Address: 2-3 Threadneedle St, London EC2R 8AY
Bookings: Booked through Bookatable – 4 courses and free-flowing Prosecco for £36.50
Friday night saw us dining in the City for a special occasion. It was none other than my partner in culinary crime (PICC)’s mother’s birthday, and thus an event worth celebrating in considerable style.
We went to M, a restaurant opened by Martin Williams, the former managing director of Gaucho, and a man who knows his way around a slab of steak. Several were ordered to the table, and although I did not partake of them myself, I have it on the authority of my PICC’s Dad (himself a chef of much skill and experience) that the meat was subtle and tender, its only flaw being that there was not more of it. This opinion was endorsed by the birthday girl herself, as well my PICC, both seasoned carnivores.
With a holiday in the Mauritius looming, I am attempting to shed half a stone, and so I reluctantly shunned any red-meat, restricting myself to a beetroot risotto, which had a good consistency, the rice properly softened whilst retaining the slightest of crunches.
Having said that, I have always believed that a meal entirely without meat is a meal wasted, and so I did also order up a plate of buttermilk fried chicken as an entrée, probably cancelling out any modest health benefits conferred by the risotto. It is nearly impossible to make fried chicken anything other than delicious (KFC has been trying unsuccessfully for almost 100 years), and I tore through it like a wildfire.
The side orders were less appealing. Several of us made the mistake of ordering buttered mushrooms. If it had been a blind-tasting, I would have guessed that I was eating a particularly bland piece of cardboard. In a desperate attempt to wring some flavour from these lifeless fungi, I salted them so heavily that they probably had the sodium content of the Dead Sea, but it was all in the vain.
The restaurant itself is enormous, and populated mainly by City types, by which I mean men in suits and women who only emerge in the City after darkness settles, and totter around in precipitously high-heels whilst drinking copious volumes of prosecco.
The bathrooms contained Japanese toilets with heated seats and complicated waterworks, the slightest movement in their vicinity prompting spouts of water to shoot in all directions. Walking into the bathroom I was accosted by a band of drunken Australians who were mesmerised by these contraptions, and begged me to try them out.
All in all, M is a good restaurant for anyone in the City looking for a red-blooded dinner in a lively, energised environment. Or a homesick Japanese tourist. Half the experience of dining is the company you’re keeping, and mine couldn’t have been better.