After winning the ‘Best New Restaurant 2015’ award for the opening of the M Threadneedle Street venue, the multi-faceted concept from Gaucho’s illustrious former MD Martin Williams has delivered another power restaurant in Victoria. Stunning steaks await…sit tight, you’re in for a biggun'.
With a crisp white façade, the entrance to M is enough to blow you away. Walls decorated with bottles of wine and Champagne greet you at the reception where stairs to the right will lead you up to the intimate wine tasting area (which is all electronic by the way - kind of like a coffee machine but for some of the most exquisite bottles of wine you’ll have the pleasure of tasting). Lead down the stairs, the lighting becomes lower and you enter the basement level of dramatic décor. This is where the luxury really hits you. The bar sits proud against the back wall and tucked away round on the right is where the M Raw bar in all its Japanese aesthetic glory awaits. An authentic take on the traditional sushi bar, you can sit and marvel at the open kitchen as chefs place dishes on the bar shelf ripe for the picking.
With a sneaky preview into the world of M's private members, we journeyed beyond the bar, behind an inconspicuous door and discovered the clandestine M Den. The nirvana of private cocktail clubs. Cosy, secluded and just a bit suave in nature, you’ll find nothing but the best service of tailored cocktails and custom mixology where bespoke drinks are the practise.
Onto the M Grill - you dine in culinary luxury here, not pretension. The stunning oval shaped dining room is framed by grand booths that overlook the whole restaurant space. The contemporary yet classic style is accented by teal leathers and sparkling glass ware.
The lavish yet sleek M Grill interior is decadent dining at its best
The Food & Drink
With executive chef Michael Reid at the helm, the M kitchen has become synonymous with exquisite cuisine. Serving a cultivated collection of steaks procured from across the globe, you’ll find prized cuts hailing from 6 distinct countries: Argentina, France, USA, South Africa, Italy and Australia. With prices ranging from a handy £19 to a whopping £150, it’s all in the name of steak ladies and gentleman.
Guided towards the Smoked Wagyu Tartare (£15.00) with apples, soy cured egg and Foie Gras, this was no disappointment. Delivered under a glass cloche full of Smoked Apple Wood fumes, the reveal is something of a spectacle for what was just a starter of the night. The next starter satisfied all guilty pleasures - Buttermilk Fried Chicken (£9.50) with a firecracker sauce, baby pickles and a chicken bread emulsion with toast. I'm a pickle n' fried chicken fiend okay, so sue me?
And then came the steaks. With our lovely waiter assessing our preferences in taste, flavour and texture we were recommended our perfect prime cut. One Argentina Las Pampas Rump Fillet 250G (£19.00) and one Blackmore Wagyu Grade 9++ from Victoria Australia, Karubi Plate 250G (£33), in case you were wondering, 9++ is some high grade steak. The Australian super meat of gorgeous marbled fat infamy was a truly luxurious taste. Big on flavour and big on fat melting texture - she was a beauty. The Rump was lean, flavoursome and rich in its medium rare splendour. Our selection of sides were: M Chips, Sweet Potato Mash (decorated with crispy skins for some dirty dunking) and garlic and chilli splashed Broccoli. The Black Garlic Aioli and Smoked Bone Marrow Jus sauces (£3 each) added yet another phenomenal flavour dimension to the meat.
Then came the pudding served with an aperitif in the form of the M Espresso Martini of a coffee patron base. As a fan of Australia myself, I indulged in the Tim Tams & Tea (£8): a chocolate and hazelnut sable with chocolate mousse and tea ice cream, whilst my partner was intrigued by the White Chocolate Ice Cream (£7.50), which came with meringue, lemon and cucumber. Definitely something different with the cucumber adding a fresh dimension to a typically sweet arrangement.
In the luxurious seclusion of the M Den, we discovered the rich, velvety taste of Diplomatico Reserva Rum (a Venezuelan dark golden blend aged 18 years), a favourite of our bartenders and now of mine too. He tailored a rum based Old Fashioned for us, adding a slightly sweeter depth to the usual Bourbon base. The Tangy Trumpeter (£14.50) is also must-try mix of Tanqueray Ten Gin, hibiscus liquor and lemon juice. Tangy indeed.
People are quick to mistake fine dining in London with something it isn't always. M Restaurants is the perfect balance of stylish and proud yet elegant dining where the focus is on the food. The buzz of this restaurant is electric throughout and with impeccable service, your evening here feels personal on every level. Everyone is attentive, complementary and honest about finding the best dishes or drinks to suit your palate. If the cheapest steak is recommended, it’s a match made in heaven (believe me). They sell you quality, not quantity.
A beacon for all steak, wine and cocktail aficionados, M Restaurant sweeps the board when it comes to an exceptional dining experience in London, welcoming not only those with a seasoned palate, but those exploring new perimeters of taste. Martin Williams has executed his solo move brilliantly. May there be many an M to come…