The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Iceland, Day 5, Part III: Lobster, Fish, and Coca-Cola

This entry originally took place on April 22 and is the final part of a three-part series. Of one day. Of a longer series. I swear that I'm almost done with these Iceland posts. Check out my other posts about Iceland to refresh your memory.

For dinner we met up with my New York City-based friend Melkorka (food blog readers may be familiar with her sister, Ulla of Goldilocks Finds Manhattan) and her boyfriend Jeff who just happened to be in Iceland at the same time as we were. Sweeeet! She had a more important reason to be there than "vacation" though: Her parents are Icelandic and she had some errands to do for them. But there was plenty of time for them to do fun stuff, like eat lobster soup and fish on sticks.

Sea Baron / Saegreifinn

We ate dinner at Saegreifinn, aka Sea Baron, a famous seafood "shack" by the water known for their fresh seafood skewers and lobster soup.

oh god, greg
Holy crap holy crap wtf.

If you eat there with Greg, it might look like this. (It looks oddly Photoshopped, but nope—that's the real Greg.)

many meats on sticks
MEAT, of sea origins!

You order by looking at the display of meat sticks and saying, "Yeah, I want that one." (Other combinations of words conveying similar meaning would probably work.) There's lobster, scallop, shrimp, cod, redfish, halibut, vegetable, mink whale, blue ling, salmon, and potato, although if you get there late they'll probably have already run out of some of their choices. Makes sense to get there earlier than later anyway since it's a small place and you'll want to secure enough seats for your party. In addition to choosing some skewers of seafood, you'll also want to order their lobster soup. We each got a cup of soup and shared six skewers between the five of us (or rather, five meaty skewers and one vegetable).


The lobster soup was ...lovely. I mean, it was loved by all. I don't know what was in it; I just know it was creamy (although not in a heavy way), well seasoned, and contained a decent amount of tender Icelandic lobster chunks (Icelandic lobster is different from the American sort; much smaller and, I would assume as I rarely eat lobster, tastes different). Mark Bittman wrote a better description for the New York Times so you may as well just read that.

i love bread

Our soup came with a basket of soft, slightly chewy bread that was perfect for soaking up liquids. Such as the soup.

fish n stuff
Fish and veg.

By this point—which is over a month since I've returned from Iceland—I don't remember much about the different types of fish we tried. Like the one above? I'm not sure what that is. "White." But I do remember that I liked everything. Simple, fresh, flaky, meaty, flesh-o-fishies. The vegetable skewer isn't really anything special, but we had eaten so little vegetable matter over our trip that just eating a chunk of zucchini gave me some sort of psychological solace among those nagging thoughts of, "DUDE, HAVE I EATEN ANY VEGETABLES DURING THIS TRIP?" (Answer: "not really.")


Here's more fish and shrimpies.

Muh muh muh more.

And more fish.

Oo, medium rare.

And the steak of the sea: WHALE!

...Okay, before you admonish me for eating, I guess can't stop you. I already heard it from the Serious Eaters though. Not to say people didn't bring up valid points, but I wasn't writing an investigative report on whether or not it's ethical to eat whale; I just said, "Hey, here's something I ate that you may not have had before, and this is what it tastes like." If they wanted a full report on whaling, I wouldn't have written about it at all. I am in no way qualified to write about that subject.

And that's why I like having a blog separate from Serious Eats. Dear much smaller pool of TGWAE readers: I am not a passionate follower of whaling ethics. Do you mind if I write about something like whale-chunks-on-a-stick without having to do hours of research about whether or not whaling in iceland should be allowed? You don't really have to do any research to know that most people are against whaling. But I'm not writing a thesis here; I just want to get this blog post done with in less than five hours. Thanks.

So what does whale taste like? Fishy beef. Like beef with finer muscle fibers. This version was especially tender and soft. It's pretty good, although not something I'd dream about eating again.

chocolate covered stick things
Chocolate covered stick things.

