Texture ★ // Marylebone // London

Texture’s kitchen, run by Icelandic Agnar Sverrisson aims to present diners with fresh, Nordic inspired food using modern techniques. With some fierce competition in that department from the one star North Road in Farringdon (closed in 2010), standards need to be high to deliver the same level of innovation and surprise. While this smart (yet noisy) dining room does its best to impress, the whole experience falls flat and fails to live-up to expectation.

Undeniably pretty plates arrive one after the other, but there is a general lacking in substance in what you’re presented to eat.  While the salted cod with lovely soft prawns, barley couscous and refreshing grapefruit emulsion is the stand-out dish, the preceding Icelandic graflax with accompanying horseradish and cucumber three ways is just too simple; certainly style over substance.

Though the most thought provoking dish is the Anjou pigeon, simply described on the menu, which arrives with the two entire legs sitting on the plate (claws included), to nibble on like chicken wings. Definitely a love it or hate it concept, which would not be a pleasant surprise for all diners.  More importantly though, the cooking is off. Flabby, non-crispy skin is off-putting and the breast meat is under-cooked, rather than pink; not very appetising.

While the deconstructed cheesecake desert with icecream and blueberries is visually stunning, it also suffers from being too basic in technique and flavour; it’s simply not up to standard.  All these food faults are not helped by indifferent and inattentive staff that lack a sense of timing.

To put Texture beside other one star holders is not a fair reflection of the experience, they did not deserve to make the cut for 2013.

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