The somewhat strange centrepiece of the table was svíð, half a scorched sheeps head, with its eye and teeth on full display. This became a friendlier figure as the night progressed, as the drinking continued through the evening and into the early hours.
Although the food was not to my normal taste, I did endure and survive the night. My most liked items were the grísasulta, hangikjöt and the lifrarpylsa along with all the ryebread. Surprisingly the shark was better than you would expect, although the brennivín did give me flashback memories of drunken nights on other aquavits from my younger years.
I would definitely say that it is worth giving this a try next time you visit Iceland in mid-winter, and if you were to visit any other time of the year, many restaurants and cafe's have Icelandic tasting platters to give you an insight into this strange traditional meal.
It was a fun filled evening with family and friends, laughing (sometimes at my expense) and chatting, and enjoying the company on these cold dark days.
I am glad to say this is now ticked off my "how to become a local" checklist, and I am certainly glad this is not a dish served everyday. I was definitely feeling a little fragile the next morning, as I certainly wanted to just sleep my hangover away. I guess this is one of the many reasons Brennivín is known as “The Black Death”.