Argentina meets Japan in Iceland at Sushi Samba! Well, not quite just Argentina but as billed on their website, South American and Japanese cuisine pair up to take centrestage at this kooky, buzzy restaurant.
We walked in without reservations on a busy Saturday night and no problem, they settled us in quickly. It probably helped that we said we only needed the table till around 8pm, as we were booked to go hunt the lights later. Point is, make that reservation, especially since it looks as though all the hipsters of Reykjavik descend on Sushi Samba on weekends!
*Same goes for the other restaurant I really loved in Reykjavik, Fiskmarkadurinn, make that reso!
As the name implies, it’s Sushi + Samba so expect lots of fresh fish and grilled meats. If we had time, we would have loved to go for the Icelandic feast (7,590 ISK) – a 7-course affair with signatures like Smoked Puffin, Minke Whale, Lobster Cigar and Reindeer Sliders. But I guess we’ll save that feast for when we return one day.
Meanwhile, we debated if we should try Minke whale, and decided when in rome… It helped knowing that Minke whales are not on the list of endangered whales, they are classified in the category of Least Concern according to the IUCN, the authority concerning conservation of species.
And so, we ordered.
The Smoked Puffin with blueberries, goat’s cheese, beetroot and croutons is an absolute must-try. The smoky flavor is perfectly matched with the sweet and tart berries, creamy goat’s cheese and lovely crunch thanks to the croutons.
I love my lobster so was excited to try Lobster Tempura and really enjoyed the sweet langoustine flesh coated with light-as-air tempura batter dipped into the accompanying spicy mayo lime chilli.
Of course I had to try another lobster dish – went for Sushi Samba’s fancy version of a California roll, Californication. It’s amped up with foie gras, lobster, masago (capelin roe) and tempura bits.
And finally, the Minke Whale Tataki with date puree and teriyaki – the date puree added a lovely, sweet accent to the whale that was ever-so-lightly seared.
Wash the yumminess down with the multitude of cocktails available – in fact, the bunny-suited bartender is as entertaining and colourful as the names of the cocktails. This is probably the place you would want to hit up if you’re looking for a vibrant scene, a couple of drinks and some really special bites.