While in Iceland, Reykjavik to be exact we wanted to experience at least one fine dining experience. In Iceland they one have one Michelin starred restaurant which is Dill however fiancee had heard through contacts in the industry that Nostra is one that we should check out. We got a table online fairly easily so off we went.
Arriving at Nostra we see that it’s a pretty funky space and are invited to either have a drink at the bar or head to our table. We opt for the bar this time since it’s happy hour. The bar is called Artson which is Nostra backwards, pretty clever.
We instantly recognise that the bar guy is good. We have a couple of glasses of bubbles to start. Then Fiancee notices the fermenting jars and starts to ask some questions. So Victor offers us the bar tasting menu. It’s apparent he is incredibly proud and passionate about what he is doing.
We taste a number of different things including, Burnt orange vodka, apple/cherry vodka, Aperol with pears, grilled peach Pimms, lemon thyme limoncello, smoked cherry rye whiskey and pear tequila. This is Victor’s baby and I love his passion. The flavours are incredible and such an amazing way to start an evening out!
As we get to the table we’re asked how much time we have and if we want to indulge. Service is fantastic, Abraham was our waiter. The wine list is on an iPad mini which I really really like. There are options for four, six and eight-course menus. We’d initially planned on getting four however kindly talked into the six courses.
Up first is the bread and amuse bouche. The bread is ciabatta and it’s served with butter. Kohlrabi cream cheese – soft and nice. Tapioca and fennel isn’t really to my liking but it’s an OK start. Our waiter lets us know about the history of the restaurant, how the shifts work and a bit more about Icelandic culture.
Shrimp tartare. This is absolutely perfect and a clever match with clever plating. Look how pretty it is!
They have the coolest toilet I’ve seen, it’s very modern and has buttons for everything. No hand lotion. We’re given even more bread and this time it’s even warmer. Win.
Mussels and leek. They’re blue mussels local to this area with a leek confit, green apple puree, white wine broth, heavy cream and watercress oil. Absolutely delightful and just the right balance. We’re certainly off to a good start.
Lamb ribs without the bone Northern Carolina style. This is served with a salmon roe. It’s weird but it really works and the salmon roe is such an amazing way of salting the dish without adding salt. Needless to say, we’re very impressed.
Place with salsify, caviar and sauce nage. It’s simple, efficient and delicious. They’re adding flavour to their dishes without adding unnecessary components.
Beef and rhubarb. Just great! Unusual flavours but they totally work that have us thinking “Why didn’t I think of that!?”
Pre-dessert with puffed barley was a nice interlude, however, I have had better. I like the music here, it’s upbeat and modern.
Icelandic strawberries with liquorice root powder. Yes, yes, yes!
We’d mentioned the choc bar that we’d seen on a previous menu that they were no longer making and what do you know they made one especially for us. It’s stupid good and I really love the rosemary flavour.
We then got a kitchen tour and to meet the chef as we’d shown so much interest in what they were doing. It’s beautifully set out and organised.
Overall Nostra was an absolute standout, the service was fantastic, the food was mind-blowing and the evening just delightful. I’d rank it easily in our World 50 Best Restaurants list and hope to see them on the Michelin guide when it next comes out. They totally deserve it.