I was in Reykjavik on business, wanted to eat out somewhere decent and saw that this place was highly rated & reviewed on Tripadvisor.
I didn't book and arrived at 5:30pm on a Sunday evening. It doesn't look like much from the outside - in fact it is hidden back from the street and only the logo on a pillar gives it away - but once inside it is an expansive space with great design. Dinner service didn't start until 6pm, so I was shown to the bar area downstairs and had a pint of the excellent Egils Gull whilst waiting and reading the menu. Whilst it is a large space both downstairs and upstairs with high ceilings, it has the a warm & cosy atmosphere; the result of the combination of the lighting, colour palette and materials. There was an eclectic mix of sofas and chairs, many of them with lovely thick sheepskin covers, as well as tables hewn from solid wood.
The menu is a comprehensive selection of meat dishes and just about anything you can cook on a grill. Reading the notes on the menu, the grill can cook at up to 1200'c so food is cooked incredibly quickly, creating a mix of crisp on the outside and succulent, moist on the inside.
At 6pm the waiter took me upstairs to a table right opposite the open kitchen area. The kitchen area also has seats around its edge, so diners can also sit right next to it and as the restaurant filled up, this looked like the locals' favourite spot.
I asked the waiter for his advice on the choice of dishes and - like all Icelanders - he was knowledgeable, friendly and polite. I went with his suggestion of the dried fish & squid and the minke whale starters. Both were fantastic; fresh, tasty and delicately cooked with accompanying dips that complemented their flavours.
At the same time, he brought some bread with whipped butter and lava salt. The bread was a crusty rye style, so rich & dense. The whipped butter and lava salt, both Icelandic favourites, were sublime. The whipped butter was incredibly light & airy, the lava salt smokey and delicate.
Main course was two of the kebab skewers; monkfish with red peppers and lamb with red onions. Both demonstrated the cooking style, as they were succulent and bursting with flavour.
Again on the waiter's advice, I went for the grillmarket chocolate for dessert. Evidently this is a kind of house special and what a special; a huge chocolate sphere filled with just about everything sweet, including coffee ice cream and mascarpone. It was served with a pot of salted caramel sauce; this was proper salted caramel, not just caramel that was once put relatively close to a grain of salt for a moment or two, and garnished with fresh berries. A very enjoyable dessert.
The total bill was £57 Sterling converted. Repeating the mantra that everything in Scandinavia in general and Iceland in particular is expensive, that's very good value for money. The Grill Market offers an impressive, welcoming atmosphere with great interior design and then adds fantastic food, with imaginative taste combinations, cooked beautifully.
The result is a wonderful overall dining experience.
Grill Market deserves its position on here and if you want a high quality & memorable meal, it is definitely worth checking out. Next time I'm back in Reykjavik I will be back here, as there are several other items on the menu that I want to try.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.