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31st December 2023

31st December 2023

Dinner 5pm – 10.30pm | Drinks in the DEN 10pm – 3am 

Bring the curtain down on 2023 at M and usher in 2024 in epic style. Set to the backdrop of one of London’s most glamorous restaurants which will be set and ready for the ultimate NYE party, the evening will offer five decadent courses – including an early-hours breakfast – alongside DJs on the decks from 8pm until 2am and a 360° photo booth to capture all the party moments.

The exclusive menu is designed by M Executive Chef Mike Reid and features the likes of Tuna Sashimi and Beetroot Potato Rosti alongside mains of carbon-neutral beef including the legendary Grade 9++ Blackmore Wagyu and Wild-Farmed Black Truffle Tortellini. Finish up with a Japanese Plum Cheesecake or a ‘Snickers’ – a combination of peanut snow, chocolate rocks and dulce ice cream.

Keep the party going until the early hours, with late night Bacon & Egg or Breaded Halloumi muffins to keep energy levels high.


A Guide To Festive Dining

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some delicious festive food – and where better to enjoy a magical meal with loved ones than in London? This winter, one of the most Christmassy restaurants London has to offer is back: Meet M Restaurants’ new and innovative Christmas menus! 

To escape those dark and cold winter’s nights, we invite you to discover the festive offerings and festive dining experiences available at M this Christmas. 

M’s Festivities 

M Restaurants certainly don’t do anything by halves at Christmas, with no fewer than three carefully curated festive menus and a signature Christmas cocktail to sample.

The Festive Classic menu is a feast for both the eyes and the stomach, boasting a selection of M’s most popular dishes, all lovingly made from local farmers’ finest produce. Try the trout sashimi and beetroot and potato rosti for starters, while the succulent Shio Koji-marinated chicken and miso mushroom await your main. Round the meal off with a classic chocolate brownie or a selection of refreshing sorbets. 

The Festive Signature menu highlights M’s much-loved range of signature starters, mains and desserts. Wagyu fried chicken and burrata are on the menu for starters, with a moreish miso and furikake sourdough bread as a side, served with whipped beef butter. Of course, no one does steak better than M and there is a tasty choice of steaks available for your main dish, as well as wild-farmed black truffle tortellini for the pasta lovers. However, it’s the Chimichurri butter roasted turkey, served with delicious Pincho Criollo stuffing and a Malbec and cranberry jus, that’s the real star here – festive dining in London at its finest.

Finally, the M Festive Icons menu is a sumptuous gift just waiting to be unwrapped. Although the Kingfish sashimi and smoked Wagyu starters are sure to catch your eye, the mains really are the main event – a choice between English lamb, monkfish, Wagyu or Ribeye steak, all served with golden roast potatoes, festive vegetables, beef dripping jus and firecracker chimichurri. If you have room, the trio of tempting desserts are the perfect way to end the meal. 

As well as the food, there’s nothing like a few festive drinks near Bank to get everyone in the mood for Christmas. This season, M are proud to be serving their Toffee Nut Old Fashioned, a decadent and warming cocktail guaranteed to chase away any winter chills in seconds. Made with Bulleit Bourbon, Toffee Nut and Chocolate, pair with a comfortable chair and good company for an unforgettable evening. M are also serving their usual drinks menu, which features a range of delectable cocktails, wines, beers, ciders, spirits and more. 

The warm and welcoming atmosphere at M is the cherry on the Christmas cake. Whether you’re looking to book an intimate dining experience, drinks with friends, or a festive event, M’s stunning decor and luxury entertainment system make any event special. Our dedicated events coordinator can create a bespoke package for a magical festive dining experience you’ll never forget.

Psst – if you’ve already started your Christmas shopping, the M digital gift card makes a wonderful Christmas present for foodies! 

Why M Restaurants Are The Best Place To Spend Time With Loved Ones This Year 

With romantic dinners before the ballet, late lunches with the office, reunions at the pub with old friends and surely at least one festive brunch, London is certainly a magical place to be at this time of year. Whether you’re dining with friends, colleagues, family or partners, M’s group booking offering makes spending quality time with your loved ones easy. 


