Scan Magazine, Issue 91, August 2016

Page 98

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Iceland

Restaurant of the Month, Iceland

A restaurant in the heart of Reykjavík The old wooden Humarhúsið, or Lobsterhouse, located in downtown Reykjavík was built in 1838 and has changed hands quite a few times during its long history – it has even been part of a fierce ownership battle. Now Torfan serves gourmet French food with a Scandinavian twist. By Ndéla Faye | Photos: Kári Björn Þorleifsson and Ívar Þórðarson

Torfan Lobsterhouse was taken over by co-owners Johnny Turtiainen and Ívar Þórðarson in December 2015. The restaurant offers French food with a Nordic twist, mixing traditional cuisine with a modern touch. Specialising in langoustine – also known as Icelandic lobster – as well as horse steak, Torfan Lobsterhouse is a favourite among tourists and locals alike. “We wanted to create a basic, simple menu with highquality ingredients. As well as providing a welcoming and homely atmosphere, our focus is on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and seafood that’s fresh off the local fishermen’s boats,” says Turtiainen. The restaurant’s name, Torfan Lobsterhouse, refers to its location on Bern98  |  Issue 91  |  August 2016

höftstorfa, a historical part of Reykjavík that dates back to the very earliest days of the city centre. The wooden house itself has a special place in many of the locals’ hearts and, since its construction in 1838, the building has been through a great deal. “During the 1970s, the building had fallen into disrepair and was set to be demolished and converted into offices. But a group of hippies, activists and architects fought a fierce battle against the planning committee and restored the building to its previous glory. In the end, they won the right for the building to stay where it is,” states Turtiainen. It is clear that staying true to the building’s roots is important to the new owners. “We’re extremely proud to have

taken on this restaurant that holds so much history and be able to bring our passion into it,” says Turtiainen. “We pride ourselves on offering gourmet food made from fresh ingredients. For guests who want to enjoy a special meal with great service in the heart of Reykjavík, surrounded by the city’s rich history, Torfan Lobsterhouse is the place to go. Even our resident ghost, Jórunn, is friendly,” Turtiainen laughs.

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