Chef Sverrisson is yet another product of the Le Manoir stable where he ended his time there as head chef. Originally from Iceland, he's now doing his own thing which encompasses elements of what is widely becoming labelled the 'Nordic tradition'. It's not so obvious here, unlike say North Road that's an out and our play on Noma's runaway success, but influences are there for sure. As for savoury dishes not having butter or cream, we're not completely sure whether that's a play on the Nordic angle or rather, a move towards a healthier cooking style. Traditional sauces are therefore are of course absent while dishes like cheese souffle on double cream that's served at Mayfair neighbour Le Gavroche will find little by way of competition here.
They do indicate that they are happy to use some cream in dessert dishes though ours as we will see in due course remained borderline healthy.
The other driving force behind Texture is Master Sommelier Xavier Rousset who is also former Manoir where he was head sommelier and where he was to meet Sverrisson. One should therefore expect an interesting wine list and we thought wines were fairly priced . We were also impressed with our sommelier that day (not Xavier) who helped us on the white wine choice and delivered an excellent South African white at a price somewhat below budget which showed real integrity.
Before sitting down for lunch though, while waiting for guests to arrive, we took a drink in the bar which did allows us to enjoy the fantastic round tables that have a cut out in the centre which is filled with ice so doubling up as your ice bucket. The tower of crisps served with a yoghurt dip while we were waiting was also varied, interesting and tasty.
It was the next main that was most disappointing, Grain fed beef, Rib eye: chargrilled, ox cheek, horseradish, olive oil bearnaise. First, on plating, it looked so uninspiring, like there was no real idea here. If the idea was however to deliver the best piece of beef ever, the plating would all be easily forgiven but the sous vide cooking of the beef here had failed to develop any complex beef flavours and nor was there even an outside char. The ox cheek faired a little better but overall the proteins were a let down. Chips served on the side were suitably fat and nicely crisped though far from healthy I'm sure but a long way from being able to rescue the dish.
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