Texture is a Michelin starred ‘modern European restaurant and champagne bar with Scandinavian influences’ which is based in Portman Square (round the corner from Selfridges). I’ve wanted to visit Texture for about two years and since watching head chef Agnar Sverrison cook a beautiful scallop dish on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, I gave my gentleman companion no other choice but to book us in for lunch.
The a la carte is quite pricey – starters range from £14.50-£28.50 and mains from £27.50-£33.50. However, as is often the case with Michelin starred restaurants, an excellently valued set lunch menu was also available priced at £24.90 for three courses with two choices per course.
With a separate champagne bar at the entrance, the restaurant was beautiful – bright and airy with colourful paintings on the walls. The atmosphere was relaxed and very comfortable – the chairs were so comfy I wanted to stay there forever. The table was laid with two colourful plates that were designed, along with the paintings, by a famous Icelandic artist.
As soon as we stepped through the door our experience was a masterclass in good service. Our waiter was conversational in a relaxed way and noticing that we were admiring the plates he decided to tell us more about them. He made us feel totally at ease. In fact, everyone we dealt with was charming and friendly to the point of perfection.
Some crispy wafers started proceedings which were like nothing we’ve ever tasted before. Parmesan, cod skin, rye bread and potato were all enjoyable – the cod skin (that was like crackling) being a highlight. They were served with an Icelandic yoghurt based dip which was lovely.
We were then brought some brown bread which was so warm a little puff of steam escaped as we eagerly tore it to shreds. The butter had been whipped with some Icelandic yoghurt making it light and delicate.
Our final treat before our starter was a pea and mint amuse bouche. Some crunchy peas atop a pea pannacotta with some mint snow. Light and refreshing would be an understatement – this was a tiny bowl of Summery heaven.
My gentleman companion started with the new season English beetroots, goats cheese, snow and pistachios. The dish was absolutely stunning – so attractive it could have been hung on the wall. The beetroot – in purple, yellow and pink varieties along with the goats cheese snow and the crunch from the pistachios was a real treat in textures and flavours. You certainly couldn’t say the food at Texture lacked texture!
My Icelandic prawns, lemon grass gazpacho, pickled cucumber and basil was absolutely divine. I’ve never had such tender prawns they literally melted in my mouth like butter it was amazing. It was the freshest tasting starter I have ever tasted.
My gentleman companion’s main of Welsh shoulder of lamb, swede, peas, feves (French for broad beans) and a lamb jus was fantastic. The lamb was tender and moist, the vegetables had a bite to them and the swede puree was full of flavour.
My Cornish skate, lemon, cinnamon barley with a sauternes sauce was another stunner and matched in flavour. The fish was so delicate and perfectly cooked, a real taste of the sea! A dollop of mayonnaise-like lemon sauce packed an almighty lemon punch which went wonderfully with the fish and sweet carrot. I was sad when I’d finished!
We wondered whether desserts could possibly maintain such a high standard of presentation and taste but they certainly did. My chocolate and Early Grey ganache, blueberries, milk ice cream and hazelnut crumbs was one of the best desserts I have ever eaten. It was a perfect marriage of ingredients. A hint of tea in the chocolate ganache balanced perfectly with the sharpness from the blueberries, the sweet crunchy hazelnut crumbs and the soothing milk ice cream. I shall have dreams about this dessert.
My gentleman companion’s new season raspberries, lemon Verbena, galangal (ginger) and vanilla ice cream was also delicious. A raspberry gazpacho was poured around some fresh raspberries topped with the ice cream which sounds simple but the intense flavour from the gazpacho was incredible.
To accompany my fresh mint tea (£3.20) we were served some star anise and coffee macaroons (a flavour combination which bizzarely worked) and some cardamom chocolate truffles. I could not fault a single thing.
We were in total awe of the food we had eaten – and it was all from a set lunch menu. We felt Texture was playing at the very top of its game. Exciting and original food, friendly waiters, beautiful restaurant, affordable lunch menu – what boxes haven’t been ticked?