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Gay Times Review: M Victoria Street, in Victoria, London

M Restaurants: Gay Times

Another great review for M Victoria Street, this time from Gay Times magazine. Read the full article below.

Choice. That’s always been the problem with eating out in London, hasn’t it? And probably the cause of a lot of arguments.

There’s just way too damn much of it. Before you can even decide which restaurant you want to go to, first you need to figure out what type of food you actually want. Thai? Mexican? Deconstructed molecular beans on toast? This great, multicultural capital of ours has it all – and at an exceptionally high standard, too. We guess that’s why journalists get sent to review restaurants.

But we digress. Tucked in the heart of London’s chain restaurant-heavy Victoria is the geographically-aptly-named M Victoria Street; a hyper-designed, bang on trend venue that, if we were a little younger, we’d go as far to call “lit” or “on fleek”. More importantly though, M Victoria Street is home to a grill dining room, sushi bar, private members bar, ACTUAL bar, private dining room, wine tasting room… Oh, and you enter through a wine store. Basically, it’s your one-stop fine dining shop to Michelin-worthy food with flair and award-winning wines so fine you’d think the grapes had been handpicked from the vine just for you.

Back to our opening monologue, though. The thing about choice is that, well, whatever you’re hankering for, M has got you covered. Sure, at it’s very core, it’s a grill restaurant, so most of its dishes are devoted to meat. But at M, you’re gonna be getting the best damn meat you’ve ever tasted, which is no mean feat. Imagine the kind of cuts you’d order for your last meal – and then multiply the flavour ten fold. And then, it’s what they actually DO with the meat that matters.

The world class cuts on offer come from six selected countries – Argentinian rump, French striploin, South African spiral cut sirloin, American prime, Italian rib-eye and Australian sirloin. The rest of the menu – from the starters and the other mains to the non-meat options and desserts – mirrors the origins of these steaks. So while you can order prime t-bone steak from the Creekstone Farms in Kansas, or sizzling striploin Normandy, if you delve deeper into the menu, you’ll find an Italian pappardelle with wild mushrooms, onions and garlic, or – for the more adventurous – a rich, tender kangaroo tartar starter, with thin shavings or mushrooms, which is far and away one of the best things we’ve tasted all year. Special mention needs to be made to the braised lamb, too, which is cooked to such precise perfection, it’s practically melting off the bone before it’s even hit your table.

It’s what you’d expect from the brainchild of former Gaucho boss Martin Williams, who opened the very first M in Threadneedle Street back in 2014. And when you’ve got Executive Chef Michael Reid in the kitchen – who trained at both Le Gavroche and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, working closely with Shannon Bennett and Heston Blumenthal – the highest possible standard of excellence is exactly what you receive.

And if meat isn’t your thing, of course, the Raw bar offers a mouthwatering selection of Japanese and Peruvian small plates from an open-kitchen – from the freshest yellow fin tuna to cured trout – that are just as tantalising to the tastebuds as the grill restaurants. Remember what we said about choice? And if you’re after a dessert, the white chocolate ice cream can probably be put forward as a pretty strong teleological argument for the existence of a higher power, as surely such an incredible dessert can only be the result of divine intervention.

We have to mention the booze, too. We’re not going to go on about what notes we could pick up in the wine, and what we reckon the soil was like where the grapes were picked, or any of that stuff, because we’re not experts. And with the sommeliers on hand at M, you don’t need to be either. But perhaps more important than the wine are the cocktails – especially the M Martini, which is a twist on the classic with a hint of violet. You can get wine and cocktails at the main bar, of course, or the private members M Den, kitted out like an old school speakeasy with low lighting, luxurious seating and a relaxing ambiance that makes it effortless to unwind over a drink or two. But more importantly, the M Den has just launched a collaboration with premium spirit brand Diageo to create a new, multi-sensory ‘food cocktail’ collection, which sees luxury spirits like Ron Zacapa XO and Mortlach Rare Old Whisky paired up with some of the world’s finest cured meats. They had us at Johnnie Walker Blue Cheese Ice Cream.

At first glance, it might seem that M has been tailored made for that corporate market. After all, it’s slap bang in the middle of one of London’s busiest office districts and commuter hubs. And perhaps its extensive meat cuts and wine lists can seem perhaps somewhat intimidating at first, almost as if they’re there to impress above all else. But even if you buy your meat cuts from Tesco Express and the only thought you’ve ever given wine is whether or not to go ‘white’ or ‘red’, the staff are so friendly and accessible, and always on hand to guide you through any potential pitfalls or unknowns in the menus – whether food or drink. It’s why it shouldn’t just be dismissed as a destination for your best client, but also your best friend, your partner or your loved ones in whatever form they come. M, then – from our experiences, at least – could stand for anything. Magnificent. Marvellous. Masterful. And above all, it stands for how it leaves you wanting More.

M Victoria Street is located at the Zig Zag Building in Victoria Street, London. For more information, opening times, to book a table, or to find details on membership to the M Den, visit mrestaurants.co.uk/victoria

Source: Gay Times Magazine