Celebrating women’s empowerment month, new award winning restaurant, M Victoria Street launches a two week Pop-Up restaurant launch with 100% of the profits being donated to Not For Sale, a global organisation working to end human trafficking. BBB was invited to the preview gala night to find out more…
Entering via M Wine Store, a retail boutique where customers can purchase unusual and premium wines, we were directed down to the 120-cover two-tiered Grill. A sumptuous eau de nil velvet curtained oval dining room, with metallic copper ceilings, where we were greeted with a pink champagne reception and a DJ playing ambient house.
Guests on this evening were mainly press and benefactors, and our culinary journey began with Dutch themed snacks including pickled mackerel. Before Not For Sale Co-Founder and President , David Batstone, invited those gathered to suspend their beliefs about philanthropy as he regaled us with the inspirational story of Not For Sale. Including founding ‘Dignita’, a self-sustaining businesses that feed profits into making dramatic and inspiring changes. He told of how the intention was not another charity, but a social enterprise venture that would help give women living in the shadows of Amsterdam’s sex industry some dignity. Initially selling soup, which was delivered to the red light district, the organisation was soon called in by the police. Who had heard the soup was good, they wanted delivery themselves! Now Dignita is an award winning restaurant group in Amsterdam, running culinary training programmes to rehabilitate those who have experienced exploitation or trafficking. The survivors are trained in employment skills to grow their confidence to re-enter the workforce.
The pop-up at M, supported by OpenTable, features a £75 per head 5-course menu designed by M Group Executive Chef Michael Reid. A regular face on British TV screens, Michael Reid trained at both Le Gavroche and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay before opening M Victoria Street. For this limited edition menu, Michael takes inspiration from Peru, Vietnam, Thailand and USA – some of the countries where Not For Sale projects have had the biggest impact to date.
Our second course was tuna and seaweed soft tacos with mango salsa and pickled sea vegetables, inspired by the tastes of Peru. Followed by a Vietnamese style tartare with turnips, radish and egg nasturtium. The final savoury dish served is an American duo of rump and rib lamb, with artichoke and wheatgrass jus, before a refreshing Ugandan dessert of coconut ice cream with cucumber and dill. The portions were typically the size you would expect with a tasting menu (read: small). And when accompanied with a specially chosen wine for each course, guests soon starting getting into a party spirit, with mingling among tables.
We had a chance to chat to former Gaucho supremo; M Restaurants owner Martin Williams. Having embraced a philanthropic culture since he founded the company in 2014, he explained that they had managed to secure the support of celebrities such as Tinie Tempah to ‘sponsor’ each pop-up evening by donating raffle prizes or making an appearance. And with seats limited to 50 per night, each diner will be automatically entered into the raffle draw.
So, with tickets including champagne reception, 5-course dinner, a chance to mingle with the stars and win prizes. Not to mention, 100% of the profits being donated to Not For Sale. What better way to celebrating women’s empowerment month than with an evening at M IS NOT FOR SALE.
Seats for the M IS NOT FOR SALE pop-up can be reserved through OpenTable at www.opentable.co.uk/misnotforsale