Friday 14 April 2017

Iceland - Kumiko (for tea and cake)

Iceland is a beautiful, wonderful magical country - but it isn't a cheap one. So, I'm happy to admit that most of Icelandic culinary adventures consisted of the free breakfast in the hotel and snacks bought from the local supermarket - freeing up my cash for more exciting things like horse riding and whale watching.

But while fancy three course dinners were out of my reach, tea and cake are necessities!

Top of my tea-and-cake list in Reykjavik was the adorable Japanese-inspired tea room Kumiko. Jess Glitterbat visited Reykjavik not so long before I did and I spotted this brightly coloured home of cake on her Instagram, so I made a firm note to track it down when I was in the city!

I didn't think I was going to find it either. I was filled with confidence from the pretty simple looking map on the webpage but found myself wandering round what felt a bit like an industrial estate by the old harbour, thinking 'this can't be right' when I spotted a flash of colour and a big octopus at the end of a long row of empty units! (Incidentally, the 'industrial estate' is actually apparently one of Reykjavik's coolest upcoming hotspots, shows what I know about cool things!)

I'm so glad we found it too, the place was perfect - a riot of colour and kitsch cuteness, and filled the brightest and cheeriest cakes. Even the toilets were a brightly coloured delight, replete with Murakami quotes and tweeting bird sounds (though I was informed by the Mr that the gentlemen's version wasn't quite so pretty and pleasant!)

Out of a pleasingly extensive tea list, I chose the Berner Rose - a spiced apple tea in a charming pink shade. If I remember correctly KC just had a pot of the black tea blend, but there was something to suit all manner of tea lovers!

And the cakes were just magical. As a sophisticated adult woman, I of course opted for the bright pink flowery one. I think it may have even had a whimsical name involving fairies, but at this stage I might be misremembering. It was definitely a fruits of the forest sorta vibe, and delicious.

Despite their eye-catching appearance, the flavours of the caked goods are a lot more subtle than you might imagine. Swiss owner and pasty queen Sara Hochuli is inspired not only by cute Japanese aesthetics, but by their flavours - matcha, black sesame and sweet red bean paste are all key ingredients that sit alongside more common chocolate and fruit flavours for a surprisingly complex and sophisticated result.

See, I told you my bright pink cake was a grown up choice!

Kumiko do have a an afternoon tea, which sounds amazing - not for us on this occasion (we were sadly short of both time and cash!) but I imagine it'd be a real treat!



  1. Oh I love the look of this place! When you mentioned the owner was inspired by Japanese aesthetics, I wasn't surprised, it does remind me of some of the novelty cafes I've seen photos of, and it looks fun! The cake you ordered looked and sounded like it tastes delicious too. - Tasha

    1. It really was, and such a fun, unique lil café!

  2. Oh wow. Just wow. That cake looks amazing xx

  3. Ahhhh Kumiko... I could just go for one of those little sesame cookies right about now! Those cakes look AMAZING! :)

    Jess | glitterbat . net


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