M has an extensive selection of luxurious private dining rooms, designed to comfortably cater for anywhere between ten to 500 guests. Whether you’re booking a room for a special family meal, or you need space to accommodate a large work event, you can be sure to find a warm welcome at M.

Browse our festive menus to find classic comforts that are perfect for those cold and frosty nights, or dare to add some spice to your dining experience with our more innovative creations. We also have sustainably sourced group dining menus with the option for carbon-neutral dining, so all you have to do is relax, sit back with a glass in hand and soak in the festive atmosphere. M will take care of the rest!

Book Your Festivities Today

We know how busy this time of year can be. In between ice skating, trips to the ballet and the pantomime, exploring festive grottos and – let’s be honest – some panicked last-minute Christmas shopping, you’ll probably be in need of a drink and a bite to eat. Of all the festive restaurants London is home to, we promise you’ll always find good cheer and exceedingly good food at M.

So celebrate the magic of Christmas with M Restaurants this season and book your festive celebration with us today.

Available Now

Available Now


‘Tis the enchanting season to revel in joy, where delight takes centre stage. Indulge in a timeless favourite adorned with a festive flair – our Toffee Nut Old Fashioned awaits, a splendid companion to accompany you through the chilly embrace of winter nights.

Made with Bulleit Bourbon, Toffee Nut and Chocolate.

Every Saturday | 1pm - 4pm

Every Saturday | 1pm – 4pm

£70 per person

Let us transport you to the heart of Japan for our new Tokyo Brunch!

Join us every Saturday in M for three courses with a Japanese twist from our new Tokyo Brunch Menu, 90 minutes of unlimited cocktails, beats from our live DJ and sing your heart out in our new Karaoke Room!

Feast on a variety of authentic Japanese-inspired dishes including sharing starters like dim sum, wagyu beef bao buns, pork belly yakitori and more. Enjoy three courses all washed down with an array of creative cocktails, from classics to Oriental serves such as our Plum Highball or Yuzu Meringue. You can also upgrade to free-flowing Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne for an additional £70 per person.

For those looking to take it up a notch, you can bolt-on our Karaoke or Nintendo packages which include either one hour of karaoke with free-flowing drinks or one hour of Nintendo Switch gaming with free-flowing drinks.

Don’t forget to look out for Super Mario, who will be selecting one lucky guest from each table to spin the Tokyo Brunch wheel, to be in with a chance to win some coveted prizes!





One hour hire of the private karaoke room with 60 minutes of free-flowing cocktails for £45 per person.


One hour hire of the private karaoke room with 60 minutes of free-flowing Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne for £100 per person.



One hour of Nintendo Switch gaming with 60 minutes of free-flowing cocktails for £45 per person.


One hour of Nintendo Switch gaming with 60 minutes of free-flowing Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne for £100 per person.


STARTERS (To share for the table)

Chicken Karaage

Salt & Togorashi Squid

Crispy Tofu, Fermented Chilli Glaze, Lime Mayonnaise

Dim Sum Selection | Ponzu dressing

Choose from Wagyu & Pork | Pork and Kimchi | Mushroom & Leeks

BAO Buns | Hoisin Sauce, Pickles, Crispy Shallots

Choose from Wagyu Beef or Tofu

Yakitori | Yuzu Koshu Mayonnaise

Choose from Pork Belly or Celeriac

MAINS (One per person)

Okonomiyaki | Kewpie, Chilli, Fried Shallots, Spring Onion

Kimchi Fried Rice | Sushi Rice, Fried Egg, Furikake

Ramen | Slow-Cooked Broth, Noodles, Egg, Shiitake Mushrooms, Kombu

Choose from Chicken or Mushroom

DESSERT (One per person)

Matcha Tiramisu | Coffee, Matcha Cake, Japanese Whiskey, Cream

White Chocolate Parfait | Rhubarb, Miso Fudge, Grapefruit Gel

1st - 30th November

1st – 30th November

£11 per cocktail

In aid of Movember, we’ll be offering our limited-edition M for Movember cocktail all month. Grow a moustache or sport a foamy one to raise funds and awareness for Movember as all proceeds will be donated to the Movember charity. This delicious limited time only cocktail is made from Bulleit Bourbon, Disaronno, lemon, gomme and IPA Espuma.


