May 122019

#25: Visit a Michelin-Starred Restaurant (or, Who Says Vegetarianism is Boring!?)

It has been a ridiculous amount of time since I completed this part of the challenge (and #26, See a Live Classical Concert, which was the same weekend!) I have been obscenely busy, as per pretty much always.

Anyhow. A little over a year ago, my partner Styx turned 50. (Yup, do the maths, we’re one of those big age gap couples.) Being the kind of person who loves planning, loves an adventure and loves surprising the person I love, I decided to plan an adventure as a birthday surprise to him. Though his birthday was in February, the adventure happened in late October due to when we could get the concert tickets I wanted.

The plan was threefold:

  • Stay in a really fancy hotel (We picked the Roseate House, it was eye-wateringly expensive and worth every penny.)
  • See Carmina Burana at the Royal Albert Hall. (Coming up in the next post…)
  • Eat at Texture – which came highly recommended as the place for really special, high quality vegetarian food.

The theme of this weekend, as you can probably tell, was “decadence”. This isn’t the sort of thing we would normally do, but you only turn 50 once!

So what was “Texture” like?

Texture is a 1 Michelin Star restaurant in London’s Portman Street, and is the brainchild of Icelandic chef Agnar “Aggi” Sverrisson. He describes his style of cooking as “modern Scandinavian with Asian influences… light and healthy food that does not make you feel uncomfortably full”.

As well as an extensive A La Carte menu, Texture offer those multi-course “tasting” menus that seem to be all the rage at the moment. They offer standard, fish-based and vegan options. As we’re vegetarian but not vegan, what they brought us was an amazing and bespoke mash-up of dishes: the vegetarian courses from the standard menu, and v   egan courses in place of meat.

I cannot overstate this enough: this place was completely and utterly phenomenal. I’ve eaten at many excellent places and a small number of very fancy restaurants in my life, but this was… next level. We both agreed it was probably the best meal we have had in any restaurant, ever.

Want to see pics of amazing food? Of course you do…

A sample of the vegan menu
We didn’t actually have wine as it was 1 o’clock in the afternoon and we were going to a concert, but still… check out this wine collection!

Appetiser was fresh bread and crispbreads with olive oil and black Icelandic rock-salt.
Baby beetroots. The white stuff is Parmesan snow – literally tiny flakes of ice-cold Parmesan cheese.
It should not be possible for cauliflower to be this delicious, seriously.
Celeriac textures. (This place lives up to its name – the texture was as much a part of the dishes as the taste.)
Everything was beautiful as well as delicious. (This one is barley, harissa, avocado, hummus and fennel).
We both agreed this was our favourite course: black rice with coconut, lime leaf, lemongrass and basil.
The cheese course was an optional extra, but how could we NOT have it? Amazing.
A tasty pre-dessert that can best be described as a sort of minty sorbet.

Apparently I didn’t take a picture of the dessert but it involved Icelandic Skyr and fresh mango. And this wasn’t the end! We decided to stay and have a cocktail in the lovely restaurant bar. I had casually mentioned to our waiter (shout out to Orhan, who was a total star!) earlier in the meal that it was Styx’s 50th, so when we to get our drinks this happened…

All those little truffles, macarons and cakes were home-made at the restaurant and a perfect little surprise to round off the end of the meal.

The cocktails, like everything else, were delicious and beautiful.

Cheers! We’ll be back… someday when we can afford it.





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