We visited the nearby 10-11 just for fun and to potentially find after dinner sweets. Æðibitar—a chocolate and coconut biscuit snack—and Florida Bitar—a chocolate, coconut, and puffed rice biscuit snack—are everywhere and their package designs don't seem to have had a upgrade in decades. For whatever unknown reason, I didn't try either of them. If I missed out on something awesome, feel free to lay on the guilt.

marshmallow-esque things

The snacks pictured above (I'm not sure what the Icelandic name is; feel free to chime in) were also everywhere, sometimes in variety packs. They're chunks of a marshmallow-esque substance covered with chocolate and sometimes shredded coconut. Not bad, not "OMG YES GIVE ME MORE" awesome either. If they had a nostalgic value to me, I'd probably like them more.

how to roast a marshmallow
It's hard!

I was amused by these directions on the back of a bag of marshmallows instructing how to roast a marshmallow. Next, the company will be getting complaints from customers who don't know how to start a fire.

walking up laugavegur

We walked up Laugavegur to get to Boston, a popular bar with an accompanying restaurant called Segurmo. Our party is a rather nice looking bunch from the back, eh? (And the front. But I lagged behind, as I tend to do.)

shimmering waterfall

During the walk we passed a neat shimmering "waterfall" on the side of a building, just one example of many cool pieces of street art in the center of Reykjavik.


We took residents in a dark nook of the second floor of Boston equipped with comfy sofas and chairs. Everyone else drank beers while I sipped on a small bottle of Coca-Cola. We spent the next two hours hanging out and talking about I'm-not-sure-what, except for a memorable story from Jeff about getting his bag stolen on a New York City subway en route to the airport and miraculously getting it back after alerting the police and managing to just barely catch his flight. But he told it much better than how I summed it up in one sentence. It's things like that that make me realize that I'm very much lacking in the "interesting stories" department, but then again, I never want to be in a situation where I'm robbed on the way to an airport.

Greg + icelandic dude
Icelandic dude!

As we were getting ready to leave, a man came by and asked if we were American. "Can I sit with you guys and practice my English?" Sure, why not?

Of course, we would soon find out that Uunthor's English was already good (just about everyone in Iceland speaks English) and he probably knew five languages already. He said he was going to have to learn Spanish since his job (marine engineer) would take him to Chile in a few months. "Yeah, I need to learn Spanish in a few months..." What? Jaysus. He could probably do it; I'd still be stuck knowing as much as a stray dog in Santiago.

He joked around with us a bit, with a few things possibly lost in translation. It was a unique way to end the night and certainly the longest conversation we had with someone who was actually from Iceland. We wish you well, Uunthor!


The night wasn't over yet. Melkorka invited us to swing by her family's apartment, a homey place filled with her mother's art supplies and some furniture designed by her grandfather. I've never known a family of artists before (Melkorka is a graphic designer); it's pretty neat. We drank Coke and ate a few too many paprika-flavored corn puffs and cheese-flavored tortilla chips—since Melkorka and Jeff were leaving for New York the next day we had a sort of "clean out the kitchen" session. They also gave us a few bags of extra groceries to keep, my favorite item being a lovely container of mayonnaise that I didn't get to use, but cleaned it out and took home. You shall see it...later.


Su-Lin / June 11, 2009 6:56 AM

I have a sudden craving for fish on sticks - might have to deal with that this weekend. Looking forward to seeing the mayo jar!

SuperChomp / June 11, 2009 7:02 AM

Mm, lobster soup sounds like it'd be really good. The skewers are.. cute? I don't know why, but I think they're cute.

I can imagine the SEaters would give you a hard time about eating whale (you get some rather... forceful people on there, dontcha?) It's not like you're demanding whale meat to eat regularly, you were just trying it for gawd's sake.

k / June 11, 2009 7:47 AM

I totally agree with you on the veggie department. I had such craving for some greens, I got some romain leaves from that piggie convenient store. My mom thought I was crazy, lol.

eatyourheartout / June 11, 2009 10:03 AM

I can go for some of that lobster soup again. So so good. Best I've ever had.

Carl / June 11, 2009 10:06 AM

Hmm, if you need instructions on how to roast marshmallows, you probably shouldn't BE playing with fire.