Terms & Conditions

Limited edition M for Movember cocktail available throughout November.

Subject to availability

All prices exclude service charge

Aged 18+ only

The History of Wagyu Beef

If you’re new to eating steak, you may have heard Wagyu beef mentioned before, or if you’re a seasoned steak aficionado, you may have been lucky enough to try it. So, what is Wagyu beef exactly? 

Wagyu beef is a luxurious beef hailing from Japan, renowned for its superior quality and flavour. This article delves into the world of Wagyu, highlighting this meat’s unique characteristics and the innovative techniques used in its production. 

Origins and History

The history of Wagyu beef is as rich as its flavours, with origins that can be traced back to Japan. There are even reasons to suggest that Wagyu beef goes back as far as 35,000 years. But what does Wagyu mean? The meaning of the word ‘Wagyu’ is actually surprisingly simple! ‘Wa’ in Japanese means ‘Japanese’ and ‘gyu’ means ‘Cow’. So essentially, Wagyu means ‘Japanese cow’.

Originally, this native Japanese breed of cow was used for agricultural work, but was then bred with imported breeds from Great Britain, Europe and Korea to create the Wagyu cows we know today. In fact, Japan classifies four different cattle breeds as Wagyu: the Japanese Black, the Japanese Brown, the Japanese Shorthorn, and the Japanese Polled breeds.

In 1975, the Wagyu made its way to America, when four Wagyu bills were imported and used in a selective breeding programme for American Wagyu. They were bred with females from the Angus, the Holstein and the Hereford breeds.

Today, Wagyu beef is a global culinary sensation. The taste and tenderness of this beef is of an unparalleled quality, which is why you can now find Wagyu beef in the repertoires of gourmet chefs all over the world. 

Wagyu Varieties

There are lots of varieties of Wagyu beef, with the most famous being Kobe, Matsusaka, and Ohmi. 

  • Kobe

Kobe beef comes from Hyogo and is perhaps the most well-known type of Wagyu. Kobe Wagyuu comes from a subspecies of Japanese cow called ‘Tajimas’ that are found in the Fukano Valley.

  • Matsusaka

Famous for its high quality, Matsusaka Wagyu is in the top three most famous types of Wagyu and also comes from Tajima cows. Tajima cows are truly pampered cattle and even receive regular massages! 

  • Ohmi

Also in the top three Wagyu varieties, Ohmi beef comes from the Shiga prefecture situated to the east of Kyoto, from an older strain of Japanese Black cattle. Ohmi beef is characterised by the fine texture of its marbling and smooth, sweet flavour.

  • Hida

Hida beef comes from the Gifu prefecture and is also made using the beef from Tajima cows. Hida beef has thinner muscle fibres and a fine marbling that leads to incredibly tender and juicy steaks from all parts of the cow.

  • Miyazaki

Miyazaki Wagyu can be found in the Miyazaki prefecture, which is the second-largest producer of Japanese Black Wagyu in Japan. 

Some other types of Wagyu include Blackmore, Akaushi, Yonezawa, Kazuusa, Hitachi, and Iwate. M restaurant uses only the finest Kobe and cuts of Blackmore Wagyu. 

Marbling and Flavour

We’ve all heard about Wagyu’s unique marbling and flavour, but why is Wagyu so good

In Wagyu beef, thin lines of fat are distributed evenly throughout the cow’s flesh, which creates the meat’s unique marbling effect. This fat creates a delicious, umami richness. Marbling is considered a hallmark of quality in Wagyu beef. 

