24 Hours To Dine: Eunice Martin Lim's Guide To Eating & Drinking Well In Iceland
Eunice Martin Lim
...is a food photographer, stylist and businesswoman whom T.Dining constantly runs into as a result of her close relationship with numerous restauranteurs. While Eunice's digital marketing company offers a slew of services, her forte is creative food styling and photography as well as social media content creation, as evidenced by her aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed.
A simple way to describe what I do is that I’m a makeup artist for food and Instagram.
The Game Of Thrones fan had plans to visit London when a thought struck her: "Hey, why not make a pit stop somewhere I've never been before?" Iceland immediately came to mind. "I had wanted to visit the Blue Lagoon for the longest time, so I made a very impulsive decision—I bought tickets to Iceland two weeks prior to my flight and hopped on the plane!"
Skaftafell (nature reserve): For glacier hiking and to enjoy the serenity of the mountainous landscapes. It was my first time glacier hiking, but the journey wasn’t as tough as I'd expected. Another bucket list item checked!
Jökulsárlón (lake): I got on a boat to witness gigantic icebergs floating on a lagoon. I even saw some sea lions there. I really enjoyed seeing the glaciers, which made me think about the earth’s changing climate. Walking on this ethereal terrain gave me the opportunity to fully appreciate the wonders of nature. You never know what this part of the world is going to look like in the near future.
Vík í Myrdal (seafront village): Climb to the top of a mountain to experience the majestic ocean views and black beaches. I was frozen to the bone as it was drizzling the whole way, but if given a second chance, I would do it all over again.
Black Sand beaches: Reynisfjara and Diamond beach are just two of them. When visiting the former, I also got to see Reynisdrangar—an impressive rock formation—for the first time; these sea stacks are the basalt remains of imposing sea cliffs. Could this also be where dragon glass comes from in 'Game Of Thrones'?
Icelandic waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss and Skógasfoss are magnificent and beautiful in their own unique way.
You'll never see such huge waterfalls in Malaysia. The experience was truly an eye-opener.
Fermented Shark With Schnapps Shots
Hákarl (fermented shark) came highly recommended by one of my Instagram followers; hence I did a quick research on TripAdvisor and ended up at a quaint, top-rated café where I ordered their signature dish called the Icelandic Platter.
Fermented shark has a strong taste of ammonia—it feels like it’s something you shouldn’t be putting in your mouth. In some documentaries, it's even alluded to as 'rotten' shark. The texture is gooey and icky and the flavour is utterly foul. I didn’t touch the remaining two pieces. Taking shots of Icelandic schnapps is supposed to make it go down easier.
While eating shark is controversial, I suppose it's something to try at least once in your lifetime. This traditional food dates back to the time of the Vikings, and it definitely broadened the spectrum of my tastebuds.
I stumbled upon this bakery and eatery as I was walking around Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. I don’t usually do in-depth research about where to eat when I travel as I'm more laidback on the road.
However, this café caught my eye because there was a lady yelling from the top floor.
Since I was already famished on that cold, rainy morning, I decided to have breakfast. If you’re not adventurous when it comes to food, you can hardly go wrong with the Big Breakfast here.
Wine In The Blue Lagoon
It was one of the happiest I'd ever been in my life! Imagine dipping yourself in a hot thermal pool when you’re clad in nothing but a swimsuit and the surrounding temperatures hover around 8 degrees Celsius.
The experience was serene and relaxing—like taking a ton of weight off your body while you float in a beautiful, baby blue thermal spring. All your tight muscles instantly loosen up as you sit and watch time pass by... Ah! It gets even better with a glass of wine in hand. Each ticket comes with a complimentary drink, which can be wine, coffee, tea, a carbonated drink or juice.
Basic entry costs around RM250, but I suggest getting the RM100 top up for a premium pass, which includes a silica mask, the perks of a speedy check-in, complimentary sparkling wine, and other useful amenities such as a bathrobe and slippers.
Final Tips About Iceland
- Do not tip the locals. It’s considered rude in Iceland!
- Plan your journey ahead of time, especially for destinations that require transportation. Getting an Uber or a GrabCar in Iceland is way more expensive than in Malaysia.
- Get a BIGPAY card to go cashless. Most places prefer card to cash.
- Order a kids' meal if it's on the menu. Icelandic portions are too huge for Asian appetites.
- Try a hot dog—it’s one of the cheapest snacks you can get in Iceland to fill your tummy up in between meals. Hot dogs are available at most convenience stores and at some of the stalls nearby the waterfalls.
- Photography Eunice Martin Lim