Texture in Mayfair
Inconspicuous among the townhouses in the high-end area of Mayfair is Michelin-starred Texture. Opened in 2007 by Agnar Sverisson and Xavier Rousset (who met while at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons), the restaurant has gained some serious respect in the food industry – including the Michelin star in 2010.
While the chef prepared a representative menu especially for us, we snacked on Texture’s Crisps, wafer-thin, almost tuile-like with flavours of parmesan, rye bread, cod skin and potato. Served with a Herby Yoghurt Dip, they were a great way to start the meal. Next came the White Sourdough alongside French Butter with Icelandic Yoghurt and Seaweed Dust. The bread had a chewy interior with a perfectly formed crust and the creamy butter was wonderfully tangy.
We had an amuse-bouche of Pea Salad, a refreshing pea mousse with icy spearmint snow and fresh peas, which worked beautifully with the paired Riesling. My starter, the Anjou Quail (chargrilled sweetcorn, shallot, bacon popcorn, red wine essence) was an immaculately roasted roulade of the breast and leg with a buttery corn puree, all freshened by whole kernels and red wine shallots. This too was an ideal match for the paired pinot noir. My guest had the Salmon Ceviche (Asian flavours), paired with a sauvignon blanc. The mango-passion fruit snow melted into a lovely zesty dressing and the pickled daikon and cucumber added the necessary crunch to the plate.
My main was the Lightly Smoked Cornish Pollock (buckwheat, sorrel, pickled vegetables), which arrived looking picturesque and had a real earthiness, but the fish, although well cooked, lacked a little seasoning. However, my wine, a Saint-Peray, was wonderful. My guest’s main of English Corn-Fed Chicken (peas, tender sprouting broccoli, mousserons) displayed just how tasty and comforting simple flavours can be, and again was ideal for the Zellberg, an Alsatian pinot gris.
We then had a taster of Texture’s best cheeses: an intense Pave de L’aveyron, gooey Époisses and a mild Pays Basque Agour served with a Quince Chutney as well as an Apple Jelly, with toasted raisin bread and delicate croutes, washed down with an impeccable tawny port. My dessert was simple: Old Church Farm Raspberries (soup, galangal, vanilla ice cream). It was refreshing and summery with a slight spicy note from the galangal. My guest had the Valrhona White Chocolate (mousse, ice cream, dill, cucumber), an unusual dessert whereby the mousse and ice cream were delicious but overpowered by the dill and cucumber, which gave the dish a strong, savoury flavour. We finished off with friandises of Pistachio Madeleines, Raspberry-Yoghurt Macaroons, Chocolate and Caramel Truffles and Fisherman’s Friend (a minty meringue).
There is a serene feel about the restaurant almost as soon as you enter, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular with the corporate crowd, as well as local residents – the food is extraordinary and it’s a peaceful place to have a bite or even a lunch meeting. The mix of Scandinavian, French and Asian flavours and techniques are expertly executed, as is the wine. This place is definitely one for an occasion!
To book a table at Texture, 34 Portman street London W1H 7BY, call 020 7224 0028 or visit here.