The whale looked tasty though...

anna / June 11, 2009 10:54 AM

Ugh, anytime I travel I have to actively seek out vegetables. Usually I'm so good about eating them, too.

I love whales but the meat was there and it was food, and for the sake of adventure I might try it, too...maybe.

bella. / June 11, 2009 11:12 AM

i think i know the danish name for those marshmallow-esque things!
in denmark we call them flødeboller, but i don't speak icelandic so i can't help you on that one.
they're really airy and creamy, right?
with a thin, wafer-esque thing at the bottom?

Lisa / June 11, 2009 11:14 AM

Your "explanation" of your whale-eating posts was totally spot-on and really genuine. How could people not want to eat whale meat with you after reading that? :)

Lisa / June 11, 2009 11:15 AM

Your "explanation" of your whale-eating posts was totally spot-on and really genuine. How could people not want to eat whale meat with you after reading that? :)

Jannie Shea / June 11, 2009 3:35 PM

I want to go to Iceland now! Were you able to get by using only English or did you have an Icelandic phrase book? Or did you use your superpowers to sway the Icelanders to your will? 8-)

roboppy / June 11, 2009 7:02 PM

Su-Lin: I like FISH STICKS. Which is not the same as fish on sticks.

Mayo looks like this but not on the side of a building. :)

SuperChomp: Skewers are cute! As long as they're not stuck in my body.


k: I just told myself, "It's only a week; then I'll be at home and I can eat a bucket of veg from Grand Sichuan, mmm."

D: Same here! Not that I've had lobster soup very much. ..But..yeah.

Carl: True dat. I used to like playing with fire when I was in middle school. Just melting/burning things..LITTLE THINGS...why am I saying this..

Anna: You won't miss too much if you never eat whale. I guess when in Iceland you should eat LAMB! Cute lambs.

bella: Oo, there wasn't a wafer but they were airy. And. Sugary! And. Sticky.

Lisa: OH YES, what a hunger for whale I have created. bwa..ha...ha.

Jannie: Just English! Like hell I could pronounce any Icelandic. sigh.

Sigga / June 11, 2009 8:24 PM

I love reading your blogs about iceland! It's funny to see Iceland from a visitor's point of view.
The "nammi gott" candy (the top one in the picture) is called kókósbollur. They've been around for ages! When I was little we had eating contests where you had to eat one without using your hands but nowadays it's usually a bit of a dare; eating one then immediately drinking coke (frizzes up like coke and mentos!!).

I remember that waterfall thing, stared at it for ages while I waited to get my tattoo. (was a "little" stressed at the time)

Shane / June 11, 2009 9:40 PM

Hi Robyn!

I feel like I've been to Iceland now (I have to admit I never had a huge interest in visiting, but I feel like I've just had a scenic/culinary tour!) I like how you summed up your coverage of's your blog, do what you want.

Melkorka / June 12, 2009 12:18 AM

Yay! I have been loving all the Iceland posts - You really captured Iceland :) there are now tons of places I want to try when I go back next :). Thanks for the sweet mention - that evening was really fun (and tasty)! best!

Jasmine / June 13, 2009 2:31 AM

Ooh, kebabs. I laugh at the marshmallow fail. The waterfall is cool, I wish we had some of that here in the suburbs.

Graeme / June 13, 2009 4:37 PM

If I had to trust one group of people not to fuck up Whaling, it would be Icelanders.

They know how the game's played.

roboppy / June 14, 2009 1:37 PM

Sigga: Thanks for the info and reading my blog! If only I had known about the coke thing earlier...totally would've tried it.

Shane: I hope I've given you some interest in visiting Iceland! WHALES AND WATERFALLS, HOOYAH!

Mel: You and Jeff made our trip more fun! :D I'm jealous that you will definitely get to go back to Iceland someday, hehe. Maybe I will too...far off the futuruuure.

Jasmine: I wish we had more shimmery waterfalls in NYC!

Graeme: That sounds like a fun slogan for their tourism campaign: "ICELAND: THEY KNOW HOW THE GAME'S PLAYED (WE ARE TALKING ABOUT WHALING)"

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