Just try to walk past the M without peeping inside, it’s something you’d probably struggle to do with their eye- catching signs and their even more arresting array of wine and champagne collection on its street level, where M Wine store is housed.
However set beneath the illuminating glow are two contrasting experiences, to the left the wickedly light and calming M Grill, home to the finest meat cuts from around the world, which you’ll see refrigerated upon entry to this minty pastel palace and to the right, M Raw where our story begins.
With Christmas weighing heavy on our conscience and our stomachs we opted for the darker side of M Victoria Street, where we would have the delight of a 100% gluten free menu, chef narration and front row seats to culinary entertainment but before that we must congratulate the shortlisted ‘Best New Opening 2016’ restaurant for their attention to detail, their swift service and their perfectly poised demeanour.. instilling a desire within us to eat raw 24/7.
As we sashayed down the stairs we were met with smiles and a savagely fierce leopard print metal curtain, separating the modestly sophisticated bar from the adjacent restaurants, with an ambience that was just spot on enough to instil that weekend feeling. We were lead to The Den, a private members area that welcomes over 150 members of whom get their very own personalised Johnnie Walker Label whisky, stored in a display cabinet for safe keepsakes. The perfect hideaway from prying eyes, to entertain and relax in front of a roaring fire. An earthy feel with it’s dark brown, nude and mahogany hues, there’s plenty of space to socialise in peace, with a section complete with expanding curtain for further escapism. With a large square bar, Head bartender Louis could have all eyes on him as he followed a choreography to create such cocktails as the American Dandy (bourbon, kummel, smoked cherry syrup and cocchi are a few things that make up this forceful cocktail,) the Basil Margarita and a Red Mojito which not only tasted refreshing but were garnished and presented to perfection.
The drinks, all served in charmingly ornate 1920’s glasses, went down effortlessly amidst the candle lit, low lighting within the den, against a backdrop of soft chilled House and soulful Dance tracks. We were more than happy to unwind in this lull of a lounge that we had to forcibly remove ourselves from so that we could experience M.
Given the choice to sit on the high seats up close to the kitchen action or on the cosy table area just behind, we chose the more involved option, which is also a wise idea if you’ve decided to grab a quick lunch. As we studied the menu’s ethically sourced and sustainable seafood, we selected a sashimi platter, one of the three tartare dishes and a tempura selection plate (which you can find detailed below.)
IKE JIME KINGFISH
Dill | Ponzu | Edamame
IKE JIME WILD CHARR
Jalapeño | Pickled Ginger
OPEN BLUE COBIA
Green Chilli Pickle Salsa Black | Sesame | Chives
All three of the above dishes
A signature tartare dish
SMOKED WAGYU TARTARE
62° Hen’s Egg | Apples | Foie Gras
PORTUGUESE KING PRAWNS
IKE JIME BABY OCTOPUS
FERMENTED & SMOKED VEGETABLES
All three of the above dishes, cooked in a unique black rice tempura flour
Bear in mind that these were just starters, so the portions were adequately sized shared between two. The sashimi came accompanied by soy sauce, wasabi and pickle, presented on a wooden board. The dishes which were served with alert precision left us just enough time to discuss and confer the previous with a glass of Pinot Noir Red, a considered and light matching for the beginning courses. Observing the chef’s concentration and movement around the kitchen, we were positively startled with the appearance of the smoked wagyu tartare, that when mixed with the apple, egg and foie gras (advised by our chef) sent our taste buds into overdrive, maybe it was the finely diced jalapeno but this was definitely one of our favourite dishes. The blackened tempura was alarming at first but there was no funny business as we dipped the octopus, prawns and vegetables into satay like sauce. Just be careful to check your teeth after.
BOTSWANA | SOUTHERN AFRICA
Spiral Cut Striploin 300g
Argentine Sirloin Steak | Courgette | Spaghetti | Avocado | Sweet Potato | Spiced Tomato Salsa | Buckwheat Taco
You really could taste and feel the purity of the fine raw ingredients used at M, as we tucked into Botswana beef with the most distinguished spicing served on a bed of courgetti spaghetti. The protein bowl included the creamiest sweet potato and avocado that we mixed into a polished looking egg, a zingy pesto like salsa we opted to combine with the tacos and a helping of sirloin steak twisted into the mouthfuls of courgetti. We washed this course down with a fuller bodied red Argentinian Malbec wine.
Throughout the dishes, staff were so informative, it was almost like a masterclass and show in one. We came into contact with various staff at M and every single one of them provided us with an impeccable and first class service. Our eating surface was always miraculously clean, new cutlery provided and an introduction handed over before we feasted or sipped. As a restaurant featured in the UK’s healthiest places to eat at, we ate guilty free, without sin; even their desserts made us feel better about indulging.
Chocolate Mousse | Orange Curd | Cornflake Crumb Chocolate Soil
Lemongrass | Lime Leaf Gel | Biscuit Crumble | Lemon Sorbet | White Chocolate
Chocolate Cup (dessert cocktail)
Mozart Chocolate Cream Liqueur | Grand Marnier | Bulleit Bourbon Cream | Flamed Orange Peel
The chocolate orange was extremely light as chocolate desserts go, a crunch explosion with a rich taste but the lemongrass, with it’s sharp and fruity zing and contrasting textures seemed like the ideal palate cleanser to finish off a ‘not guilty’ menu. With one more cocktail for the road, the chocolate cup was a suggestion that we couldn’t refuse, an adult tasting chocolate shake of sorts.
The M Bar is a perfect section to unwind after dinner, work, to begin your night or to stay until closing time with a more upbeat but still very relaxing soundtrack. The orange shadings make a soothing experience and just like inside the den is held together by accomplished bar staff.
M Restaurant, with its opulent, playful and contrasting dining rooms is unsurprisingly available for private dining, from 10 to 400 guests.
To experience the 100% raw menu visit www.mrestaurants.co.uk/victoria/ to make a reservation, or call 020 3327 7776