Texture - Modern European
Sarah Freeman, Senior Communications Executive at Herber Smith LLP, reviews London-based restaurant, Texture, for Law and More....
Texture is the kind of restaurant that I was born to go to on a regular basis. Unfortunately my bank manager disagrees, and so for me it’s a rare treat to visit a restaurant as good as this one. Its location, whilst easy to find, certainly isn't glamorous. As I stood waiting just behind Marble Arch on the night Murray met Federer, my taste buds were rapidly deadened by the smog on the busy road.
However, once inside they were soon revived by a rather good glass of Champagne in Texture's light and airy bar. We were brought some nibbles whilst we chose from the menu, starting with the somewhat unusual bacon popcorn. I'm not normally a fan of savoury popcorn, but this was light and lovely. The different crisps that came next (cod skin, baguette and potato) weren't quite as good, and the dips – one flavoured with wasabi, and another that slipped from memory – didn't do too much either. We weren't too fussed though, there was plenty of bacon popcorn left.
Like the bar, the dining room was again a lovely bright room, although quiet for 8 o'clock in the evening. We were one of just four tables when we arrived – perhaps everyone else was watching the tennis. The restaurant’s layout leaves the tables a pleasant distance from one another, making it intimate enough to impress a date, as well as ideal for formal or informal business lunches.
The meal began with a wonderfully light and fresh pea and mint gremolata, followed by Scottish scallops (£16.50) for myself, and Anjou pigeon (£15.50) for my companion. The scallops were sweet and succulent, and nicely offset by the pickled vegetables. The pigeon arrived somewhat disturbingly with the claw still attached, but the rest was exquisitely cooked.
The main courses were also both delicious, although my partner in crime – perhaps looking to find fault – remarked his Lancashire suckling pig (£32.50), slow cooked for 12 hours was ‘almost too tender’. My Icelandic lamb, chargrilled and served with goat's milk and summer vegetables, was quite rich, but melted like butter in the mouth. And I could write odes to the vegetables that accompanied it. To save the usual debate over white versus red, and to cover our severe lack of wine knowledge we readily agreed to the sommelier choosing different wines to match each course. The 2005 Shiraz for the lamb, and 2004 Rioja Tempranillo for the pork both sure-fired hits.
Desserts were something quite special too. The Coconut Textures – coconut prepared in several different manners, including a lighter than air mousse and finished with a small tube of coconut milk to squeeze over, was unusual without trying to be overly fashionable. A chocolate and beetroot combination with anis ice cream wouldn't be shared, which speaks volumes for how good it was. The dessert wines served struck all the right notes too.
We rounded our meal off with coffee and petit fours, most of which combined the very good with downright unusual – the fisherman's friend flavoured one was certainly refreshing – but the honey jelly was just a little too odd in texture and taste.
The restaurant is presided over by chef Agnar Sverrison, originally from Iceland, and sommelier Xavier Rousset who met whilst working under Raymond Blanc at La Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons. They aim to produce light, healthy and satisfying food, and certainly achieve that goal with little butter or cream added to any dishes. A visit to Texture certainly didn’t leave me riddled with guilt or feeling the need to hit the treadmill the next morning.
In general the atmosphere in Texture is relaxed and the service immaculate, with each dish fully described to us as served. The only slight negative is the toilets. Currently you’re asked to use the ones shared with the hotel next door, and walking through the adjacent hotel bar breaks the spell of the dining room's light and airy space. Although, on the evening in question this did enable me to check the tennis scores.
Texture will soon be opening a private dining room for 16 people, which with its exquisite food and good service, should make it a hit for private parties and formal gatherings alike.
Reviewer: Sarah Freeman, Herbert Smith LLP
As summer has ended Texture Restaurant have created a Rejuvenation Menu incorporating ingredients known for their capacity to offset the effects of fatigue and promote well-being. Designed to refresh the body as well as the mind, this menu is the perfect anti-dote to the doom and gloom of the winter months.
Dishes include Scottish organic salmon with confit,capers,cucumber,rye bread
Line caught cod(from faroe islands) with Avocado ,tomatoes,squid,artichokes
Icelandic skyr,gariguette stawberries with Sorbet,raw,granite,jus
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