Evening Standard: Ex-Gaucho boss puts Kobe beef back on menu… at £149 a steak

The former managing director of Gaucho is opening a restaurant which promises to sell the most expensive beef in London.

Martin Williams left the steakhouse chain in March and will open the first of three M restaurants next month — in direct competition with his old employer.

The menu at the City branch includes a 150g cut of Kobe beef from a prized Japanese breed, which costs £149. Japanese beef has returned to London only recently, after a 13-year ban prompted by the BSE scare was lifted.

Mr Williams told the Standard: “Kobe is phenomenally expensive and phenomenally rare. Most people have Japanese wagyu, not Kobe.” He believes M will be the only restaurant in London selling “proper” Kobe, but insisted the venue was not purely for the super-rich.

“I’ve got two steaks which are under £20, and we’ve got the two most expensive — but best — steaks you’ll have in London,” he said. “It’s a nice spread, so it’s accessible.”

The 15,000 sq ft site on Threadneedle Street will house two 100-cover restaurants, a wine bar, a “secret den for City boys” and sleeping pods.

The site’s second restaurant, Raw, is more casual and allows diners to cook their own food at the table.

Mr Williams, 38, hopes M will tap into the City’s growing reputation as a restaurant destination. He said: “Up to the last year and a half ago you wouldn’t go to the City for weekend dining.

“Now, I walk through three or four restaurants on a Saturday lunch, afternoon teas, Saturday brunches – they’re rammed.

“So long as you are high quality and you become one of London’s destinations, people will travel, and understand that the City isn’t just a financial dining spot for corporates and big lunches.”

He plans to open a second M in the West End this time next year, with a third planned for 2016.

Source: Evening Standard