Sumendi #3 • Haustlitir

A brief summary of Sumendi #3, an edition inspired by Fall's colors.

Celebrated on Restaurant Day, Nov 15 2014.

The Mise en Place

You know what chefs really want to do? They don't want Michelin stars, critics and customers praising them… those are always nice if they come, but it's not the deep wish hidden in chefs' heart. What they –yes, all of them– really want to do is to go to the market in the morning, check all the great things that the farmers have brought and buy the fresher, most beautiful stuff available. Then go to their small place –15, 20 seats top– fill it with friends and cook. No menus. No plate's cost analysis. No picky diners. No upselling.
Jesus… just cook. And then laughs, people smiling as they eat, friendship, high spirits (both liquid and mystic) and life spurting forcefully and spilled over the table.
With Sumendi we are really very close to that dream. Cooking for friends makes us free. We're free to make the menu we'd love to eat. Free to play. Free to work in the menu for longer than most restaurants do. Free to do it in –absolutely not profitable but– meaningful ways. Free to enjoy the experience as much as the diners do.
We go all in. Fresh flowers in the table and the toilets? That's a must. Homemade brioche? You betcha. Amuse-bouche like the great restaurants? Count with it. For Christ's sake, our napkins are handmade by… ourselves!

Our wines

We almost doubled the wine selection for our last edition… our wine menu is quickly becoming one of those fancypants wine pairings!

We kept two of the wineries we used in previous editions (Fortius + Ramon Roqueta) and introduced two great new ones: Baron De Ley and Mia, Freixenet's experiment at making still wines.

Freixenet Mia White

Freixenet Mia White

Parellada + Xarel.lo + Macabeo

Refreshing, fruity and light - an easy wine in the best sense of the word. We love the fruity touches –apples, pears, banana!?!– and how it seems to be saying bring on the fun!

>Baron de Ley White 2013

Baron de Ley White 2012

Viura + Malvasia

Described as one of the best Rioja wines by major publications, this winery, located in an amazing monastery, makes a very singular white: dill, grass and exotic aromas on a good structured wine.

Summer is here! (well, kind of…)

Fortius Roble


Fortius Roble is a regular in our wine selection. Young bright red, it has fruity aromas and a smooth mouth, generating a very fresh, pleasant, easy to drink feeling.

Honest, fresh, easy red.

Summer is here! (well, kind of…)

Ramon Roqueta Reserva

Tempranillo + Cabernet Sauvignon

As in previoues editions we included the Roqueta's family Reserva. They have been dedicated to both viticulture and viniculture for more than a century.

One of the best red wines you can get in Iceland.

Summer is here! (well, kind of…)

Fortius Crianza

Tempranillo + Cabernet Sauvignon

Another Fortius included in our menu, mixing the classical Riojan red variety Tempranillo with the more internationally well known Cabernet Sauvignon.

More body, more complexity, great red.

Sumendi #3 • Haustlitir

Nov 15, 2014

This Steaming Land Is My Land

Seasonal Vegetables and Lobster en papillote.

Mushroom Cappuccino

Wild mushroom, truffle capuccino (with cookie!)

It's NOT a risotto

Fake risotto with octopus, Mussels Alioli

Brave's Saga

Panko style Beef Tonge, Beetroot+Martini Purée.

Swimming in Autumn

Chesnut soup, Artic Char & Seasonal Mirepoix

Eat your charcoal!

Black Pork Tenderloin, Sweet potato Cream & Piperrada

Ai ene! Ze torrija!

Basque Toast with Homemade Brioche.

Act I

We know using the expression "narrative arc" bring us very close to the pretentious area reserved only for the big restaurants. But we really think about Sumendi's menus as if they were stories.
This was the beginning of our last tale.

This a hyper-simplified version of "Scents' Volcano" dish created by Juan Mari Arzak. If there's a Pope of the New Basque cuisine, that is for sure Juan Mari. He is one of the foundational fathers of the New Basque Cuisine and embodies many of the good attributes we admire in our basque society: honesty, passion for life and love for a job well done.

Enrique Fleischmann is in the other side of the spectrum. Trained with Karlos Arguiñano, Juan Mari Arzak and Paul Bocuse, Enrique is one of the new faces of the basque cuisine. Born in Mexico he is an example of how Basque Cuisine excels in the difficult mix of tradition and innovation.

