One of my major client contracts in my day job as regulatory consultant had just been extended for another year a few days ago after 6 weeks of relative limbo and just a few days’ work here and there. So Ms B & I decided to treat ourselves to a nice meal at M Victoria’s Grill, or “M Grill.” We had visited (and blogged about) it before, so we knew that we’d enjoy it.
Former thespian and current CEO of M Restaurant London, Martin Williams, founded the group in November 2014 with the opening of the first M restaurant in Threadneedle Street (followed by M Victoria in December 2015 and shortly after by M Twickenham), after having been Gaucho’s Managing Director for nine years. (He has just returned as part-time advisor to Gaucho besides his day job at M to help save the embattled steakhouse chain that has recently been bought out of administration.)
Williams landed a coup by hiring his former colleague, London-born executive chef Mike Reid, who trained at Michel Roux’s Le Gavroche (currently two, formerly three Michelin stars) and Gordon Ramsay’s Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (currently three, formerly two stars), before becoming group executive chef at Gaucho. He’s also well known for his many UK TV appearances, including at Great British Menu and Celebrity MasterChef.
Besides M Grill, M Victoria also includes M Raw (a casual, high-quality, good-value, gluten-free, healthy eating restaurant serving sashimi, steak tartare, ceviche, etc.), public and private member bars, and a wine-tasting area.
The Grill does what it says on the tin, basically an upmarket steakhouse, focused on prime beef cuts from the U.S., Argentina, France, Italy, South Africa, and Australia, with regular specials featuring exceptional red meat, not just beef, from all over the world. The prices range from £19.50 for 250g of Argentinian rump steak to Kobe beef at £100 for 100g. There are also plenty of non-red meat, including vegetarian and seafood options available.
After short deliberation Ms B opted for the king ora salmon (£19.95, not the obvious choice for a meat temple, but she is not big on red meat) and I went for the Normandy hanger steak (250g for £25) with firecracker sauce (£3). As sides we chose Hispi cabbage with horseradish cream, onion puree, and crispy onions (£5), and chips for two (£5 each).
Williams mentions Quaglino’s, The Ritz, and London’s top private members clubs as inspiration. It’s safe to say that there are also some influences from the Gaucho chain, even though Williams did his best to discredit restaurant chains like Gaucho for lack of personality and quality last year.
When we first visited more than two and a half years ago, we were immediately taken in by the understated, yet luxurious and elegant atmosphere of the semi-oval-shaped, New York ballroom-style dining room with its copper ceiling, held in light cream and green colours. The service, as always, was second to none.
After just five minutes, two lovely amuse-bouche arrived, another 15 minutes later, our mains were placed in front of us. The salmon, steak, and fries were all prepared to perfection. We were also huge fans of the Hispi cabbage, which had a great crunchy bite and refreshing, light, yet flavoursome taste.
It had been a long day, so we skipped desert (just like we had skipped starters) and asked for the bill. We will definitely be back at M Victoria soon, most likely to try their M Raw offer. 5 out of 5 in our book.
Thank you for stopping by and hopefully see you again very soon.