Spring 2023 will see F&B operator SSP open two units at Keflavik International Airport in Reykjavik, its first in Iceland.  

Sense of place was essential to client Isavia in awarding this tender, and the two new restaurants will showcase the best of Iceland and modern Icelandic dining experiences, SSP said.

Restaurant Jómfrúin is a favourite among both locals and tourists, having opened 25 years ago in the heart of Reykjavik to offer guests Danish food the Icelandic way. Jómfrúin’s founder, Jakob Jakobsson, was the first man in the world to graduate as a ‘smørrebrødsjomfru’ which translates as ‘sandwich maiden’. SSP is now collaborating closely with Jakob’s son, Jakob Einar Jakobsson, to bring the Jómfrúin experience to Keflavik Airport.

The restaurant’s menu will feature a selection of Jómfrúin’s best sellers, with freshly baked rye or sourdough bread in true Scandi, smörgåsbord fashion. Jómfrúin will offer an extensive range of smorrebrod, including roast beef béarnaise, the famous plaice sandwich that has been on the menu since 1996, aquavit-cured salmon and avocado, and smoked potatoes with avocado, red onion, tomato and chilli mayo. Classic Nordic style hot dishes will be available, as will a breakfast menu.

SSP has also developed a bespoke F&B concept for the airport, drawing inspiration from Icelandic landscapes and nature. Elda will offer a seasonal menu, designed by Icelander and master chef, Snorri Victor Gylfason. The menu is inspired by both local and global street food. According to SSP, Elda will have something to appeal to every diner, from breakfast to dinner, and for those looking for a snack at all times in between. There will also be a Skyr and smoothie bar as well as a soup and salad bar for those looking for a healthier option. For travellers in a hurry, the grab and go selection is expected to be a popular choice.

In line with SSP and Keflavik International Airport’s sustainability commitments, Elda will source many ingredients locally. The restaurant will have 495m2 of lounge-style space, with 172 seats in the dining areas and 42 more on an adjacent terrace. A highlight of the design – inspired by the region’s natural winds, light and ambience – is an impressive, dynamic ceiling installation which creates a show of different light effects throughout the day.

Both of the new units will utilise Order@ technology, allowing guests to use their phones to order their food for collection.

Bente Brevik, managing director of SSP Norway, who led the tender on behalf of the Group, said, “Iceland is a country of particular importance to us, with the SSP story having begun in Scandinavia over 60 years ago. Keflavik International Airport is a major travel hub, welcoming almost 10 million travellers each year, making our expansion into Iceland a source of enormous pride for us all.

“These new units are a true homage to the breath-taking landscapes and fresh ingredients for which Iceland is famous, while incorporating global flavours to appeal to the airport’s diverse passenger profile. We have every faith that customers will love these new brands just as much as we do.”

Image: SSP