Victoria’s Secret | M Victoria Street, 3 Zig Zag Building, 70 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6SQ
Google describes the all-purpose M restaurant on Victoria Street as ‘a glossy, happening scene with two restaurants (grill and raw), a clubby bar and an attached wine store.’ Had I read this beforehand I don’t think we’d be that keen to be honest. A ‘happening’ scene is not the kind of thing that we seek out. But then that’s what we thought about STK and we had a really good night there.
Luckily M didn’t resemble a nightclub at all. It was classically elegant and beautifully styled – these interior designers certainly knew what they were doing. Anyway, we were there for the food, tempted into visiting this new restaurant to check out the executive chef – Michael Reid who trained at both Le Gavroche and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. He also cooked alongside Heston Blumenthal at The Skinny Duck, Melbourne.
It’s a bit of a secret place, a general passer-by wouldn’t even know it’s there, we were looking for it and almost walked straight past. You enter via their wine shop (could be dangerous on the way out, luckily we don’t even remember leaving.) Through the shop and down the stairs is the Grill Room, Raw Bar, public and private members bars, a wine tasting room and private dining and event spaces.
We had a bit of a pre-dinner meeting with the girls from Tabl in the bar where we sipped on some very drinkable wine in those beautiful bulbous supersized glasses that seem to accentuate the taste. We also nibbled on some Puffed beef (£3) which was a bit like pork scratchings but lighter and not pork.
I’m a little ashamed to admit that by the time we were led into the restaurant an hour or so later, we were a smidgen bleary eyed. As much as I love wine, this is the reason that I opt for spirits or cocktails when we go out.
In the M-Grill restaurant, the menu is certainly different – fancy a topping for your steak? How about Half a lobster (£15) or 13g of Oscietra Caviar (£30)? Sauces are fancy too – from Horseradish foam (£3) to a Brown butter emulsion (£3). So it might sound like a fancy pants kind of place but is actually pretty laid back and friendly with a mixed clientele, not all suits and big wallets. The majority of the prices aren’t too frightening either (unless you go for the Kobe steak at £1 a gram.)
The wine had slightly zapped my hunger so we decided to share a starter of Buttermilk fried chicken (£9.50). The kitchen had other ideas and bought us some Smoked Wagyu tartare (£15) topped with crisp translucently thin sliced apple, soy cured egg and grated foie gras served from under an applewood smoke filled glass dome – a full sensory experience. One for fact freaks, the tartare is made from the knuckle of the Australian Blackmore Estate cattle.
This totally showcased their Raw section, so much so, that I was tempted to try the Red prawns with black curry and coconuts (£12.50) but it obviously appealed to everyone else also as they were sold out. It was OK though, we had bread – delicious warm bread (nutty with a somewhat floral taste) with a dollop of butter sprinkled with that puffed beef that we had earlier in the bar.
I know what you’re thinking regarding the wagyu, but we saw this happen to other tables also so it wasn’t reviewers privileges or anything like that. These dishes certainly perked us up from our wine-induced haze. Ade wanted to order another fried chicken, it was just so good with a vicious firecracker sauce and subtle cooling blue cheese foam – a more refined buffalo style chicken. Against our better judgement, we also ordered more wine, a really lovely bottle of Liveli Orion Primitivo (£39).
I fancied something I hadn’t tried before steak-wise, so the Botswana Southern African spiral cut sirloin (£28 for 300g) leapt out at me, the waitress backed me up on my decision. She sounded like she really knew the menu (always helps), so I felt we could trust her. The garlic and tomato marinated steak is cut through the middle and cooked ‘butterfly’ style, aka a spiral cut.
Ade went for the Pig’s head (£20) – consisting of a croquette, crispy ear and a slow-cooked cheek. No scary life-like whole ears to contend with like in Shotgun. Ade loved his porky croquette best, followed by the tender cheek that had a hint of sweet and sour about it. The crispy pig’s ear was more like crumbled crackling and added texture while the celeriac (grilled and pureed) along with the pureed beetroot supplied earthy tones.
Sides wise we kept it real with Chips (£4.50), these were fab fries! You know the real crispy chips at the bottom of the bowl (or paper wrapping), the ones that you fight over? Well, they ALL were like that, super crunchy on the outside yet fluffy on the inside. Straight to the top of Ade’s best chips list!
We also ordered some very unwilted (but good) Spinach (£4.50) and a Tomato Salad (£4.50) just because the waitress said so. Again her recommendation was spot on, a rainbow of different varieties with slithers of red onion and a smattering of pomegranate. Was a little bit gutted that we didn’t try any of the toppings or posh sauces.
Desserts are where things get even more interesting. My White chocolate ice cream (£7.50) was no ordinary dessert. It was paired with shards of meringue, olive oil sponge and cucumber. Yep – cucumber and chocolate is a thing and it really does work.
Ade had the Tim Tams & Tea (£8). Luckily he checked beforehand if they would be real Tim Tams so there was no risk of disappointment (Tim Tams are an Aussie biscuit that are a bit like a Penguin, only better.) His dessert comprised of a chocolate and hazelnut sable biscuit base topped with a bitter chocolate mousse and coated with smooth chocolate, served with tea ice cream (the flavour was spot on) on a bed of more crumbed biscuit.
I read somewhere this week how important the end of a meal is, what you’re served last is what you remember the most. Well, we certainly won’t be forgetting this meal for a long time.
Opening hours: Monday – Friday: 7:00am – Midnight
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00am – Midnight
Book a table online
Nearest station: Victoria (5 mins walk)
or St. James’s Park (7 mins walk)
We ate as guests of M Restaurants, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.