If the Bank of England is nicknamed The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, then the mysteriously titled ‘M’ venue on the same street is neither old, nor – in my opinion – a lady.
The place smells of money, power and, well… testosterone, which is not that surprising when you realise that you are right in the heart of The City.
In that secret den, which is actually a small bar that has been called the City boys’ magical haven, up to 12 guests can enjoy table football, poker, a humidor, a variety of Bang & Olufsen gadgets and keep their own personal liquor bottles locked behind glass on display for the envy of others.
In the wine room next-door, Enoteca machines offer a range of high quality and rare wines from taps. Wines such as Opus One and Petrus are available for £25 and £45 per tasting glass.
The dining space on the ground floor is divided into two restaurants – one part is dedicated to meat and is called M GRILL while the other is devoted to raw foods and is named M RAW.
M is the first solo project from Martin Williams, who spent almost a decade as Managing Director of Gaucho Restaurants, so steaks and the ageing room take the most prominent place in the meaty part of the venue.
You can choose cuts from six different countries (Australia, the US, Argentina, South Africa, Japan and France) ranging from £25 to £139 including Wagyu from both Japan and Australia.
Exotic dishes such as pan-fried crocodile and kangaroo are also served and beef master classes offered by butchers in the walk-in ageing room.
My guest and I settle down in the M RAW part of the restaurant and with the help of the lovely manager Julie we choose a selection of small dishes to share.
Smoked Baby Beets with Goat’s Cheese and Almonds (£6.50) are sensational and I really like the Argentine Beef Tartare with Hen’s Egg, Cornichons and Shallots (£15.50) as well as Cured Trout with Apple, Ginger and Coriander (£8.50).
I’m least impressed with Cured Langoustines with Pink Grapefruit, Cucumber and Foie gras (£11.50), which are all about the grapefruit, and not much else. We both enjoy a glass of truly delightful Maison Dampt Chablis (£14).
Then the two hot and not so raw dishes arrive. Yellow Fin Tuna Yakitori (£15.50) and Argentine Black Angus with Chimichurri (£14.50) are delicious and very protein heavy, which is absolutely fine with me, but a bit much for my guest who asks for some salad on the side.
We wash down the beef with a glass of Domaine Bousquet Malbec (£12.50) that’s so good, I order one more straight away and Google the wine as soon as I get home.
We are told that the specially imported Japanese toilets at M Raw are a talking point in their own right, so we check them out and come to the conclusion that you should be careful not to fall asleep there after an evening of good food and wine.
On the night of our visit the venue wasn’t too busy and was lacking a bit of atmosphere, but it is an interesting and different place that can make you feel special and is particularly good for entertaining friends or clients.
Vilma dined as a guest of the restaurant – read our editorial policy here.
Read our guide to the best restaurants in The City.