Silfra is located on the “Golden Circle” route of Iceland inside the ION Adventure and Luxury hotel. The ION is a perfect base from which to explore Iceland’s rich heritage, hardy flora and fauna, and myriad opportunities for adventure. We were staying at the ION while hiking, chasing waterfalls and exploring the areas around Þingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The hotel is a perfect combination of Adventure and Luxury, it has access to so many adventures around the area that the staff can arrange including horse rides and heli rides. After a day of adventures you get to come back to the beautiful and well appointed rooms featuring the gentle and friendly Icelandic horse images, endless views of the lava moss rocks to relax! We had dinner and breakfast at the Silfra during our stay but heard that people drive all the way from Reykjavik for a meal here. We were there during summer so didn’t have the opportunity to peruse the award winning North lights bar which is perfectly positioned for viewing the dancing lights in the sky. But we enjoyed the mid night sun and endless view of moss rocks across the lava fields towards Thingvellir(Þingvellir) National Park.
The chefs at Silfra emphasize in what is called “slow food” that can be simplified as food made from the freshest ingredients available that is originated in the neighborhood of the hotel. The restaurant’s name derives from the Silfra rift in Lake Þingvellir. The rift is the most popular diving site in Iceland, it is the crack between the American and Eurasian continent with magnificent visibility.
We learnt the fish that is served at Silfra is from the rivers around the area and even smoked in the trees on site. The whipped butter and ice creams are locally sourced as well. What a wonderful feeling to eat local where you can name the farm from which you butter, Skyr or Ice cream comes from. Skyr (pronounced skeer) is a remarkable dairy product unique to Iceland. It is smooth, high in protein and rich and has a tangy flavor and a creamy thick texture like Greek yogurt. What I learnt, is Skyr actually, is not yogurt. It’s a fresh skim-milk cheese, strained to a whipped-custard consistency. Because it’s strained to such a density, it requires about three times more milk to produce than yogurt, meaning it’s higher in protein and calcium. I had my Skyr every morning in Iceland with a spoon of Jam to sweeten it.
Hubby and D couldn’t stop raving about the Smoked Char with green apple bits, cucumber, dill and crumbled rye bread.
The Nordic countries have a food culture that is pure, simple, fresh and seasonal. Noma, one of the top restaurants in the world has raised the profile of Nordic food. The New Nordic Cuisine served at Silfra embodies that Nordic principle and artfully combines new ingredients with the traditional fare. While hubby tried the Glazed lamb shank with cauliflower puree and pickled cauliflower, I had the crushed potatoes with homemade tomato ketchup, a side of sautéed kale with pine nuts and Sautéed tomatoes with a cheesy sauce made from skyr. They did not have a whole lot of vegetarian dishes except for one so I decided to eat around the side – which means I order all the sides and make it my meal. Kids had the chicken with crushed potatoes. The vegan dish on the menu was Roasted onions, napa cabbage, parsnip puree, beer and oats, I was just not in the mood for oat or beer, wish they had one more choice but I did like my sides and wiped my plate clean. We had homemade waffles with local Icecream and berries for dessert. It was a wonderful feeling to eat clean, organic food made with simple ingredients.
More pictures from Silfra and ION Luxury Hotel.
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