meat would like to
Well ahead of its Canary Wharf arrival, we sample M in the City
Newfoundland, the tower criss-crossed by diagonal beams rising opposite the main exit to Canary Wharf Tube station is in line to get a branch of M restaurants. So I put on my travelling shoes, hopped on the DLR to Bank and looked up one of their existing branches to get a flavour of the future.
Should the brand’s Threadneedle Street restaurant be transported in its entireity to the Wharf, it would doubtless fly. Expansive in size, muted and stylish in appearance and well appointed with helpful, pleasingly informal staff it could almost have been purpose-built for the estate.
It manages a difficult trick of housing a busy bar, serene restaurant and discreet members section under one roof with apparent ease.
The City types it attracts are well-heeled and moneyed as they need to be. M isn’t cheap offering a Wagyu tasting menu for £165 per person and Kobe steaks for £1 a gram.
There’s a room lined with Himalayan pink salt for ageing the hunks of flesh and our amuse bouche of raw Wagyu arrives on a disc of the stuff under a smokefilled cloche.
It’s a place that is almost completely focussed on taking steaks from around the world and delivering them in to hungy mouths with minimum frills and maximum accuracy.
My blue USDA fillet (£49.95) arrives naked on its textured plate. Fries, a bright carrot salad, a black pudding topper (a must) and firecracker sauce are all extra. Clearly the star of the show is the meat.
However, while it is delicious and wellcooked, it turns out my meal is made by the sides and starter.
The salad is bright and crunchy, the sauce sharp and brilliant and the fries crisp and tasty. But best of all is the butterfish sashimi that kicks things off (£12.50). Served in a Ponzu dressing with bubu (no, me either) and creme fraiche, the three soft slivers of fish are electric on the tongue.
Clean, clear and bright, they’re full of flavour – as good a preparatioin for a main course as I’ve had in London.
And that leaves me with the impression that it’s almost a shame the emphasis is so clearly on the cow. There are other things on the menu, of course, and should I visit again, I’d be tempted to sample something other than a big hunk of meat. All in all, my experience bodes well. M can’t open soon enough in east London.
Above, butterfish sashimi and right, USDA prime beef fillet from Cheekstone Farms in Kansas Below, M in Threadneedle Street