The ‘Icelandic Lobster’ is a delicacy you simply must try during your stay in Iceland and few are more experienced in preparing delicious lobster dishes than The Lobster House, situated in the heart of Reykjavík.
However, what most Icelanders call lobster is probably not what you think it is. The crustacean on offer in The Lobster House is actually a much smaller species called ‘langoustine’ which is commonly found in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. The langoustine is usually around 17 cm (6.7 inches) in length and weighs up to 400g, whereas the common lobster usually ranges from 8-16 inches. The history of commercial langoustine fishing in Iceland only dates back around fifty years, but since its introduction to the Icelandic cuisine, it has been considered one of the top gourmet materials available.
The langoustine‘s smaller size, however, does not mean less taste – on the contrary, the chefs at The Lobster House claim that it outshines the common lobster in most aspects. “Even though it is smaller than the lobster most people are used to, I have found that the giant lobster doesn’t come anywhere near the langoustine when it comes to taste and texture. The langoustine is considerably softer and the taste is much more concentrated. It is one of the bests possible materials a chef can work with, making my job that much easier,” says one of The Lobster House’s expert chefs, Ottó Magnússon.
But appearances can be deceiving and Ottó says that it is not uncommon to see a look of surprise on the faces of customers when they receive a plate of these relatively small crustaceans, thinking a mistake has been made. “They are often sceptical at first, but after the first bite their doubts are removed instantly,” says Ottó.
The most popular dish in The Lobster House is the grilled lobster with garlic, a dish
most Icelanders savour on sunny summer evenings. But, as the name implies, the chefs at The Lobster House are experts in coming up with innovative ideas on preparing this delicacy.
The Lobster House is located in one of Reykjavík’s oldest houses on Amtmansstígur 1, which was originally built in 1838. If you are walking north, away from the pond towards the sea on the right side of Lækjargata you should notice a cluster of old houses behind a small peculiar garden with an oversized chess board. On the most prominent building you’ll see a sign with the langoustine on it and inside the feast awaits!
Further information is available on www.humarhusid.is