Texture restaurant tasting menu - Icelandic adventure

22:08

We were planning to visit this interesting Central London eatery Texture, an Icelandic slash modern European fusion restaurant, for our wedding anniversary in August. Or rather I was planning for us to do this, husband is not a planner of romantic gestures per se. Not that he doesn't do any, he just doesn't plan them ahead and they are much more personal and creative than a dinner in a Michelin starred restaurant.

He for instance surprised me coming back from a service station shop with a pretty, bejewelled Route 66 baseball cap for me when my large and very white Nordic forehead was roasting on the way from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon on our recent American road trip. If that isn't a loving and romantic gesture I don't know what is.

He has also surprised me with a pair of beige Birkenstocks, a fruit bowl, a windscreen wiper and a recycling bin just to mention a few. All thoughtfully timed and beautifully in context for maximum romantic impact.

OK maybe not the recycling bin, but it has made a marked difference in my everyday life.

So orginally I was thinking of booking us a table for our wedding anniversary in August, but there was so much holidaying to do that we just couldn't fit it in. So finally last week I got my act together and booked us a table for Saturday night.

Texture, headed by an Icelandic Chef Agnar "Aggi" Sverrisson, is a Michelin starred restaurant so it is not cheap. Starters are around £20 and mains around £40. They apparently have a fantastic wine list and they all are expensive. Luckily husband doesn't like white wine and red wine gives him heartburn. I'm just generally thrifty, so we opted for the  rosé which happened to be the only reasonably priced wine on the list.

Birch trunks in Icelandic Texture restaurant by Aggi Sverrison in London
The restaurant is of course beautifully designed with some interesting Nordic touches like birch trunks. Not bamboo, as husband suggested. It's clean and light without being cold. 

We chose the normal tasting menu (£89), they also do a vegetarian and fish tasting menu. This is what we ate:

Home made crisps with a yoghurt dip
White and brown crusty bread with olive oil and lava salt
Pumpkin soup with nuts
New season lancaster beetroots, gorgonzola, snow, walnuts
Anjou pigeon, chargrilled, sweet corn, shallot, bacon popcorn, red wine essence
Warm smoked eel, bonito broth, quinoa, turnips
Elwy valley spring lamb best end, shoulder, calçot onions, baby carrots
Sorrel sorbet with muscadet mousse
New season english raspberries soup, granita, lemon verbena
Chocolate truffles, macarons, meringues and madeleines


Home made crisps with a yoghurt dip
Home made crisps with a yoghurt dip 

White and brown crusty bread with olive oil and lava salt in Texture restaurant in London
 Very crusty and tasty, particularly the sour dough brown loaf.
We went through a couple of these bread platters as after a couple of courses we started to panic slightly at the miniscule size of them. We were initially quite hungry, but shouldn't have worried. The portions are very small, but in the end we were both full. But not uncomfortably so, which I believe is Texture's philosophy. They avoid things like butter and cream, which also helps in keeping the dishes light.

Pumpkin soup with nuts at Icelandic Texture restaurant in London
Very tasty pumpkin soup with peanuts to give it lovely texture.
I would like to write something about this soup because it was really lovely. But I'm not sure what to say other than it was really lovely and I will be putting peanuts in soups from now on. I think it worked really well.

New season lancaster beetroots, gorgonzola, snow, walnuts in Texture restaurant in London
Pretty heritage beetroots with snow
The snow, which was frozen goat cheese, left me a little cold. Ha! Having spent my childhood eating the real stuff, I knew instantly this wasn't it. There is nothing like a tight little nodule of snow hanging on to your mitten to suck on after a bout of vigorous kicksledding or king of the snow pileing. Or alternatively powdery untouched snow that you can scoop in your mouth. That's actually even better because the mitten snow often comes with strands of wool or some fluff which is not so appetising.

Beetroots, the gorgonzola sauce / mousse and everything else on the plate was gorgeous.

Anjou pigeon, chargrilled, sweet corn, shallot, bacon popcorn, red wine essence in Texture restaurant in London
Anjou pigeon. Too raw for our liking. The least favourite of the dishes.
One of the most controversial dishes of the evening was this innocent poor little pigeon. "How did it die", asked husband suspecting the pigeon had been shot. He seems to think our standard farm animals just peacefully slip away in their sleep after a happy and fulfilling life surrounded by family and friends.

The pigeon was served with bacon pop corn which we didn't realise in fact was pop corn, three bacon flavoured pieces, so we asked for an alternative as we don't eat pork. The staff didn't think it was strange at all and gave us un-porked pop corn without batting an eye-lid.

Warm smoked eel, bonito broth, quinoa, turnips in Texture restaurant in London
Smoked eel - my favourite dish of the night 
The pigeon was followed by the smallest piece of smoked eel ever seen. Or not seen. It was actually so small you probably can't see it in the picture. And the tiny white blob. A turnip. Yes - a turnip. So that kind of puts the whole thing in perspective. But it tasted divine. And smoked eel is a strong taste, so I think maybe clever to not give too much.

Elwy valley spring lamb best end, shoulder, calçot onions, baby carrots in Texture restaurant in London
Cute carrots, lamb and barley

Husband loved the lamb dish and I offered him some of mine although I really loved it a lot too but I love husband more. He heroically refused presumably because he also loves me more than lamb, there was a lot of love around the table.  So we almost ended up having an argument about who should eat the lamb. 

The barley took me back to Saturday afternoons when mum heated our big masonry oven and slow cooked a big pot of barley porridge and barley flat breads. I hated the porridge but loved the flat breads and the fact that my room was next to the one with the masonry oven and I would be lovely and toasty all weekend. Yes I grew up in Ireland during the potato famine.

Sorrel sorbet with muscadet mousse in Texture restaurant in London
Sorrel sorbet - excellent palate cleanser
We used to eat sorrel as kids as it grows everywhere and is nice and salty. Just never thought of making a sorbet out of it and serving it with muscadet mousse. Live and learn!


New season english raspberries soup, granita, lemon verbena in Texture restaurant in London
Terrible, said the uncompromising husband of the raspberry soup, but I quite liked it. Refreshing, cold and not very sweet.

Chocolate truffles, macarons, meringues and madeleines at Texture restaurant London
The madeleines completely made up for the too cold and sour dessert, so I let husband eat both of them.
Texture restaurant dessert with tea
Where can I buy those tea pots?
Overall it was a really lovely experience. Staff is very friendly and attentive, at times almost too attentive. There was a lot of traffic at the table throughout the dinner. Food was interesting and there were wonderful tastes and textures. It was ever so slightly more up my street, some of the Nordic elements went over husband's head. He doesn't like acidic, sharp and pungent things. Which is why it's such a miracle he loves me.

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