Wagyu cows are big and strong, meaning their fat cells are more evenly distributed across their muscles. This leads to a pinker and more delicate meat, which in turn creates a juicy flavour when cooked. Wagyu beef fat actually has a lot of heart-healthy fatty acid, oleic acid. This oleic acid has a very low melting point, which explains why this meat is so soft and quite literally melts in the mouth!

Breeding and Raising

So, how is Wagyu beef raised? There are meticulous breeding and raising practices that go into Wagyu beef. 

Wagyu cows are raised by specialty Wagyu breeders until they are between seven and ten months old. When they are sold, they must be given a birth certificate to prove their pure Wagyu bloodline. They are usually harvested for their meat at around two to three years of age. 

Wagyu cattle live a stress-free life, with plenty of room to roam their field and graze as they please. They are fed a specialised diet using natural ingredients like hay, corn, and wheat with no unnatural ingredients, or steroids, hormones or drugs to affect their growth or weight. The process is completely natural.

Although rearing Wagyu cows is more time-consuming and expensive, it is more ethical and sustainable and produces high-quality, tender and delicious meat. 

Global Production

Although Japan is still the primary producer of Wagyu beef, countries like Australia, the US and the UK have adapted Japanese farming practices to cultivate and raise their own cattle. In fact, according to Wagyu International, Wagyu cows are now bred on every continent in the world. This growth of the Wagyu industry has led to a demand for availability, meaning that consumers are willing to pay a higher price for Wagyu beef. 

M’s goal is to support British suppliers. Where possible, the food and drink in M restaurant is sourced from local produce. We serve Blackmore Wagyu Grade 9++, and regeneratively farmed ‘Ethical Butcher’ cuts dry-aged in the kitchens’ Himalayan salt chamber for up to 35 days. We are also proud to champion the Sustainable Steak Movement, which launched in 2021 and aims to accelerate a carbon-conscious beef offering in restaurants across the UK.

Cooking Tips and Recommendations 

If you’d like to try cooking a Wagyu steak at home, to best enjoy its unique qualities we would recommend following these tips for the perfect steak:

  • Remove your Wagyu steak from the fridge an hour before cooking and bring it up to room temperature
  • Season both sides of the steak with a touch of salt and pepper
  • Preheat your cast-iron skillet on a high heat, then grease it lightly with oil, butter, or a small piece of the fat from the outside of your steak
  • Sear your steak on a high heat for two to three minutes on each side – no matter how you like your steak, Wagyu beef is best enjoyed medium-rare. 
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the meat’s temperature. For a medium-rare steak this should be 57-60°C
  • Just before your steak comes to the desired temperature, remove it and rest it under foil after cooking for five to ten minutes to help redistribute the juices throughout the meat

Make a memorable dining experience by pairing your Wagyu steak with some tasty side dishes. Wagyu goes well with earthy flavours like sautéed mushrooms and roasted vegetables, or try something simple like a hearty baked potato or sweet potato fries.

Culinary Uses and Recipes 

Wagyu beef is a culinary masterpiece, versatile enough to use in a wide variety of dishes. Have you tried any of the below?

  • Sukiyaki: A Japanese hot-pot dish, where the Wagyu is slowly cooked with vegetables and a soy sauce broth in an iron pot 
  • Shabu-Shabu: Another Japanese dish of thinly sliced Wagyu and vegetables, boiled in water and served with a selection of sauces
  • Wagyu Steak Sandwich: In this delectable American favourite, Wagyu beef is layered on ciabatta bread with mushrooms, onion and horseradish 
  • Bo Kho Braised Wagyu Brisket: This Vietnamese dish combines Wagyu brisket with herbs and spices for a warming and flavourful experience 
  • Wagyu Tacos: Head to Mexico with some melt-in-the-mouth tacos, stuffed with thinly-sliced Wagyu beef, onion, fresh lime juice and rocket

At M restaurant, we have fun and innovative takes on Wagyu beef across our menu. For a breakfast treat, add a Wagyu sausage patty to our delicious Bacon and Egg M’Muffin, while at lunch or dinner, try our sumptuous Wagyu Gyoza Dumplings, served with a ponzu dressing, or our Tokyo-inspired Wagyu Bao Buns. For light bites, snack on a Wagyu Scotch Egg, or share our mouth watering 15-hour Wagyu Parmesan Chips. 

