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Ironically, that was the date of the idiotic review in the Guardian that a friend brought to my attention today.  What the heck was that all about?

I think the answer to your question is that it was by Matthew Norman - for anyone else who wants to take a look it is available online here.

Personally, I only skim his reviews to get some idea of whether or not there might be an interesting restaurant to visit. Mostly his whole approach simply annoys me and I certainly wouldn't use his recommendations (good or bad) when deciding to visit anywhere.

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Ironically, that was the date of the idiotic review in the Guardian that a friend brought to my attention today.  What the heck was that all about?

I think the answer to your question is that it was by Matthew Norman - for anyone else who wants to take a look it is available online here.

Personally, I only skim his reviews to get some idea of whether or not there might be an interesting restaurant to visit. Mostly his whole approach simply annoys me and I certainly wouldn't use his recommendations (good or bad) when deciding to visit anywhere.

:biggrin: C'mon. That's a great review.

Read it.

Laughed.

Don't have to waste my money going to Texture.

That pretty much ticks the boxes. Agreed it has a faint anti-elitist whiff to it, but I find that rather endearing from a bloke on his salary. :biggrin:

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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had the tasting menu here last night, and I think the mean of the positive and negative opinions that have been expressed is about right; some of the courses were excellent, some flawed, none categorically bad, and the oft-mentioned combination of tea pots and test tubes was indeed ott and inappropriate to accompany the otherwise excellent and minimalist jerusalem artichoke. more 1* than 2* I would have thought, but overall I was happy enough to waste my money there.

points of interest... well, firstly some novelty in the drink pairings; I'd normally say wine parings but I was very pleased to see them offering a beer with the suckling pig, which was an excellent course and very appropriately accompanied thereby. a fairly conventional treatment, but nicely done and served with some pork belly and a piece of squid which was scored and presented (I suppose ?) to imitate a small slab of pork fat; this may not sound entirely appealing but was an entertaining touch.

the pigeon was accompanied by a dry oloroso, which was again a good and somewhat striving-for-novelty pairing, although I felt the strength and serving size was rather inappropriate for such an early stage of a tasting menu (indeed, in general I felt we were rather over-plied by the accompanying drinks, although needless to say none went to waste :) this was one of the better courses, the excellent pigeon being nicely paired with sweetcorn and a sweetcorn based puree; I felt the accompanying bacon popcorn was injudicious and should have been kept to amuse bouche duty with the opening champagne. the red wine essence was also not really needed.

less successful courses included the cod brandade, which although perfectly nice and competently done was far too straightforward and uninteresting against the remainder of the menu, and the lemongrass and ginger soup, which in its attempt to be refreshing ended up far too acidic. service was less slick than I expected from the reviews, but perfectly fine, only a couple of minor errors and an annoying tendency to describe each wine as "very nice", which is hardly informative and ought to go without saying...

the room is great, with the (shall we say) intimate grandeur of its Georgian origins undiminished by fairly minimalist furnishings and the few pieces of strikingly coloured Icelandic artwork. the champagne bar is good if rather small; beware the mounting costs this can incur... also don't allow me to spoil it for you by mentioning that the under-banquette lighting feels somehow redolent of public transport ;)

Ian

I go to bakeries, all day long.

There's a lack of sweetness in my life...

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I am reminded that the beer was called Liberty and it was from San Francisco, for those who are interested in such things.

Ian

I go to bakeries, all day long.

There's a lack of sweetness in my life...

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Ok, finally got to try Texture at lunch today with a couple of former Upper Glas colleagues, both Swedish.

They thought that the cuisine was "new Nordic" in all but name, and was in tune with the principles of the New Nordic cuisine manifesto.

We started in the bar with drinks and assorted, very crumbly crisps (including cod skin - not convinced by this one) with two dips (wasabi, completely lacking the expected heat, and yogurt). Drinks, a Virgin Mary and a cocktail of gin, ginger syrup and basil, were both spot on.

In the restaurant there was a choice of four breads, served with unsalted butter, Ligurian olive oil and a very smooth black olive tapenade.

Amuse bouche was an octagonal shotglass of raw pumpkin, chestnut cream and stilton. This was both distinctive and good, but I think that pumpkin needs at least some cooking to give it character.

