Sail away with me
This Downtown Reykjavík Restaurant is situated by the port close to the whale watching tours. The house used to serve as storage space for fishing gear and other supplies for the boats but has recently be renovated. A welcome addition to the old harbour which in the last few years has been experiencing a makeover of cafés and restaurants.
So, walking into Kopar the atmosphere has already been set by the smell of the sea and the sound of boat engines. The magic continues as you enter the restaurant with its red bricks, old wood, flower pots and polished brass, also there is a slightly medieval look to the open kitchen, which I liked half expecting fat eunuchs and chained midgets stirring grand cauldrons instead of the legion of fine looking women making all kinds of foodie dreams come true. The night we came there we were sat by a window on the ground floor overlooking the boats in the marina. We were a bit early so we ordered a cold beer and watched the seagulls for awhile to prepare ourselves for the upcoming meal.
First up was the butter on a pebble ( with anise salt) and a really good sourdough bread. I love the idea of promoting Icelandic butter in different ways which seems to be all the rage now and the anise salt tied nicely into what was coming up. Our first dish were deep fried cod bellows (possibly my favourite part of the fish) with a cream cheese sherry and garlic dip. Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, very good. Followed with a scallop cheviche served with salmon roes and dill purré, absolutely delicious and I was so ready for more than a mouthful. With these two first courses we had pinot grigio San Angelo dry and crisp like a midwinter morning. Moving on to duck spring rolls, an interesting part of the menu but showcasing perhaps the underlying international influences of this restaurant going effortlessly back and forth between continents. The red fish we got next was maybe my personal favourite that night, served in two ways, deep fried and sautéed seasoned in miso, served on a bed of organic barley with peanut sauce. This dish was so perfectly put together that with every bite I wanted to have a taste of everything on the plate just melting together in my mouth, well done. The riesling we got served with the spring roll and red fish served its purpose. Next wine poured was a fragrant chianti, a cabernet/sangiovese from Valiano which I could have spent the rest of the weekend drinking with various bits of meat and cheese. Having said that, it also worked perfectly well with the next two courses. Possibly the best white fish living in Icelandic waters is the monkfish, also loner so it´s not really cought commercially but the restaurants pay a good price for them so the fishermen know where to go whenever they appear. Also the ugliest fish in the sea so up until after the middle of the twentieth century it simply thrown away. Served with a bit of bacon and pesto it is beautiful, rich in flavour and works surprisingly well with red wine. The classic lamb was also delicious, served with mushrooms, garlic and bernaise, mingling nicely. Then we got the tower of desserts and did our best to conquer it without succeeding more than to the extent of a semi successful guerilla raid. An orgy of dark and white chocolate, warm caramel, bits of cake, forest fruits and almond snow rising three storeys high. I hereby dare anyone to lead the assault.
Luckily there was coffee and a nice selection of spirits to help with digestion and mobility.
Thank you Kopar, we enjoyed!