Fun fact: did you know that Iceland actually grows fantastic tomatoes? Turns out they LOVE the geothermal energy found in abundance over the country, as well as the pure glacial spring water.
Two other things you can find plenty of in Iceland are fish and vodka. Specifically Reyka Vodka, the first distillery to set up camp in the country. You don’t have to travel all the way to the Golden Circle to try these specialities though, because until the 20th of March Bucket London and Reyka Vodka have designed a limited edition ‘Salt and Ice’ menu.
A creative pairing mapped out by Reyka Vodka ambassador Fabs Latham and Bucket London’s chefs, the menu spans three dishes with matched cocktails inspired by Icelandic flavours. We received a bonus pairing upon arrival, consisting of a Bloody Mary shot and one of Bucket’s famous raw oysters, which you can get for only £1 each with any alcoholic drink during oyster hour.
First up were the Puffin Collins and the humarsupa, one of Iceland’s most famous and well-loved dishes. Traditionally a lobster soup, Bucket’s take on it used freshly cooked langoustine in a rich and creamy soup base, aesthetically presented with the shell of the langoustine in the centre. This moreish dish has us mopping up every last dreg with some crusty bread and butter. The intense flavour of the soup was readily washed back by the refreshing and spritzy Collins, made using a vibrant blend of Reyka Vodka, pink grapefruit, elderflower, soda and fresh cherry tomato.
A wonderfully hearty dish, the butter braised cod cheeks were soft and tender, contrasting with the texture of the sweet potato rosti and the crispy chorizo. Finished off with chilli and cherry tomato oil, this was a real winter warmer. Served alongside an interesting, and our favourite of the drinks, the Riverbank Gimlet brought together an earthy blend of Reyka Vodka, nettle cordial, Fino sherry, soil essence and tomato vine to create an interesting cocktail that we could’ve easily spent the whole evening drinking.
Full of blushing reds, the final dish brought pan-seared halibut presented on a bed of roasted tomatoes. Teamed with an aptly named Tectonic Spritz, paying homage to the two tectonic plates Iceland is situated on, the simplicity of the Reyka Vodka, dry vermouth, tonic water, greenhouse tomato and rosemary really let the flavours of the dish shine.
If you’re keen to head along to Bucket London to check out their limited edition Salt and Ice menu, head to their website and make a booking here.