Inspiration for Sumendi #3: Haustlitir

Our menus always start with the search of the edition's leitmotif. We find inspiration on the weather, the natural landscapes, the cultural traditions…

After Beginning and Árstíðaskipti we wanted to focus on the Icelandic Fall. Bego came out with the perfect idea to articulate this new edition: Haustlitir – Fall's Colors.

With such a great topic selected, we started cooking and designing the menu. We soon started finding right combinations: sweet potato Cream, Martini & Beetroot Purée… perfect colors, earthy flavours.

Act II

The second act was our riskier bet. Octopus and beef tonge are two very traditional and beloved ingredients in traditional basque cuisine but we knew perfectly they would not be an easy sell on Iceland. However we think it's important to open our diners to new flavours, so we worked hard to design two appealing plates with them.

It's NOT a risotto

Fake risotto with octopus, Mussels Alioli

Fake risotto with octopus, Mussels Alioli

Our humble tribute to this amazing recipe created by José Miguel Olazabalaga recent recipient of his first michelin star. The potato is diced in rice grain sized bites and cooked as a risotto with octopus and the mussels boosting a powerful sea flavor.

Brave's Saga

Panko style Beef Tonge, Beetroot + Martini Purée.

Panko style Beef Tonge, Beetroot + Martini Purée.

One of our original creations, we decided to cook the tongue in a very traditional way but plate it differently. We used Panko breadcrumbs to bring some texture contrast to this velvety meat and put it on top of a nice beetroot + Martini purée.

Sumendi Timelapses

As all good traditions the Sumendi Timelapses, in all their vertical cinemascopesque glory, happened originally almost by accident, but after a few editions they have become an small institution. Enjoy the first and second passes of Sumendi's third edition.


The storm before the calm. We are getting close to the end and that is reflected in the courses.

Swimming in Autumn

Chesnut soup, Artic Char & Seasonal Mirepoix

Chesnut soup, Artic Char & Seasonal Mirepoix

Another of our creations. Chesnut soup is a very traditional winter option in the Basque Country. It's cheap, easy to prepare and super tasty. We combined it with one of noblest ingredients available in Iceland: the Arctic Char to make this fish course that brings the autumn's cozyness to the plate.

Another brilliant idea of Enrique Fleischmann. Squid's ink is used to dye pork tenderloin pieces. The genius of this dish lies on the dry, stone-like surface appearance created on the meat… the diner is then surprised by a tender, pink, super soft (sous-vide'd) pork center. What better companion for this awesome idea than a good piperrada?

In the Media

As we keep making new Sumendis, more and more people discovers basque country and its food. As if we weren't already überhappy with this, some media outlets have find our personal story interesting so here are our first steps in climbing the ladder of fame.

The Icelandic National Radio got in contact with us to talk about our Sumendi project and the Restaurant Day initiative. We sent our CCO, Trausti Sigurður Hilmisson, to explain them the core ideas behind our restaurant.

Blær is an great web magazine created by incredibly young, super-talented people. They were interested in our pop-up restaurant, so they interviewed us, come to our last edition and wrote this nice article about it.

Check the amazing blær article

Grand Finale

Cold weather call for heavy desserts. Resounding cookies, thick-as-brick hot cocoa, dense cakes… We didn't dissappoint. We baked our own glorious brioche and prepared with them these great caramelized torrijas.

Some numbers…

66 % first timers
100 % seats sold
57 % Int'l guests

And in our looted pantry…

9 KgsSeasonal veggies.
8 Kgs The best Pork Tenderloin.
7 Kgs Arctic Char.
3 Kgs Great octopus.
2 Whole Beef Tonges
1 Kg of Oxtail for our Croquettes.
8 Loaves The best sourdough bread provided by The Coocoo's Nest

Credit Where Credit's Due

As in previous editions, for Sumendi #3 we counted with the invaluable help of our friends Kristi and Brian. Their support and help in the kitchen is a big comp.

To Ninja and Trausti for helping us with logistics & transportation, and Valgeir for his advice and general help with the site.

Special kudos to all the people that shared our facebook and twitter updates and bear with us during these frantic periods when we keep mumbling about Sumendi constantly.

To Fru Lauga for its great vegetables and fish and their great help connecting us with the best local producers.

And another thing we don't get tired of repeat: Sumendi is only possible because of the kindness of all our guests and their commitment to make this crazy idea possible one more time.

Thanks from the bottom of our hearts.