I met my dinner date in M Threadneedle Street, located on a diagonal pedestrian walk just off the well known City road, late having been lost around the Bank of England and not used to navigating the City of London tangle. Walking into M, I was instantly relaxed by the welcome and the atmosphere. The large open room was low-lit for the evening and busy without being crowded; There was a buzz and the diners – and staff – were enjoying themselves.
We started the meal properly for a Thursday, with a classic Vodka Martini Twist and a signature M Martini. Both were soft, small and perfect to peruse the menu with. Knowing it was to be a meaty affair, we started with the fire roasted octopus and the cobia peanut sashimi, adding, on recommendation, the smoke wagyu tartare, which was no mistake. The tartare starter was all about the apples, pressed and smoked, and this intense dish was finished with foie gras shavings. But out of the three, it was the cobia that was the winner. The firm flesh was wrapped around cucumber chutney and the bite had a faint curry spice from the delicate satay sauce that didn’t overwhelm the fish. Peanut snow made from the nut’s oil finished off the look.
The chef, Mike Reid, is the ambassador for the sustainability of cobia, known in the business as ‘the black kingfish’ due to its rarity and class. M sources it from the largest sustainable nursery in Panama. There is no wild fishery for cobia as it is a solitary fish; Instead it is farmed in aquaculture. Knowing it to be a real treat and being among one of the few restaurants to serve it, M has a virtual reality headset with film of cobia swimming in the ocean, the farm itself and the fishermen at work. ‘Does the organic way it is caught maintain the texture of the meat?’ I asked the manager. ‘Does this no-stress method mean the cobia is not tense, leaving it soft?’ His smile and nod has left us wondering if we were on the right track or had run away with a theory…
So after some Atlantic Ocean fish, a taste of Japanese beef and a beautiful glass of white wine from Sardinia to accompany the starters, it was time for the meat. The event everyone was really there for. So we went big; A fillet steak cooked to rare perfection and wagyu from Australia, as recommended, medium rare. Starting with the fillet, it was tender and didn’t need the red wine jus that went together with the meat oh so well. Then we moved to the Blackmore Wagyu. The intense marbling of the fat was gorgeous and the texture and taste, even better. It melted and slipped away. Like bad white wine, not-to-standard wagyu leaves tannins in the mouth. This did not. It is 9+ graded, the highest, and 100% full-blood pedigree beef.
Speaking to the chef, who told us the wood oven cooking did not stop before dessert, we were convinced that a glass of Sauternes and just a taste of sweet was a good idea, however full we might be. Muscovado tart was served with liquorice jelly – a mix of crumbly and smooth.
We enjoyed a bottle of Joel Gott, a Cabernet Sauvignon from California, with our meat. More to say on the drinking side: Membership at M. The members’ lounge on the ground floor is private yet had a great atmosphere behind a light curtain from the restaurant. Members can leave their bought bottles of liquor behind the bar for next time and the area has a warm and relaxed vibe.
Overall, it is the quality of the meat that is the real hit here. That and the standard of service. It’s got it; A perfect combination for a City steak restaurant offering up a gluttonous feast in a chic setting.
M Threadneedle Street
2-3 Threadneedle Street