I then had three dishes, in grazing portions:

Smoked tuna with Japanese flavours:

This was the highlight of the meal. The dish was brought under a cloche which was lifted to release an intense smokey aroma. The tuna was very rare and very fresh, with a melange of Japanese flavourings.

Salmon, scrambled eggs and cucumber:

This dish was less than the sum of its parts. Salmon and cucumber are a great pairing; so is salmon and scrambled egg; cucumber and scrambled egg are a marriage made in hell.

Icelandic cod branade, chorizio, squid and peppers:

A good but rather busy dish, with the peppers hardly detectable. The squid and the branade were wonderful, and the chorizio came as (yet more) crisps.

My friends had, inter alia:

the Jerusalem artichoke selection (wonderful flavours, but the "tea" in a test tube was a bit of pretentious presentation)

Icelandic lamb (very tender)

Cornish skate

Belly pork (utterly wonderful, and went beautifully with Liberty beer).

Two of us shared a plate of different coconut preparations for pudding; we loved it, but it was rather rich after what had gone before and one plate was quite enough for two.

We drank an organic Alsace wine, Ostertag Vielles Vignes Sylvaner (£27.50), and an Austrian Brundlemayer Steinmassel Riesling, which I thought was a bit of a bargain at £38 (list price ex-VAT is £14.48, so at a 70% GP + VAT you'd expect it to be about £56.70 - at £38 including VAT it was the bargain of the list).

Generally I though the wine list was very fine and not greedily priced.

Bill overall (with two beers, two cocktails and two bottles of wine, three coffees and one bottle of water) was £206 including service for three. Not a cheap lunch, but well worth it. I liked the straightforward pricing - all dishes £8.50, no supplements. I think that two people could lunch well there for just under £100.

Service was charming and enthusiastic, and a severe shellfish allergy was well handled. Only slightly bum note was that the chef kept coming into the dining room looking self-important but not making any effort to interact with the diners.

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  • 1 month later...

Just had our meal at Texture yesterday. All five of us enjoyed the meal, especially compared to our meal at Dorchester (Ducasse) a few weeks ago, which left us with a disappointing experience and a bill doubled yesterday’s…

Here is one of my favourite dishes: Pigeon

gallery_57364_5484_48442.jpg

Full pictures here: www.finediningexplorer.com/texture.

Fine Dining Explorer

www.finediningexplorer.com

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Another thumbs up from me. Went on Saturday and had the Fish tasting menu. All dishes were superbly tasty and well presented. Service was impeccable as well. Only small criticism is the tables (for two) are too small for all the glassware and frippery. Yes, you can say that it's pretentious, but hey, some of us like that all that pretention. I certainly hope to see them in the Michelin star ratings this year.

Lee

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  • 1 year later...
Another thumbs up from me.  Went on Saturday and had the Fish tasting menu. All dishes were superbly tasty and well presented.  Service was impeccable as well.  Only small criticism is the tables (for two)  are too small for all the glassware and frippery.  Yes, you can say that it's pretentious, but hey, some of us like that all that pretention.  I certainly hope to see them in the Michelin star ratings this year.

Lee

Thinking of going this Friday. Anyone been recently?

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  • 3 months later...
Another thumbs up from me.  Went on Saturday and had the Fish tasting menu. All dishes were superbly tasty and well presented.  Service was impeccable as well.  Only small criticism is the tables (for two)  are too small for all the glassware and frippery.  Yes, you can say that it's pretentious, but hey, some of us like that all that pretention.  I certainly hope to see them in the Michelin star ratings this year.

Lee

Thinking of going this Friday. Anyone been recently?

Had an amazing dining experience here last month, £25 for a 5 course lunch which included app,starter,main,cheese,dessert very high standard and excellent service ,would recommend it before the offer finishes ,deserves a star :wink:

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  • 1 month later...

One of the great mysteries of the fine dining world is why this place has not got a Michelin star.

I sort of followed the progress since the opening in 2007, and with such a dream team in residence it seemed a foregone conclusion.

As is perhaps the case with London restaurants once the initial enthusiasm subsides quite a lot slip below the radar, as witnessed above with the lack of activity during 2008.

We decided to give it a try as it held so much promise.

Try driving into London on a Saturday when your sat nav breaks down, you don't have a map, your running late, and you don't know the location, Thankfully our late arrival was graciously accepted, which amplified the level of service throughout.

