A foodie wet dream
Every once in a long while I find myself in a place that I do not want to leave. Norð-Austur is without doubt one of those. The quality and craftsmanship of the sushi and other dishes is staggering. The service is flawless. The location: out of this world.
Seyðisfjörður is a magical place. Nestled among the rugged mountains right where the fiord turns into a valley. Hundreds of waterfalls line the cliffs around and trout sparkle in the river flowing into the lagoon around which the town is built. Not only is it one of the more picturesque towns in Iceland but also boasts a thriving arts community, fascinating history and a great selection of accommodation. Whether you stay at the legendary Hostel Hafaldan or the lovely Hotel Aldan or anywhere in between you will be within walking distance of Norð-Austur Sushi & Bar.
The amazing thing is that you could be anywhere in the world in the sense of how hip and cool this place is, you know that New York, London or Tokyo feeling. And yet due to the sheer serenity and natural beauty of its surroundings you are firmly placed within the physical reality of an East Icelandic fishing village.
You can tell straight away the menu is focused and well balanced, planned with ambition and ideas, as you would expect from anybody bold enough to start a place like this in a town of about 700 souls. And it is a truly brilliant idea to tap this location into the world´s sushi culture, being right on the water´s edge with whales splashing just off the pier. There is access to top quality ingredients and the chefs have been brought in specially for this gig.
But it isn´t until food starts arriving that you realise that you are smack in the middle of a foodie wet dream. The classics are there for sure exploding with flavour and colours and then they also throw in a catch-of-the-day cheviche and trout on hot volcanic rocks, and surprises like sweet corn tempura with goat cheese. I felt like I should keep ordering just to try to find a weak link in there somewhere. Everything I had was magnificent and the atmosphere created filled me with a sense of floating in a microcosmos reserved for the chosen few that were packing the place and happily enjoying themselves. I would go as far as to say that this place is a must try culinary destination in Iceland. Searcching for strong enough words to describe the quality of this place will simply not quite do justice to its wonders. As with other truly great places it has to be seen and felt in order to capture a bit of its magic. GO!