The highly anticipated M restaurants opened a month ago and are the brainchild of ex Gaucho Managing Director Martin Williams. The impressive building sits just off of Threadneedle Street in the heart of London’s city offices. It boasts an upstairs bar which was designed by Lance Perkins, who is currently Bars and Beverage Director at the Edition hotel.
Downstairs the space is split into two, M-Grill on the left with an eye-wateringly delicious list of steaks on offer ranging from £25 to £150 for Kobe steak. On show in the corner is the impressive ageing rooms where you can choose your steaks and advise on the size you want cut, along with beef master classes with top butchers.
On the other side which is where we were dining for the evening is M-Raw, which is a more casual affair offering fast and small plates such as sashimi and tartar. M-Raw will also be offering some very healthy breakfasts from January 2015, very useful for the local Fitness First members down the road before a hard day in the office. They also have a secret den and four private dining rooms which would be great venues for intimate gatherings.
The whole ambience of the place is impressive, and definitely start upstairs at the bar trying the cocktails on offer. Once you’re ready then you are shown down the sweeping stairs which split the two restaurants but both benefit from the same high ceilings so you feel immersed in the atmosphere from the other guests.
The decor is classy with contemporary lamps dropping down and artwork from Miles Aldridge draped along the various walls. Large glass windows cover the entire front so you get the benefit of a spacious, yet surprisingly intimate meal once you get going on the food.
The beauty of M-Raw is to select a variety of dishes to share and our lovely Spanish waitress, Irene, suggested 3-4 per person. The sampler from the sashimi bar is a great sharing dish giving you generous portions of the trout, swordfish, albacore tuna and smoked eel (a delicious first for us both!).
Next up were the cured langoustines with pink grapefruit, cucumber and foie gras, an incredibly fresh dish with wafer thin langoustines accompanied by the sharp flavours of pink grapefruit.
Scallops with apple and bacon was next from the tartare and tiradito bar. The bacon was served as crumbs which meant it didn’t overpower the light scallops and the added crunch of the apple throughout went perfectly.
The black cod ramen was a little fiddly to try and share between two but it definitely packed some incredible flavours. The egg had apparently been cooking on a slow heat for 40mins but still the yoke ran perfectly through the soup. The black cod flaked away and the kick from a touch of chilly throughout made it a great healthy, winter warmer.
Now our winning dish from the evening might have to be the onglet steak cooked over coals, tender and with a theatrical flair as it hisses away in front of you. A great accompaniment for this was the crispy potato salad with chilli, bacon and onion.
After a little breather we couldn’t resist saying yes to the white chocolate and lavender soup with poached apples, coconut tuile. Be warned this is very rich and probably could share between four people but it is well worth ordering. You spoon in the molten white chocolate and next thing you know the lavender smell is coming through and throw your senses all into a tizzy without being too overpowering.
It was finally time to call it a night after a wonderful evening and despite some of the prices for steak, the staff make you feel relaxed whether you’re there just for one drink or a full evening of debauchery and an empty wallet by the end.