M opens up in Victoria
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Steak, Raw
Address : 3 Zig Zag Building, 70 Victoria St, Westminster & Victoria, London , SW1E 6SQ, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.mrestaurants.co.uk/victoria/
Opening Times : Monday-Friday: 7am-12am; Saturday-Sunday: 10am-12am
Closest Tube : Victoria
Private Dining Room : Details
M has been one of our favourite new venues in The City since it opened its doors in late 2014, so we were excited to see Martin Williams open his second restaurant in Victoria, in which he's really beefed up the offerings, as it were. Situated in the Zig Zag building, M is spread across three levels, with a big, bold and brash ambience evocative of pure, unadulterated luxury. Visitors enter through the M Wine Shop, an alabaster white temple to the urban oenophile. There's a mezzanine level with tasting tables where guests can try a variety of different vintages - running up to some of the most coveted bottles on the planet: Opus One, Screaming Eagle and Petrus.
Visitors must descend a flight of stairs to reach the dining areas, which like the Threadneedle restaurant are split between M Raw and M Grill. M Raw is a dark and desultory room with a seductive vibe. Guests have the option of perching along a dining counter and watching the chefs perform acts of culinary legerdemain or repairing to one of the intimate, romantic tables for a more secluded experience. There's a backlit bar towards the rear of the room, with a discreet door to its right. Enter through this portal and you'll find M Den - the private members' club. It's much larger than its sibling and can accommodate up to 50 people. There's a six chair screening room that can be cordoned off for private hire, if you feel like watching a flick.
If you were to walk in the opposite direction, you'd pass a monolithic wine wall climbing skywards to enter M Grill. The oval shaped room draws inspiration from the private booths in opera houses and is split across two levels with cozy alcoves along the periphery with curtains that can be drawn for privacy or left open for spectacle. The colour scheme is soft off white and jade green, with space age chandeliers descending from the ceilings.
Executive chef Michael Reid is in the kitchens, and he's not holding back. Having formerly plied his trade at Le Gavroche and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, and worked with Heston and Shannon Bennett in Melbourne, Mr Reid is bringing some seriously culinary chops to the table. During our visit we kicked things off with buttermilk fried chicken seared to crisp perfection and served with bread emulsion and a creamy yet piquant 'firecracker' sauce. For those that prize the theatrical, order the smoked Wagyu tartar. It arrives in a cloche, immersed in spectral smoke, under which raw Australian beef is complemented by apples, soy cured egg and foie gras.
Our mains were real belters. Michael knows his beef and sources the best. We split a T-bone of USDA Prime from Arkansas City, Kansas, cooked perfectly medium rare on the Josper grill, with the perfect amount of char and thick seams of fat. However, we were a bit more smitten with a sirloin of Galician blond, a Spanish dairy cow with a beautiful flavour and robust marbling. We complemented these with triple cooked chips with black garlic aioli, sautéed spinach with chilli and a zingy, fresh chimichurri sauce that really cut into the rich beef. Desserts were out of the question after eating so much, but the dulce de leche mousse with sweetcorn ice cream and bacon certainly stirred our curiosity, enough so that we'll be hastening back to give it a try.