Texture … perfectly smooth

DINING OWL AWARDS: 2nd – wine list; 2nd – for feeling healthy; 3rd – for family occasions; 3rd – bread; 1st – sommelier; 3rd – repeat visits; 1st – amuse bouche

When I visited: Various times from 2009-2015

Location: London, near Bond Street

Team: Agnar Sverrisson (Chef Patron), Ross Sandonato (Executive and Development Chef), Andrew Wandless (Head Chef), Robert Dokler (Restaurant Manager), Adrien Butko (Head Sommelier)

Rating in the Michelin Guide: 1 star

Dining Owl Hoot rating: 5/5

What to wear: Men – jeans or nice trousers and a shirt; women – jeans and a smart top or a smart dress

Ambience: Icelandic / Scandinavian; light, buzzy

Course of the meal: Valrhona chocolate dessert (either white or dark)

If I could change one thing: ALWAYS have the Valrhona chocolate dessert on the menu

Review:

Texture was the first 1-star restaurant I ever visited, and I paid £5 for my meal due to a handy voucher in the FT. Since then I’ve been back several times because it is quite simply lovely. Lovely food, lovely atmosphere, lovely white wines, lovely amuse bouches, lovely shiny ‘stunt plates’ which are taken away before you eat anything, lovely staff and lovely sommeliers. It’s great for dates or for going with friends and family. I’ve eaten several times in the main restaurant and once in the private room which is good for parties.

The food is heavily Icelandic in its influences, with particularly good fish and seafood dishes and gorgeous Valrhona chocolate desserts (they used to do a white chocolate version in winter and spring and a dark version in summer and autumn). They are also big on using beetroot and cucumber in any part of the meal, including dessert, and have a sparkling amuse bouche of pea and mint granita which is unbelievably refreshing.

As an example of what you might eat at an a la carte dinner, recently I went and was first given a beautiful selection of warm bread and fish crisps with Icelandic lava salt and yoghurt, followed by the aforementioned pea and mint granita amuse bouche. I then started with scallops with ‘snow’ (Texture LOVES snow), while my fellow diners had asparagus and salmon gravlax. Our mains were lightly salted Icelandic cod with chorizo, tomato risotto and suckling pig. I should mention that Texture has an amazing-value lunch menu, which I’ve enjoyed many times, and also vegetarian tasting and a la carte menus. Their fish tasting menu has tons of highlights.

Continuing with the a la carte example, we were presented with pre-desserts of textures of fennel with spiced cream, followed by desserts of strawberry tarts or rhubarb. The staff assured me that the Valrhona mega dessert will make a comeback this year.

If you ever need a reasonably-priced, extremely enjoyable and impressive restaurant, choose Texture … it is extremely underrated and always lovely.

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