Wi Ounsa from Thailand is the head chef at THE TARV Grill House.
“Our equipment is an elegant fusion of grills and ovens,” she says. “We get a lot of additional gastronomic goodies from the firewood – the characteristic flavour, the aroma and the juiciness. And the hard, tropical charcoal, which comes from Cuba, is easy to ignite, doesn’t emit any smoke and burns for a long time giving that unmistakably delicious grill aroma.”
“The dry-ageing process changes the beef significantly,” says Wi. “The process starts with the moisture being evaporated from the muscle. This creates a greater concentration of beef flavour and taste. The beef’s natural enzymes then break down the connective tissue in the muscle, resulting in more tender beef with an exquisite mature taste.”
“These steaks come from the Galicia region in northwestern Spain,” says the head chef. “Roxad’ouro was the first beef from cattle that received the highest quality certificate in Galicia. During slaughter, every part of the animal’s body is registered to ensure that the end user will enjoy the highest-quality beef. Galician steaks have a characteristic line of fat which gives it an unusually delicate taste and succulence.
Named after the Galloway region in southwestern Scotland, Galloway cattle is the world’s oldest beef cattle. The breed itself dates back to before Christ, but in the 18th century it was developed, and a breed registry was established. Belted Galloway contains very little saturated fat and has exquisite marbling, resulting in exceptionally tender and tasty meat.
Since 1920, Greater Omaha in Nebraska has been renowned for its beef products. From pasture to plate, this type of beef consistently meets the highest quality requirements. The ribeye is the tastiest steak cut you can imagine. The thick marbling is what makes the taste stand out from other steak cuts. This steak is ideally prepared on a medium-hot grill and served medium rare, says head chef Wi Ounsa.
A wide variety of fish and shellfish, predominantly caught in Faroese waters, will also be thrown on the grill. We are located just next to the Vágsbotnur fish market, which means the best bits from the day’s catch will make their way to our grills.
An integral part of the grill menu is grilled salmon, grilled langoustines, grilled Bacalao (salt cod), grilled kokotxa, grilled cod cheeks and grilled tongues and plaice.
The grill menu also features grilled shellfish – common mussels, horse mussels, queen scallops and shrimp.
The fish is prepared on the open grill and in the oven toaster grill. The salmon and the Bacalao is grilled with the skin on, which enhances the taste.
When compiling THE TARV wine list, El Bandito was the first wine that was recommended. The second we saw the label – dominated by a big black bull – I we knew this would be perfect for THE TARV.
This world-renowned, family-owned winery dates back to 1902. The Adrianna, planted at a 1,500m elevation on the Mendoza mountain in the Andes foothills, is its most famous vineyard. When Nicolás Catena Zapata started cultivating grapes at such heights nobody believed he would succeed. But he proved them all wrong. This is the same vineyard that sparked the revival of the Malbec grape – a grape often associated with high-quality meat. Not only has the Catena family managed the seemingly impossible task of growing grapes at great heights, it has also placed Argentine wine firmly on the world map.
One of the many cocktails at THE TARV is Margarita à la Tommy. The Margarita is a popular cocktail in the Faroes, so we decided to include it in the menu. However, we found a recipe we liked even more than the traditional one. That’s Tommy’s Margarita, originating from Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco in the 1980s, where the now legendary Julio Bermejo replaced the orange liqueur with agave nectar.
Instead of focusing on the sweet flavour, we use the agave nectar to bring out more of the deliciously pure blue agave tequila flavour. A fresh Tommy’s Margarita goes particularly well with grilled fish.
The bar menu also features a THE TARV Pilsner, a THE TARV Pale Ale, both brewed exclusively for THE TARV by Danish brewery Mikkeler, and the Gullhornið.
The pilsner is light and hoppy, which makes a good all-rounder to be enjoyed before, during or after a good dish. The Pale Ale is American style, a classic blend of cool, grassy and fruity hops mixed with fresh and slightly dry malt, making it easy to drink.
The Gullhornið (the Golden Horn) was brewed by Mikkeler at Faroese brewery Okkara for the recent opening of the Mikkeler pub in the historic 500-year-old Gullhornið building some 100 metres away from THE TARV. This is an English style IPA with a fruity and hoppy character.
And then when you’ve enjoyed all the great food, why not have a cigar? The Faroese smoking policy dictates that you have to go outside to smoke, but the charming twilight view of the Vágsbotnur marina, will only be added to the overall experience of visiting THE TARV.
Faroese winters are surprisingly mild, considering the northerly latitude. This means that our guests can sit on the front terrace throughout the year.
Glass walls screen the wind, and the rain is kept out by a specially designed sun sail shade attached to masts which lead the thoughts to elegant sailboats moored in the bay.
To preserve the old maritime atmosphere, the terrace is designed in the style of a traditional Faroese ship deck. It is made of oak planks which, together with our heat lamps, help our guests stay warm under the canvas. The tree-trunk seats also have their own maritime story to tell: they are made from the African Azobe tree, which is said to be as hard and sturdy as steel. The trunks we use here were once used as joists in a wooden wharf in Denmark.
It’s not only our patrons who get to enjoy THE TARV’s outdoor atmosphere throughout the year. The chef will also be performing her grill magic outside. Two of the restaurant’s three coal grills are located inside, while the third is covered by a shed roof outside.
Also outside is the freezer counter containing fish and shellfish, which is just as important a part of The TARV menu as our juicy beef steaks. This gives our patrons and people passing by the chance to see our fresh produce. We’ve nicknamed this grill ‘the galley’, in keeping with the maritime spirit.