With restaurants in the City and near Victoria, M Restaurants has launched a brand-new menu, spearheaded by Culinary Director Mike Reid.
Opened in 2014, M Restaurants’ Threadneedle Street branch was the first of the two restaurant openings, followed by a multifaceted venue on Victoria Street. Founded by Martin Williams and Chef Michael Reid, M Restaurants joined with Gaucho restaurants in 2019, now both led by CEO Martin Williams. Split into a main restaurant, upstairs bar area, members’ lounge and private dining rooms, the Threadneedle Street restaurant space is glamorous yet fairly comfortable, accentuated further by service that’s both polished and warm.
Trained by chefs such as Gordon Ramsey and Michel Roux, chef Mike Reid has spent the past six months reimagining the menu at M, giving it a fresh look while continuing to focus on the cooking concepts of ‘Ice’, ‘Smoke’, ‘Coal’, and ‘Wood’. Beef also features prominently, with an excellent selection of steaks available alongside a range of non-beef large plates.
With a prominent international spin, the new menu takes inspiration from some of the world’s finest foods and ingredients, celebrating exciting flavours plus a blend of traditional cooking methods and innovative technology to elevate each dish with a focus on theatrical dining that “evokes all of the senses”.
From the small plates menu, the ‘Ice’ section contains four dishes though a selection of three are available as an ‘ice sampler’, offering slightly smaller portions for a lower price. A recent lunch began with a bowl of yellowfin tuna sashimi, each domino of raw fish crowned with a dollop of salsa-esque spring onion and chilli perfectly balancing the fish: present but not overwhelming the delicate tuna, also accompanied by a sharp verjuice and yuzu dressing and a wafer of crisp fish skin to add crunch. A very well balanced dish, in terms of both flavour and texture.
Slivers of slightly aged king fish, on the other hand, were slightly overpowered by the sharpness of scorched pink grapefruit segments, yet absolutely delicious without the grapefruit. Best of all, plump red prawns were quickly cooked in beef fat, which brought extra depth of richness but didn’t overwhelm the prawns, also joined by a lightly spiced black curry sauce and a bright elderflower dressing.
From the M menu’s ‘smoke’ heading, a seemingly simple dish of whipped cod’s roe was absolutely superlative: with smooth texture and bold flavour, crowned with a spoonful of Ikura caviar and a drizzle of lovage oil, complete with a sourdough flatbread for dipping. Elsewhere, the Katsobushi confit duck leg from the ‘coal’ section had the most promise, arriving with an armour of saffron beer batter. Beneath the batter, however, the duck leg was cloaked with flaccid, undercooked fat which deeply contrasted the gorgeous batter. A shame considering the flavours were otherwise absolutely spot-on, with the duck joined by pickled cucumber, sweet hoisin, and fermented daikon to be stuffed into fluffy gua bao.
In regard to mains, M restaurants’ beef selection has a focus on sourcing and ageing on site using Himalayan salt chambers. The kitchens are also specifically designed to handle and cook cuts from different breeds of cattle and countries of origin. Highlights include the likes of beef from Ashdale Farm in Somerset, Las Pampas reared on a 289,000 square-mile prairie in Argentina, and various Wagyu breeds.
Blackmore Wagyu in Australia, for instance, produces 100 percent fullblood Wagyu beef. Blackmore’s supply chain takes four years to complete and the breeding program selects the best genetics to suit Australian conditions, combining Japan’s three most famous Wagyu bloodlines: Itozakura, Kikumidoi, and Okudoi. Exclusive to Blackmore Wagyu, the Okudoi is from the Tajima cow family, a descendant of the only 100 percent Tajima cow ever to be exported from Japan. Blackmore Wagyu’s unique farming methods contribute to the improvement in both the meat and the quality of the animals’ lives, which is reflected in the final product.
Although at the pricier end of the scale, the restaurant’s wet-aged Blackmore Wagyu sirloin was absolutely sensational. With strong depth of flavour from both the ageing process and the steak’s rich marbling, the beef was also cooked remarkably well with due care and attention, as should be standard with meat of this provenance. It’s thus unsurprising that M Restaurants has developed such a strong reputation for its exceptional beef.
M Restaurants Threadneedle Street can be found at 2-3, 60 Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8HP.