Tucked away at the top of the Ida book shop is a small sushi canteen. I call it a canteen because it feels like eating in an inner-city sushi bar; the chatter of happy people, the sushi chefs buzzing behind the kitchen, and the stools which form a line around one large canteen table. The nice thing about sushi canteens is you get to see what‘s on offer in advance, and at Osushi, there‘s a conveyor belt which continuously bears little dishes around in front of your hungry eyes. For the first ten minutes my lucky supper companion and I just stared at the food – we didn‘t need to jump right in, just watching it was satisfying enough. The experience of feeling permanently half-starved on a remote island in the North Atlantic to suddenly seeing a bounteous amount of food parade before one’s eyes was rather hypnotic. After ordering two glasses of sushi wine, an unusual but refreshing Spanish white wine blended with local grape varietals, we selected our first victim. California rolls – why not start off with something safe. They were good, and for 180 kr for 2 large pieces it was excellent value. Osushi‘s dishes are colour-coded for different prices. They start at 180 kr and go up to 480 kr for a large dose of whale, tuna or horsemeat sashimi, although you may have to ask the chefs to quickly rustle you up one of the expensive dishes.
The tuna sashimi was the most beautiful shade of pink I have ever seen - it glowed with mysterious freshness and was served with shredded bright yellow mango and a green lime. Simply divine. We wolfed down the enormous pan fried scallops with sesame sauce and moved on to the curious Japanese chicken salad parcels which were so big they took ten minutes of our conversation away. We returned to another round or two of rolls – there were quite a lot of rolls floating around actually – and I ventured onto the horse meat. Our tattooed Viking sushi chef next to us told me that horse was a delicacy in Japan and that it was preferred over beef. I‘m not sure I shared his opinion though as my horse on rice was rather bland, and the streaks of yellow fat did little to comfort my first nervous venture into the realm of pony-eating. We ended with a good bitter chocolate tartlet though there were lychees and lemon tart to choose from as well.
Total bill for one very contented customer, including 1 glass of wine and 7 dishes, came to 2,400 kr. A sharky bargain.
8 / 10
Dropped points because;
There were quite a lot of rather similar rolls, there were no simple edamame beans, and you had to take your dirty plates to the cashier for the bill whilst trying not to spill soy sauce all down you.
www.osushi.is Laekjargata 2a, Reykjavik
WARNING!: I have been a second time to Osushi and it was dreadful. There were no other diners and the chefs had gone home early, leaving a miserable selection of old sushi going roung and round the table. My advice would be to only go on the busy Friday and Saturday evenings when you can be sure everything will be fresh and the selection plentiful.