Agnar Sverrison remains one of London’s foremost proponents of new Nordic cuisine, bringing his Icelandic heritage and wider Scandi influences to bear in this cool, contemporary Michelin-starred venue. His food is delicate and colourful, with much emphasis on temperature as well as texture – witness Norwegian king crab served with new season’s garlic, ginger and wasabi, or lightly salted Icelandic cod accompanied by avocado, cod brandade, squid and chorizo. Lofty prices raise a few eyebrows, but there’s also an appealing set lunch for bargain hunters. The spare, pale dining room, ornamented with driftwood and bright abstract art, has been boosted by a refurb of the adjoining Champagne bar, while co-owner Xavier Rousset’s superbly balanced global wine list is a source of considerable pride. Pampering is a given, although the experience can ‘lack any real joy’ – especially as staff deliver their foodie expositions ‘as seriously as a Shakespearian soliloquy’.
Texture’s list really stands out for its good value. Yes, there are one or two pricey bottles (this is Mayfair, after all), but generally the pricing is reasonable (Roederer at £75 or Taittinger for £85 is not bad for a Michelin-starred eatery in this neck of the woods). But as well as all the grandes marques, there is a genuinely stimulating range of small growers on display, too, plus a dozen rosés and half-a-dozen available in magnum. Plenty of information about how Champagne is made, too – this is a thoughtful and diverse Champagne list that is trying to provide bottles for all tastes and all wallets.
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