(Update:<AS of 2016, Noodle Stations’s Reykjavik location has closed, but as of Fall 2016, the Hafnarfjörður location out in the suburbs remains open)
Our last full day in Iceland was mostly spent tooling around Reykjavik. In the morning, we spent most of our time in Reykjavik’s heated pool, Laugardalslaug, which was nice (but wasn’t conducive to cameras…)
Afterward, we wandered around downtown again. One place we really wanted to check out was Noodle Station. Noodle Station is one of those places I didn’t find from reviews, or from people waiting in long lines, or from signage. Noodle Station is one of those places that we found purely from the smell.
Located on Skolavordustigur just down from Hallgrimskirkja, we couldn’t miss Noodle Station on our first day in Reykjavik; they were prepping for the day, and the entire place smelled of star anise and wonderful soup broth. But that first day, we were never in that part of town when they were open. But now that we were back in Reykjavik, and it was lunchtime, we decided that this time we’d check out Noodle Station.
Apparently, we weren’t alone, since Noodle Station had a rather healthy line out the door, and a lot of people waiting for the few inside tables (Noodle Station is a fairly minimalist joint, with a serving counter, seating for about a dozen diners inside, and maybe another two tables out front). The menu is rock simple: it’s basically soup, with the choice of chicken or beef, and whatever you want on top (garlic, onions, hot peppers, peanuts, etc). We both opted for beef, with all the toppings (which included granular sugar, oddly, although I later learned this is pretty standard if you are Laotian).
Overall, this soup was a winner in two ways. First, it was good soup. The broth was rich and aromatic, with strong star anise and lemongrass notes. The rice noodles were nice and tender. The beef nicely spiced flavorful. The result was a pleasant bowl of soup that was a bit more Thai than Vietnamese, but it did remind me of a good phở. Second, while I adored most of the other local food of Iceland, it was nice to have something with some bold Asian spices for a change.
Overall, Noodle Station has a lot going for it. It’s cheap. It’s flavorful. It’s spicy. And they are fast and efficient. I’ll definitely give them another visit next time I’m around.
This was a seriously good bowl of soup, and a nice change of pace from the rest of our Icelandic treats.