VOX Restaurant has been one of the top restaurants in Iceland last couple of years, it is located at the ground floor of Hilton Reykjavík Nordica. VOX is a restaurant that holds many prizes in the culinary arts for example is Sigurður Kristinn Laufdal Haraldsson the Chef of the year in Iceland 2011 and as well will be the next Icelandic Bocuse d‘Or candidate.
VOX Restaurant is a New Nordic Cuisine restaurant and pride themselves of using domestic and organic ingredients where available and the chefs themselves even go out hunting for wild mushrooms, berries and every thing Icelandic nature has to offer and thus the kitchen is highly depended on which season you visit VOX and really is a defining factor for the restaurant in whole.
We had the pleasure of having the fall seasonal menu with a few extra dishes picked for us by the chef to sample. The seasonal menu consists of domestic key ingredients and that goes for both dark meat and seafood as well as berries and mushrooms.
Our starter was an amazing creamy shellfish soup with cauliflower, almonds, scallops and lobster which got our taste buds dancing, the soup itself was light enough to let all the ingredients shine on their own but enough flavor so it wouldn’t seem dull, just a perfect course to start with an topped of by being served with Marguet Blanc de Noir Ambonnay.
For our second starter there was Pine cured char with horseradish, char roe and home-made remolade, where the pine and roe gave an interesting flavor to the char and the remolade gave a hint of freshness which we honestly did not expect from remolade. Interesting but not an exceptional dish but we knew that it would be hard to follow up after such a great first starter. This course was complemented with Peter Lehmann Dry Riesling.
Now for the third starter we had smoked puffin, new potatoes, walnuts, browned butter, and grill dressing. The smoked puffin was very good where the smoking was just right, not too much nor too little just a perfect balance and the new potatoes can not go wrong, but what threw us a little off was the grill sauce, which was oil based and a little too much was used for our taste where it of overwhelmed the whole dish.
Our fourth and last starter was a pan fried wild duck breast, celeriac, wild mushrooms, juniper berries and beer gravy, if you didn’t know, a wild duck makes all the difference and tastes totally different from your average farm duck. The meat was packed with flavor and tender, accompanied with delicious wild mushrooms and interesting beer gravy made from beer and hops. Both the puffin and the duck were served with Fischer Gradenthal Premium 2007.
Our first main course was an interesting and really well presented dish of a pan fried plaice, sun chokes, Faroese scallops and baked garlic. The plaice is not a really common fish to eat in Iceland which makes it even more interesting, and the taste did not disappoint either as it was very rich in flavor and proved to us that the plaice deserves to be on the menu more often. The plaice was served to us with Trapiche Chardonnay.
The second main course was a fried wild reindeer with wild mushrooms, beet root, cabbage, smoked marrow and the heart of the reindeer. The reindeer was as you would expect from a wild reindeer, tender and packed with flavor. Now the last ingredient mentioned, namely the heart might set someone off, but surprisingly enough it was really delicious and all this served with Tenuta Moraia Bolgheri Pietracupra 2009.
And to finish of our dining experience at Vox Restaurant we were served white chocolate mousse, frozen and fresh Icelandic wild berries, Crow berries juice and hazel nuts. This was a really nice balance of sweetness since often deserts tend to be overly sweet but this one was just right spot on. To top it of it was served with a glass of Sandeman 20 year Old Tawny port.
All these courses were served to us skillfully by our waiter that carefully chose the wine with each course and lead us through each and every ingredient in each course. Bottom line impeccable service!
The seasonal menu consists of four of these seven courses, the shellfish soup, puffin, reindeer and the desert and can be ordered with or without wine, for 16.400 ISK / 133 USD with and 8.900 ISK / 72 USD without. The wines chosen complemented each course really well so if you are a wine and dine fan you should not be disappointed.