Try all these dishes and more with our exclusive Wagyu Experience Menu. Dedicated to showcasing the world’s most exclusive Kobe and Wagyu beef, this is a dining experience you’ll never forget.

The Gourmet Experience 

Dining on Wagyu beef is a real gourmet experience, whether at a high-end restaurant, or in the comfort of your own home.

At M restaurant, you can enjoy an exquisite Wagyu steak in truly luxurious surroundings, accompanied by a glass of fine wine and good company. Our beautiful Threadneedle Street location is perfect for work meetings, events, parties and celebrations. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the history of Wagyu beef. Book your next dining experience with M restaurant for a culinary experience like no other.

The Importance of Dog-Friendly Restaurants: How to Enjoy Meals with Your Furry Friends

We love spending time with our canine friends, whether it’s cuddling on the sofa or playing fetch in the park. So, when it comes to eating out, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to share a meal with them too!

The rise of dog friendly restaurants means that we can now enjoy more quality time than ever with our dogs. In this article, we look at the benefits of dining out with your dog and how to find the top canine compatible spots.

The Growing Trend of Dog-Friendly Restaurants

Dog friendly places to eat have become increasingly popular over the years, largely due to the shift in societal attitudes towards dogs, cementing them firmly as family members and friends rather than just pets.

Growing demands for dog-friendly restaurants has meant that many establishments have now adjusted their offering to cater for our four-legged friends, including seating arrangements, water bowls, and in some cases, a separate dog-friendly menu!

At the front of the pack, M Restaurant’s award-winning Threadneedle Street location is one of the best dog friendly restaurants in London, as well as some locations of M’s sister brand, Gaucho. At these restaurants you can enjoy delicious food, wine and cocktails all in the company of your furry friend. Next time you head out for a Sunday afternoon walk, why not stop for a hearty roast dinner with all the trimmings at M? 

Benefits of Dining Out With Your Dog

There are so many benefits to dining out with your dog. Not only does it strengthen your unique bond by sharing quality time together, but taking your dog out for a dog friendly lunch can also have positive effects on their social skills!

Dogs are social animals by nature and have always formed strong relationships with humans, but if they are not properly socialised from a young age they can experience anxiety and distress in social situations. Taking your dog out to eat will ensure they are exposed to lots of different sights, sounds and smells and are less likely to react negatively to similar environments in the future. They may also meet some fellow dogs to interact and socialise with! If your dog experiences separation anxiety, why not bring them along when you next go for a meal? You’ll also have the additional benefit of not having to rush home to them afterwards. 

Finally, dogs have also been shown to increase social interaction between humans. Dogs are a great conversation starter and many people can’t resist stopping to pet a dog and chat to their owner. Dining out with your furry friend could be a great way for you to meet fellow dog owners and like-minded people. 

Finding Dog-Friendly Restaurants

So, if you’re now wondering: ‘What are the best dog friendly restaurants near me’, luckily there are lots of ways to find out!

Websites like Dog Friendly provide a directory of restaurants, pubs and cafés that welcome dogs, which you can filter by location and rating. 

Newspapers and magazines often write round-up articles of the best dog-friendly restaurants in a particular area, particularly for large cities like London. 

There are also several useful apps like BringFido and Dugs n’ Pubs that are a great help for owners looking for information on dog-friendly establishments both worldwide and in the UK, from restaurants and pubs to hotels and attractions. 

Dining Etiquette for Dog Owners

If you’re planning to take your dog out for lunch, it’s important to be aware of the correct dining etiquette for dog owners.