We opted for the excellent value lunch to see what "Aggie" could put in front of us for £22.

To get things going we were presented with a mixture of "crisps" a signiture dish consisting of potato, cod skin, bread, parmesan?, with two dipping sauces.

The crisps were good enough on there own without the sauces, but we ploughed in never the less.

The pre starter was wonderful, a "texture" of peas and baby broad beans.

Bread was as you may expect, was top notch, served with, butter, olive oil, and tapenade.

Heirloom tomatoes, dried, fresh, Parmesan Snow,basil.

Icelandic organic Salmon, confit, capers, cucumber,rye bread.

Both starters were full of interesting flavours, please accept my sketchy account as I did not take notes and the pictures on my phone are too dark to jog my poor memory.

We both opted for,

Lancashire Pork belly, slow cooked, spring roll, asian flavours.

As pleasing on the eye as well as the palate, this dish was really showing what the kitchen was about.

I asked for the other dish as an extra course.

Icelandic line caught Cod, barley risotto, pickled shallots, lemon puree.

Beautiful tranche of Cod, flaky, and fresh as can be, teamed well with the other ingredients and I was really pleased that I ordered it.

For dessert we had

Mara des Bois Strawberries, granola, greek yogurt, milk ice cream.

New season Raspberries, raw, juice, Lemon Verbena, yogurt ice cream.

Both desserts without "cream" are of course all part of the ethos of Sverrison's cooking, lightness, clarity, and of course, seasonality.

I was surprised no one was on " pastry" Aggie himself produced the desserts which were both up there with the best that we have eaten this year.

I especially liked the Raspberry " soup" with the memorable lemon verbena tang.

As has already been touched on, service was, efficient, informative, and the right side of friendly from Xavier Rousset and his team adding to the enjoyment of the meal.

Chef was around and about, but apart from a "hello chef" on first sight, we dived into the food with relish.

Well what can I say.

I know it was only lunch and I will perhaps get a bit of stick for saying it again, but,

"Why has this place not got a Michelin Star?"

This place is up there with the best of our dining experiences this year, and I'm hoping, hand on heart, it does not turn into the Anthony's of the South.

2x 3 course lunch £44

1x Extra main £12.50.

2x glass Rose £9.00

1x glass Cabernet £7. 00

1x glass Frappato £6.50

Opp, service charge £9.88

Thames water FOC

Total £88.88

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Spurred by David's recent enthusing comments, I have finally been there today, and have come back wowed by the lightness, imagination and control in those dishes.

I had basically the same materials as David, but with different garnishes and with the salmon now presented as a main and the cod as a starter, both of which I found delicious despite some excess saltiness in the salmon (soy sauce). The pork belly was just spectacular, and the mushroom starter had flavours as clear as you can get and airy lightness. There was attention to details at any level. The crispy parmesan in the pre-starter was notable for its lack of saltiness, a common problem when drying up that cheese. The olive oil from Liguria and the 'liquid' olive tapenade were a nice touch (I may be biased as I am from Liguria), as well as the two dips, one of wasabi elegantly tamed by baby lettuce gem, the other of herbs yoghurt and barley, which accompanied the crispy bits (I was fully convinced by those too). The petit four, not your ordinary truffles and macaroons (although they were truffles and macaroons), and a good coffee left us happy and satisfied. We can't even complain about the bread despite being over-fussy about that.

The 3 course lunch is amazing value in London for a cuisine of this level (I agree with the sentiment in this thread, it's comfortably a star). I am often annoyed by a certain meannes in many UK restaurants (compared to Italy which is the country where I eat most beside the UK). So I was warmed by the generosity of this lunch. Free crispy bits (which are served at £4.50 in the bar), another complimentary amuse and petit four in a £22 3-course lunch is not a usual sight...

But with us, generosity pays off more than meanness - we will be there again soon for a 'real' dinner!

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Spurred by David's recent enthusing comments, I have finally been there today, and have come back wowed by the lightness, imagination and control in those dishes.

