Texture @ Portman Street, London

>> Jan 23, 2011

Good food is not only defined by its taste, but its smell, presentation, combination of flavors and its texture as well. This recently awarded 1 Michelin Star restaurant, is well known for presenting a combination of textures that teases one's palate.

The head chef of Texture, Agnar Sverrisson is the first Icelandic chef who ever won a Michelin Star. He started his career working in Reykjuvik (Iceland), before joining Petrus (one of Gordon Ramsay's single Michelin Star restaurant). He then hopped around a couple of other Michelin Restaurants and finally opened Texture in 2007.

Texture

Texture Interior

Texture

At texture, the savoury dishes are created without the use of any butter or cream. Butter and cream contain a large deal of fat, which tend to fill a person up quite easily. Upon being seated, I was served some bread and crisps.

Assorted Crisps with Yoghurt Dip

Assorted Crisps with a Yoghurt Dip

The crisps were a combination of Parmesan, rye, garlic, fish and tapioca. It more or less resembled 'keropok' without the oiliness served with a dip. The unique thing about the crisp was that each crisp had a different texture. Some of them were slightly harder than the other, whereas some of them were rather crunchy.

Fresh Bread

Fresh Bread

The warm bread was served with a mixture of skyr, lime and vegetable fat. Skyr is a Icelandic specialty that resemble something in between low fat yogurt and soft creamy cheese. It was a good change to the usual french butter one tend to get in most restaurants in the UK.

Winter Vegetable Soup

Winter Vegetable Stew

For the pre-appetizer, I was served a winter vegetable stew, containing perfectly cubed winter vegetables, a good bit of skyr and truffle emulsion. The soupy mixture was served cold. The truffle oil brought out a nice flavour to the stew and the mini vegetable pieces gave it a nice crunch.


Organic Scottish Salmon

Organic Scottish Salmon

The graflax was smoked and served with rye, crackers, horseradish cream and cucumber textures (consisting of cucumber granite, cucumber foam and cucumber cubes) along with fresh dill. A simple ingredient, the cucumber was taken apart and presented in 3 forms. When taken all together, the coldness of the granite, the crunchy texture of the cubed cucumber, the foamy cucumber sauce and that good dash of horseradish dip was a good complement to the perfectly smoked salmon. The toasted rye bread gave it a nice crunchy texture in contrast with the soft flesh of the salmon.

Lightly Salted Cod

Lightly Salted Cod

The cod was served on a bed of barley and nut pieces, with cauliflower textures (thinly slices green and yellow cauliflowers and cauliflower puree), and red wine jus. The cod was perfectly seared on the outside, and came slightly translucent in the centre (which is how fresh fish is suppose to be done). I felt that the combination of cauliflower textures was rather unique compared to boiled cauliflowers. Every component of the dish wasn't overcooked. The cod had a nice crust and evenly seasoned (without those salt chunks one tend to get in some fine dining places). My only complain about the dish was the bed of barley below the cod. The barley was suppose to provide a much firmer and harder texture compared to the soft flaky chunks of cod. I really don't get the reason for putting barley on the plate. It didn't quite cut it for me. To make matters worst, the amount of barley served was so much that I left half of it behind as I was rather stuffed from it.

Valrhona Chocolate

Valrhona Chocolate Ball

A 55% Valrhona chocolate ball was served with blood orange granite, blood orange and a vanilla ice-cream. The chocolate ball was exceedingly rich when taken on its on. However, when eaten with a bit of everything, the slight sourish taste of the blood orange and the sweetness of the vanilla ice-cream gave it a rather pleasant balance. The mini-wafer was solely for the sake of presentation.

All in all, I personally feel that texture is a rather unique restaurant as they tend to emphasis on a totally different segment of fine cooking. Their extra emphasis on providing diners with a unique textural journey throughout the meal stood our rather boldly in the eyes of other Michelin Restaurants. Tastewise, I would rate them as only average though.


*Opinions expressed are solely based on my personal experience

Map to Texture

Nearest Tube Station: Marble Arch

Address:
Texture Restaurant,
34 Portman Street,
W1H 7BY London,
United Kingdom.

Contact:
Telephone number: +44 (0) 20 7224 0028
Website: http://www.texture-restaurant.co.uk/

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Saturday
Lunch: 12.00 - 14.30
Dinner: 18.30 - 23.00
Closed
Mondays and Sundays

Texture on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

Anonymous,  January 23, 2011 at 10:54 PM  

hi you seem to have a knack for poncy food. like your food photography and etc but would like to have a little more on the side of your own story about how you stumble upon these restaurant etc would actually make this article sound more organic or it'll end up sounding like the food. poncy

Tummy Rumble January 24, 2011 at 2:05 AM  

@Anonymous: thanks for the feedback.. I usually read about them through websites.. Most restaurants require a reservation, hence not much of a story behind it..

Quay Po Cooks January 24, 2011 at 6:54 PM  

Although I do not benefit from your review but I sure enjoy browsing through the photos.

Tummy Rumble January 24, 2011 at 8:10 PM  

@Quay Po Cooks: why thank you.. I'll take that as a complement..

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