Although lots of people love dogs, others prefer to keep their distance, especially while eating. This could be due to not being familiar with dogs, having allergies or even being scared of dogs. For this reason, before you take your dog to a restaurant you should be confident that they are well-behaved enough to sit quietly at your table for the duration of the meal. They should also be kept on a short lead securely attached to something to prevent them from running through the restaurant and getting in the way. If someone sitting near you explains that they are allergic to dogs, respect their request and ask a staff member whether it would be possible for you to sit somewhere else. 

Our top tip is to walk your dog before the meal – this should tire them out so they relax while you eat. You could also give your dog a toy or two to keep them occupied, although any noisy or squeaky toys are best left at home! 

Preparing Your Dog for Dining Out

Responsible dog owners should ensure their dog has basic obedience training and social skills before taking them out to eat. Obedience training includes knowing how to sit, stay and come on command, as well as leaving food alone. Social skills include being comfortable and calm in busy places with lots of distractions and not displaying aggression or fear towards other dogs. Puppies should not be taken out in public until they have the required vaccinations.  

If your dog is territorial, nervous in crowded or noisy places, or tends to bark a lot, large or busy restaurants may not be the best option. Research the restaurant beforehand and check whether it will be suitable for your pet – you could also speak to a member of staff if you have any questions or concerns. At the restaurant, choose a corner table or a table with plenty of space around it to keep your dog calm. If you are going to sit outside, make sure there is enough shade for your dog, as some breeds are more susceptible to heat stroke than others. 

Ensuring Safety and Hygiene

Safety and hygiene while out and about with your dog are important. Avoid feeding your dog food from your plate or letting them up on the table, as this is unhygienic. If the restaurant does not provide food for dogs, you should bring some of your own dog food or treats, as well as a water bowl. 

Keep your dog on a short leash that is securely attached to something, or hold it in your hand to prevent trips and accidents. If you are going to be at the restaurant for several hours, take your dog outside for one or two quick walks during the meal to give them the chance to use the toilet and stretch their legs. Dispose of any waste immediately and do not bring it back inside the restaurant – your fellow diners are unlikely to be impressed!  

Community Building Through Dog-Friendly Dining

Dog-friendly restaurants like M Restaurants help to create a warm and welcoming community for dog owners. Sharing a meal with your dog helps to build your network and you may even find that you make some new friends!

There are plenty of meet-ups and charitable initiatives based around dogs and dining, so if you own a dog and want to socialise more, all while enjoying a delicious meal and a drink or two, why not check what sorts of dog-friendly events are available in your area?

We hope you enjoyed our article on the importance of dog-friendly restaurants and that if you have a dog of your own, you’ll soon be making a reservation at your nearest dog-friendly dining spot!

Impact Blog Series: What is Regenerative Agriculture?

Impact Blog Series: What is Regenerative Agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture is a hot topic in the world of sustainability right now. Although there is no clear, universally accepted definition, it describes farming and grazing practices that can improve the land’s health, and biodiversity, and improve the carbon-storing abilities of soils. It is widely believed to hold many of the answers to how we can reduce carbon emissions from agricultural practices.

At M, we have been exploring what the benefits of Regenerative Agriculture could be for the hospitality sector. It all began with a conversation with industry friend ‘Honest Burger’ who have worked to overhaul their entire beef supply chain to be regeneratively farmed to reduce the carbon footprint of their beef. This led us to their supplier, ‘The Ethical Butcher’ who supply a range of meat and poultry products that come from UK farms practising Regenerative Agriculture.

After a trip to one of ‘The Ethical Butcher’ farms where we met farmer Neil who owns the first farm in the UK to be certified ‘Regenerative’ by certification body RegenAgri, and after sampling some products to ensure it’s high quality we pride ourselves on, we have introduced two cuts of regeneratively farmed beef to our menu: sirloin prime cut and ribeye on the bone.

To understand more about why we have done this, let’s explore what Regenerative Agriculture is all about.

