Saturday 24 September 2016

Texture, Portman Street, central London

Pollock with chorizo, tomatoes and avocado
A Michelin-starred restaurant with an Icelandic chef, Texture serves imaginative and exquisitely-presented food. Smart, but not stuffy, the stylish dining room has very high ceilings, plenty of natural light and a view of the prep area in front of the kitchens. The quirky crockery and modernist lighting add to the ambiance. The good value set lunch (three courses for £33.50 or two courses for £29) has a choice of two starters, two mains and two deserts, but you'll also be treated to several little tasters, such as an edgy gazpacho, mini poppadoms and chocolate truffles with your bill. To start, the yellow fin tuna tartare, served with ginger, coriander and bonito, is very fresh, but the flavours are pretty subtle. For a main, the precisely-cooked pollock, served with avocado, tomatoes and chorizo on a small bed of creamy mash potato, has more punch and is delicious. The dishes contain very little carbs, but the accompanying basket of warm sourdough and rustic brown bread, accompanied by a fine olive oil and rock salt, is a real treat in itself. For desert,  the Icelandic skyr (a kind of sweet, rich yoghurt) with blueberries and breadcrumbs, really hits the spot. The table service is a bit random, but the Slovenian maitre d' has charm and charisma. As you would expect, Texture's wine list is impressive, extensive and pricey, and you will certainly find something to your taste. Both the Saumur L’Insolite Thierry Germain and the M3 Chardonnay Shaw + Smith (a tenner a glass) are clean, crisp and go well with the seafood. A meal at Texture is a visual and a culinary treat. 8/10

Beetroots, gorgonzola, snow and walnuts

Tuna tartare with ginger, soy and coriander