If you're in the market for meat, then you won't find much better than the selection at M. Since former Gaucho managing director Martin Williams opened his own Square Mile steak-centric restaurant in 2015, it's become a mainstay of city dining and now has a second branch in Victoria.
Carnivores are kids in the proverbial candy store, choosing between the fines grades of Wagyu, USDA and Kobe Beef. The world's first Himalayan salt chamber provides an instagrammable blush-pink backdrop and the perfect aging conditions for steaks from America, Argentina, France, South Africa and Japan.
Tucked away on Threadneedle street, the original M has a slick city feel, with on-trend touches and a sharply-dressed crowd. From the barman who made us off-menu champagne cocktails to the waiters who guided us through the plethora of steaks, staff are knowledgeable, charismatic and (mostly) of the bearded hipster aesthetic.
Right from the snacks and starters selection, the vibe is highest quality meat served with innovative touches that reflect the global origins of the beef. The wine list, with a particularly impressive selection of New World wines, draws on the same geography, spanning France, South Africa and South America.
Having trained under Michel Roux and Gordon Ramsey, executive chef Michael Reid has a keen balance between indulgent ingredients and surprising garnishes. Our starter of Chicken Karaage was a crowd-pleasing combo of crispy, salty and sweet thanks to golden batter, chilli caramel glaze and creamy kewpie mayo. Tempted as we were by the sound of Smoked Wayu Tartare, the prospect of a vast steak sharing board was enough to restrain us. The main event - an international steak board - seemed like the best way to sample the different cuts on offer, a pick 'n' mix of USDA Prime Fillet, Argentinian Rump, French Hanger, Botswana Rib-Eye and Blackmore Skirt.
We let the chef decide how the steak should be cooked - and the results were mostly rare and consistently tender. The richness of flavour means just few salt crystals are needed (though the luscious black garlic sauce and piquant chimichuri we'd ordered were great slathered on sides). If you're feeling extra flash, you can add on toppings including foie gras or lobster - but with steak this good there's no need.
When you've got a kilo of beef to get through, sides should be minimal. Alongside the obligatory triple-cooked chips a charred hispi cabbage with smokey tomato and sharp kimchi cut through the the irony intensity of the meat.
Normally by this stage of gluttony, desert would out of the question. But as soon as the waiter mentioned the surefire favourite Snickers we were sold. Capturing the nutty, buttery sweetness of the choc bar, it's an impossibly moreish melee of chewy nougat and glossy dark chocolate - and a suitably decadant end to the meal.
|What||M, Threadneedle Street review|
|Where||M Threadneedle Street, 2 & 3 Threadneedle Walk, 60 Threadneedle Street , London, EC2R 8HP | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Bank (underground)|
|Website||Click here for more information|