As with most major European cities you will find a lively and busy night life on a Friday night, Reykjavik is no different. Following two quiet(ish) nights in the city I was surprised to see the city come to life on a Friday evening, the locals had come out of hibernation and were filling up the bars and restaurants. This makes for a great atmosphere but not so great if you haven't predicted this and therefore haven't booked anywhere to eat...
We arrived at Vegamot Bistro after a long day of driving around the Golden Circle, we'd some amazing sites such as the tectonic plates, geysirs, waterfalls, Icelandic horses and red crusted earth (we'd also had a scary drive over a very foggy mountain between Selfoss and Reykjavik) so to say we'd worked up an appetite was an understatement! On my 'where to eat' notes I had commented underneath 'very popular' so I can only assume I read a lot of good reviews about this place, I had also noted that it was very close to Mikkeller and friends which is convenient.
When we arrived the restaurant was heaving, we looked worried, were we going to get a table? A waitress came over to us and asked us if we had a booking, we replied we didn't, she informed us that they didn't take bookings anyway and that there was a waiting list instead. We asked how long the waiting list was and she replied 45 minutes, we said this was fine and could we wait at the bar until a table was ready? No problem. Apart from the slight problem that there wasn't much room around the bar and my bag (on my shoulder) was getting in the way of the waiting staff getting past. This seemed to play in our favour as 10 minutes later we were asked to follow a member of staff and they led us to a table upstairs.
A table upstairs that was sat next to another bar. The table appeared to have been placed there on a whim to cram another couple of heads in, every time a waitress passed our table they banged in to our table. Marvellous.
The menu was extensive, it was hard to know where to start. Having done my research prior to arriving I'd heard the small courses (or tapas) was a good option and in terms of price it wasn't too bad either (for Iceland).
As is the way with tapas each dish is brought out to you when it is ready.
Looking back we ordered a rather meaty selection. One of the first dishes to arrive was a mini taco filled with slow cooked beef brisket topped with spicy mayo. Absolutely delicious, moist and flavoursome without the juices running down your sleeve.
Served alongside the mini tacos were mini burgers containing beef fillet (cooked rare) in a brioche bread and sandwiched together with a truffle mayo. I could have eaten a full sized version no problem, the fillet was tender and lean with zero fat.
Keeping with the theme, we also had another round of mini tacos this time with pulled pork. Clearly the fad has spread this far north too, however it was spared the lashings of barbecue sauce and was instead rather delicate for pulled pork.
Next to arrive at our table was the oven baked Camembert which was topped with cashews and chutney. The perfect winter warmer, the addition of the nuts giving it more texture and the chutney offsetting the tang from the cheese. We devoured it up and fought over the crispy base.
Last but by no means least was the spiced cured beef, by this point D was growing inpatient with my photos... so you'll have to take my word for it that it was beautifully selected beef and we even managed to secure some greens in the form of rocket.
Service was haphazard and the waitresses really didn't look like they wanted to be there, combine this with a bump and grind table if the food wasn't as good as it was it would have really spoilt our evening. Luckily the food was up to scratch and the bill wasn't too stinging at £47.48 (with the option to pay in sterling when paying with your card).
No day could have been completely spoilt when you get to meet Icelandic ponies however. Check out this little guy! What a stunner.
Check here for Iceland travel tips and a recap on everywhere we ate.