I had basically the same materials as David, but with different garnishes and with the salmon now presented as a main and the cod as a starter, both of which I found delicious despite some excess saltiness in the salmon (soy sauce). The pork belly was just spectacular, and the mushroom starter had flavours as clear as you can get and airy lightness. There was attention to details at any level. The crispy parmesan in the pre-starter was notable for its lack of saltiness, a common problem when drying up that cheese. The olive oil from Liguria and the 'liquid' olive tapenade were a nice touch (I may be biased as I am from Liguria), as well as the two dips, one of wasabi elegantly tamed by baby lettuce gem, the other of herbs yoghurt and barley, which accompanied the crispy bits (I was fully convinced by those too). The petit four, not your ordinary truffles and macaroons (although they were truffles and macaroons), and a good coffee left us happy and satisfied. We can't even complain about the bread despite being over-fussy about that.   

The 3 course lunch is amazing value in London for a cuisine of this level (I agree with the sentiment in this thread, it's comfortably a star). I am often annoyed by a certain meannes in many UK restaurants (compared to Italy which is the country where I eat most beside the UK). So I was warmed by the generosity of this lunch. Free crispy bits (which are served at £4.50 in the bar), another complimentary amuse and petit four in a £22 3-course lunch is not a usual sight...

But with us, generosity pays off more than meanness - we will be there again soon for a 'real' dinner!

Really glad you liked it so much.

As pointed out in my review I am amazed this thread has been so quiet since the original opening flourish.

Hopefully now they will get the due uptake of business that they deserve

And of course that star.

Happy eating :smile:

I forgot about the truffles and macaroons, we were compted them as well, even though we skipped coffee (as we always tend to do )

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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  • 2 months later...

According to Time Out 2010, this is London,s best value lunch menu, currently on offer.

I could not agree more,three top notch courses for £22 is brilliant.

However, get this, three courses including cheese, is only £25,and you get seasonal fruit chutney and muscat jelly thrown in.

I dare say with the other freebie bits that you get for your £25 there are many happy bunnies dining here

Any recent reports would be most gratefully appreciated.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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  • 4 months later...

Any recent reports would be most gratefully appreciated.

Took the family there for lunch for my daughter's 6th birthday last week (she wanted Le Gavroche, but now says she likes Texture just as much...).

It's a lovely room for lunch (I've found it a bit underlit at night), and they looked after us really well, working round the birthday girl's allergies to nuts and eggs (which is more than Le Gavroche managed to get right).

Nice touches like sorbet for the girls served in small glass bowls over larger bowls full of dry ice, Miranda's with a candle in one of the balls of sorbet, and little boxes of chocolate for each of them to take away.

Also unlike Le Gavroche they weren't greedy in charging for the children's meals (£15 each for three courses).

Overall £159 for four of us including service, with two glasses of champagne, two glasses of wine plus one sweet wine.

Great wine list, but pretty steep mark-ups.

Crisps remain "interesting", although we loved the dip.

My starter was three different beets with soft goat's cheese, delicate flavours. Kids had some lovely salmon two ways.

My main course was hake with caulifower textures; I am not a great cauliflower fan, but can't imagine it better prepared than this, particularly the "cauliflower couscous". Fish wasn't as mega-fresh or as perfectly cooked as I'd have expected. My wife and the girls had pork belly and cheek, and all loved it.

My pudding was the high point of the meal for me - mango and pineapple, lemongrass soup, basil ice cream - I can sitll taste it now a week later...

Wonderful chocolates and good coffee.

Place was pretty quiet for a Thursday lunchtime, especially given that it has just won a Michelin star. There were a lot of staff, so I do wonder a little about its viability

If my enthusiasm is muted, I think it's because the menu never seems to change much and because the food is sometimes on the wrong side of the delicate/muted flavour divide.

Also, the chef patron really gets on my nerves. I've been three times; each time he has scurried through the dining room at regular intervals, never making eye contact, always looking harassed and unhappy. If he is too shy to interact with customers, he should stay out of the dining room. With only four tables in at lunch and one of them a birthday celebration, surely he could at least have stopped and say hello to the birthday girl (hell, Michel Roux kissed her and her sister!). As suggested on another thread, make a fuss of (well-behaved) small children in top restaurants - they are your future customers.

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Also, the chef patron really gets on my nerves. I've been three times; each time he has scurried through the dining room at regular intervals, never making eye contact, always looking harassed and unhappy.

Ah ah! Having been there a few times (in a few months), I've had the same experience. I think a chef has no duty to entertain the customer, but also that it's good manners to at least thank/acknowledge repeat vistors. And also good business practice: people tend to go most often where they feel welcome.

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