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On the advice of our Twitter followers, we chose Michelin-starred restaurant Texture for a representation of Iceland in London. Food bloggers Keith and Lolli from www.wenniesaffairs.com were keen to try some Icelandic cuisine and volunteered to road-test the restaurant for us:
There were several reasons why we were exceptionally excited about dining at Texture, brainchild of sommelier Xavier Rousset (Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons) and Icelandic chef Agnar Sverrisson.
First, we love to dine at Michelin-starred restaurants (which foodie doesn’t?) Second, prior to dining at Texture, we were not overly familiar with Icelandic cuisine, bar the penchant for salmon and seafood, so we were eager to learn more. And finally, we couldn’t resist the restaurant’s accompanying champagne bar!
We had a choice of the Ã la carte menu, tasting menu or the Scandinavian fish menu. We opted for the fish menu and weren’t disappointed. Xavier Rousset’s selections for the wine list were well-organised and had an abundance of choice. We selected a 2007 Laurent Tribut Chablis, which was a perfect pairing for the impending seafood feast.
Our starters consisted of smoked gravlax loch salmon coated in dill, with dollops of horseradish mustard, cucumber emulsion, cucumber snow and rye bread. The next course was Scottish scallops, mussels, and root vegetable broth. The main dish was an Icelandic lightly salted cod, prawn and barley risotto, with shellfish sauce.
While we were eating, we noticed Agnar Sverrisson greeting a number of diners. Keith took a few minutes to ask him a few questions about his Icelandic influences (while I cowered in the corner like a shy toddler. I am terrible with famous people). Agnar was cordial, pleasant and very forthright about the fact that he is not in any way trying to create an Icelandic culinary experience.
Texture’s amazing feat was that by the end of the meal we were pleasantly satisfied plus knew that we had enjoyed a truly tasty, innovative and unusual meal. The fact that the food is by most standards healthy shouldn’t detract from the fact that this was a truly darn exciting meal.
If you were expecting a hearty dish of putrescent shark (hakarl) or puffin in milk sauce, you are going to be sorely disappointed. Agnar has gone in an entirely different direction. There were moments where the Icelandic influence was obvious. For instance skyr quenelles (yoghurt-like cheese) served with warm crusty brown bread on wooden boards, or the sourcing of the cod and other seafood from Iceland.
Almost regrettably, we neared the end of meal and finished our coffees in the bar with a generous plate of petit fours; macaroons, pistachio madeleines, cardamom truffles and Fisherman’s Friend meringue lollipops.
Read more of Keith and Lolli’s foodie adventures at www.wenniesaffairs.com
Have you been to Texture? Do you know of any other Icelandic experiences in London? Let us know in the comments below.