What are the principles of Regenerative farming?

  1. Minimise soil disturbance to enhance soil health and protect the ecosystem
  2. Maximise soil cover with crops to prevent soil erosion and keep plants healthy
  3. Increase the crop diversity on the farm, avoiding monocultures (just one type of species) which are susceptible to disease and pests
  4. Reduce the use of artificial inputs such as chemical fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides
  5. Bring livestock onto the farm to naturally graze and reduce the need for heavy farming machinery

What is the difference between ‘regenerative’ and ‘organic’?

While there are many crossovers between the practices used in two types of farming, organic produce must go through a certification process in order to use the word on packaging and marketing, while regenerative currently does not. Organic includes a specific set of metrics that farms must adhere to in order to be certified, this is a fundamental difference between the two farming systems and one reason why ‘Regenerative’ is still universally undefined. 

Unlike organic, the idea of regenerative is to treat each piece of land in different areas and climates around the world as individual entities, meaning that no single solution – a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach – can be used to achieve sustainability. Each farm needs to be looked at individually to understand its specific needs when deciding what practices to implement, therefore there are no set metrics and KPIs and the focus instead is on the outputs, such as carbon sequestration potential.

What is carbon sequestration?

Simply put, carbon sequestration refers to the removal of carbon dioxide molecules from the air, storing them in plants and trees – otherwise known as carbon sinks. Forests, jungles, woodland areas and even the seabed are important for this, as they are our largest natural carbon sinks on the planet. Healthy soils are vital for plants to grow which is why there is such a strong emphasis on soil health in Regenerative Agriculture. Improving soils and increasing the right kind of plants and crops on agricultural land will improve the ability of the system to capture carbon and will go a significant way in the journey to lower emissions in agriculture.

M is proud to showcase these two cuts of regeneratively farmed beef on our menu, alongside our carbon-neutral Argentinian beef. M is also pleased to be a member of the Zero Carbon Forum’s working group on Regenerative Agriculture, to discover what advances we can make within the hospitality industry, and how scaling up this type of production could be possible not only in the UK, but also around the world.

In 2019, we became the first eco-friendly restaurant in the UK to offer ‘Carbon Neutral Steaks’. This month Martin Williams CEO travelled to Peru to see how our reforestation projects affect the lives of potential victims of modern-day slavery and sex traffickers. This was all in partnership with the ‘Not For Sale’ movement. At Rare, we have great pride in bringing you a truly eco-friendly eating experience at our restaurants in London and throughout the country. We hope you will continue to read about our ethical projects in our Impact blog.

What does it mean to be an eco-friendly restaurant?

It’s our ambition that our restaurants are empathetic, curious and courageous. Since founding M and becoming CEO of Gaucho, we have sought to create values-driven, eco-friendly restaurants at the heart of their communities. This community does not just include the location of the buildings, but also the suppliers around the world. We have numerous examples of how we display this, one of which is our commitment to raising both awareness and consistent financial contributions for the ‘Not for Sale’ movement.

Since 2019 we have contributed to multiple eco-friendly community projects across the globe (mostly South America) which support local communities to work with us on our reforestation programmes. This is one method that enables us to make our supply chain carbon neutral, and helps these communities in the process by creating a reliable living out of rainforest produce. This continues to protect these indigenous tribes and villages in danger of becoming victims of sex trafficking and modern slavery.

Our journey to become a net-zero restaurant and the impact we have on global society is a great source of pride to everyone at Rare Restaurants. This year alone we have planted over 25,000 trees, all to make sure that the steaks in our restaurants are eco-friendly. All in all, our partnership with the ‘Not For Sale’ Movement has improved the lives of over a thousand people.

How restaurants can help combat modern slavery

NFS is an organisation that fights modern slavery and sex trafficking around the globe, founded in 2014. Its founder, David Batstone, explained that his motivation for creating the movement was after he shockingly discovered that his favourite restaurant was made of forced workers. This included both waitresses and chefs, all being exploited by the owner.

