Langoustine finds its niche in the New Icelandic Cuisine
Iceland is known for some of the finest fresh fish in the world and a large share of the country’s catch is landed at Höfn í Hornafirði, on the south-east coast. Höfn (which sounds like ‘Hup’ to our ears and means harbour) is also known as the langoustine capital of Iceland, with a several thousand visitors in town over the first weekend in July for the annual Humarhátið (Langoustine) Festival.
So what’s the langoustine capital of Iceland doing without a fine-dining restaurant that can do justice to the lovely little crustacean? This is the idea behind the sea-food restaurant Humarhöfnin which has been a big success since it was opened 5 years ago by Anna Þorsteinsdóttir, her brother Ari Þorsteinsson and their spouses.
Popular with tourists from the Mediterranean countries, Humarhöfnin is the only restaurant in Iceland that serves whole langoustine. (The co
ncept is so new in Iceland, that each diner who orders langoustine receives illustrated instructions on the finer points of using the lobster cracker and fork that come with the dish.) The menu was developed and created by the French chef Jacques DuPont and many of his dishes, such as the beautifully presented ‘Mix of Whole Langoustine and Tails’, the famous ‘Black Magic Sauce’ and Duck Confit have been very successful. Paired with one of Humarhöfnin’s specially selected wines, you are in line for an absolute feast. The crème brûlée, made from local eggs and imported Madagascar vanilla will have you swooning and you might want or need to order a double portion.
The casual, bright and lively décor fits Humarhöfnin’s harbour location and the friendly wait staff will be happy to point out the very boat that brought in the day’s catch, moored at the docks just a few hundred metres away. The building was formerly the town co-op which has been renovated and taken over by the restaurant. There is an exhibit of the history of the house, located on the 2nd floor.