Krua Siam (Akureyri, Iceland)

After a second loooong day of driving (400+ km, or over 250 miles), we arrived in the late evening in Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city, located on the west side of Eyjafjörður fjord on the north coast. We were hungry, and we ended up at Krua Siam. Something that surprised me with Iceland was that it has a substantial Thai population, and way more Thai restaurants than you’d think. But Iceland also has some very good lamb and beef, so we figured it would be nice to check out one of Iceland’s many Thai places when the opportunity presented itself. In Akureyri, we finally had a good opportunity, since Krua Siam was right by our hotel.

Nestled into a wooden building right next to the central intersection in Akureyri, Krua Siam is obviously a popular spot; it was completely packec when we visited. And they’ve got a very complete Thai menu as well, with dishing ranging from soups and eggrolls, to classic cold Thai salads, to hot stir fried curry dishes, to noodle dishes. It didn’t take us long to come up with a reasonable set of selections: Tom Kha Kai (chicken coconut soup), followed by Yam Nua (spicy cold beef salad) and Pad Kva (spicy curry, which we opted to have made with lamb.)

First up was the Tom Kha Kai, which came out as a nice, generous boel of rich coconut milk broth (with nice lemongrass notes) and a nice assortment of chicken, thai basil, and veggies. We didn’t see a whole lot of chicken in Iceland (either on farms, or on menus for that matter), so that was also a nice switch up from our more typical fish dishes we were eating throughout Iceland.

Next up was the Yam Nua, a spicy Thai beef salad served up cold. This was a nice version of Yam Nua: tender slices of well seasoned beef served up on a bed of lettuce with a good helping of thai chile peppers, cilantro, and cucumber. The result was crisp and refreshing, while also having a nice pepper bite.

Our other main dish was Pad Kra Paw, a very spicy and rich curry and basil stir fry. Offered with a choice of meats, we opted for the Icelandic lamb. I was quite pleased with this dish, this was very flavorful, very spicy (in contrast to most Icelandic food, which is usually very flavorful, but if it’s hot at all, is a black pepper spicy), and the use of high-quality lamb made for a particularly good dish. The meat was excellent, the spicing level refreshing hot, and the vegetables and sauce quite aromatic. I thoroughly enjoyed this as a nice example of an Icelandic take on a classic Thai dish.

Overall, I really enjoyed Krua Siam. It was a very nice counterpoint to the other (wonderful) meals we had throughout Iceland, using a rather different ingredient set. And, quite frankly, the place was noticeably better than most Thai places I regularly get to here in the US.

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