict – overall, it was probably the best “fish and chips” I have ever eaten. All of the flavours just worked really well together and it tasted fresh and healthy. If there was one of these near me I’d definitely be a regular customer!
Sitting on my own with too much time to think, I started wondering what wolf fish actually looked like, never having heard of them before. The fish was absolutely delicious and I just assumed it would look something like a cod or haddock, quite nondescript. So I was fairly shocked when this came up on my phone as the result of my Google search:
Actually, “fairly shocked” is an understatement – I was horrified! How can probably the ugliest fish on the planet taste so good?? Unfortunately I was only about halfway through eating at this point and suddenly felt a little queasy. It clicked into place that the Icelandic word for these, as written on the menu and not taken in by me earlier, is “steinbítur” – stone biter.
Steinbítur is a much more descriptive word for what they actually are than wolf fish! If I’d thought about it I would have wrongly assumed that a bed-dwelling fish would be horrible and not ordered it. It was a good lesson for me to try new things, not to assume something is going to not taste good just because I don’t like how it looks, etc. But do take my advice, if you’re going to Google your food don’t do it while you’re still eating it!
Hopefully I haven’t put you off visiting Icelandic Fish and Chips if you are in the area. The food was gorgeous and there will be a combination of flavours there to suit everyone. I highly recommend everything I had.
What’s the most startling thing you’ve ever eaten?