For many people, our favourite restaurants are a huge part of our lives, so it’s important that our brand choices reflect the values of those who work and dine in them. I believe when a restaurant goes beyond food, drink and hospitality, it creates an incredible sense of loyalty and pride. Why? Because at their very best, a restaurant is not just a place to eat great food, it’s an organisation that enhances communities and brings about societal changes. At their very worst, like in David Batstone’s discovery, it represents shocking injustice.

My personal passion for restaurants comes from a desire to offer high-quality, eco-friendly eating experiences enjoyed by both a community of like-minded guests and the extraordinary staff who serve them. But more importantly, to contribute to a deeper purpose.

That’s why, since 2015, M restaurants have supported NFS through our ‘M Is Not For Sale’ initiative. This helps fund a project named ‘Dignata’ in Amsterdam, which takes forced sex workers out of the red light district, into the safety of restaurant employment.

Reforestation and plant projects in Peru

I recently travelled to Puerto Maldonado in Peru to witness the impact of two major projects. The first is the reforestation work of ‘Not For Sale’ with Camino Verde, and the second is to visit a village called Boca Pariamanu — a 5,000-hectare plantation (one hectare is around 2.5 acres, so it’s pretty big).

Percy Leva is the leader of the Camino Verde project, which involves growing new saplings from seed. The modest ‘farm’ (if you can call it that) grows around seventy different types of trees, twelve of which are in danger of becoming extinct. The plantation of these trees has an intricate roadmap – a strategy to plant them over a decade. Many of these special trees produce food, medicine and essential oils. All of this produce is vital to support the local ecosystem, and is needed for insects, bees, birds, animals and even human life to survive.

In the company of Percy and his spirited Camino Verde friends, I found a surprising new appreciation for the power of a plant. Who knew?

Reforestation and farming projects in the Amazon

Our ‘Not For Sale’ partnership projects also support nine villages and indigenous people of the Amazon, in Brazil. Illegal mining and ‘logging’ has caused deforestation, meaning the resulting devastation surrounds local villages. Many of these communities live in terrible poverty, so when offered ‘employment opportunities’ by miners, narco-traffickers or loggers, these desperate young people often choose to leave their families. They do this in the hope of providing for their loved ones financially. However, these situations are often far from what is promised, and they end up being raped, abused, or forced into slave labour camps and even prostitution.

The ‘NFS’ movement here has spent twenty years building trust with the villagers. Investing in various transport, reforestation and farming projects has given these communities not only a sustainable existence, but has also allowed them to profit from the natural produce of the forest. This is mainly from the cultivation and commercialisation of produce like brazil nuts and cacao, but also through entrepreneurial projects such as research tourism, jewellery and perfumes. All this means the young people in the community are no longer compelled to be tempted by illegal miners and loggers. Fernando, the leader of the tribe, gave me a tour of their land and introduced me to dozens of happy villagers. They are delighted by their self-sustainability and are always seeking more opportunities to enhance their quality of life even further. Amazing stuff!

Eco-friendly restaurants are the future

In the coming years, each company will embark on a path to become net-zero. We began ours in 2019. There are many ways to approach this, but at Rare Restaurants, we have found a holistic route to provide an eco-friendly eating option for our guests. With the help of partners like ‘Not for Sale’, we have also found a way to improve the planet and the lives of many people. The projects discussed above are evidence of this, and having spoken to many of our employees, this provides a great source of pride and internal community.

The ‘Sustainable Steak Movement’ (SSM) was created in 2021 to share the findings of our scientific research investments in multiple areas. This includes carbon footprint calculations, our findings on best practices in animal husbandry, sequestration, regenerative farming techniques, the decrease of carbon at source and options to reduce greenhouse gases. We have welcomed our invitation to join the SSM, and are working alongside the ‘Zero Carbon Forum’ to encourage other similar organisations to join and begin their own journey to become a net-zero restaurant. If we all work together, this exciting movement has incredible potential.

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