The boutique collection of M restaurants is the posh older sister within the Gaucho restaurant group. Expanding its fine-dining offering beyond simply steak, the M Restaurants (located on Threadneedle Street in the city and central London’s Victoria) serve highly executed raw, ice, smoked, coal and wood dishes.
The interior of M Victoria is both sophisticated and sexy. Draped with a delicate chain curtain against polished dark wooden surfaces, the cocktail bar at one end of the space hides behind it a member’s lounge, whilst on the other side of the restaurant and open kitchen, a grand private dining room. Dining experiences at M are as theatrical as the unabashed interior. For example, the favourite steak tartare dish (which marked itself in my mind years ago whilst dining at the Threadneedle outpost) includes being artfully revealed from within a large, smoke-filled glass dome.
This autumn, executive chef Michael Reid set himself the challenge to create a series of theatrical new dishes to spark the senses using the finest, creatively combined ingredients. Internationally inspired, his menu features a Japanese tare dipping sauce that sits alongside middle eastern spiced sumac and Scottish venison. This offers a globetrotting gourmet experience that underpins M’s ethos whilst melding exciting flavours with forward-thinking cooking techniques and technology.
Freshly baked, warm breads commence this new menu, or ‘miso and Furikake – (dried Japanese seasoning) sourdough bread served with whipped beef butter’ to be precise – hinting of the high-quality meat they serve. The dishes that make up the new menu jump between hot and cold dishes that have been designed to keep you on your toes, presented in a variety of manners and textures.
From ‘Ice’ this includes the distinctive combination of red prawn with aged beef fat, dehydrated head, curry sauce and elderflower dressing, or a chicken liver parfait with calamansi gel (a modern mango custard) with miso and more of their in-house furikake sourdough.
For ‘Smoke’ dishes choose between the 14-day aged duck crown, cooked generously in duck fat and served with a somewhat strange but intriguing ‘pine needle jus’; or the oxtail ravioli, with celeriac, spinach and an oxtail jus. From the ‘Coal’ selection is the glamorous venison chateaubriand with fermented blueberries and a venison jus, or tandoori monkfish served with a pickled pumpkin relish and pumpkin velouté.
A little more flexibility is allowed when selecting a dish from M’s ‘Wood’ dishes. Choose from flavoursome rib eye beef, pork belly, or monkfish, brushed with tare and served with a rich yuzu koshu hollandaise. These come served with baby carrots, with a chickpea, sunflower seed and sumac crisp. The ‘pièce de resistance’ to wrap up Reid’s menu is his new seasonally comforting brown butter cake served with roast artichoke ice cream and wood cooked banana sauce.
Actor turned restauranteur Martin Williams is the founder of M Restaurants. A career that has woven him among some of the world’s most eclectic bars, restaurants, and hotels led him to visualise his M dining experience. Described as a ‘gastro playground’, the ingredients Williams, Reid and his team select are ethically sourced and executed in a way that elevates each ingredient in the best possible way by fusing technology with technique in the kitchen.
Meanwhile, to pair is M’s award-winning portfolio of wines. On display both downstairs in the restaurant and upstairs in M Victoria’s wine store, many are exclusive to the boutique group from their specialist suppliers. This high quality synergy ensures the finest experience from your wine to wagyu steak.
Address: Zig Zag Building, 74 Victoria St, London SW1E 6SQ
Phone: 020 3327 7776