My lovely friends really mean the world to me. There’s some I’ve known since I was five-years old and we’ve stayed close throughout the years; others I’ve met in much more recent times but I’ve developed an unbreakable bond with.
My friend Traze is the latter…
We met less than four years ago whilst on a course together….and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Despite the fact she lives in the Bristol, we remain in constant contact and she comes to visit me in London frequently.
Traze is one of the most fun people I’ve ever met. She can always be relied on to make me smile but is also a fantastic listener if things are ever going wrong.
She is the queen of selfies…
The life and soul of the party…
And my only friend I have that is as obsessed with food as me!!
But the lovely Traze recently broke up with her boyfriend and made a big decision…she was going to take her savings and go travelling the world!! I wish I could join her but I have a husband and responsibilities at home…but I’m going to really miss her as she plans to be away for six months.
With an early flight out of London on Monday it seemed wise for her to come and stay with me for the weekend and for us to have one last night out before she left for her travels.
The destination for the night was M Raw, one of the two restaurants at the venue M in Threadneedle street.
The restaurant is a hugely vast space with the downstairs being split into two restaurants: The Grill is the formal side and specialises in the best steak cuts from across the world….
and our destination for the night, M Raw, is the more casual side serving small plates to share.
Ok, I know it looks pretty quiet but we were in the city on a Saturday night and they do a roaring trade during the week. The very lovely general manager, Francesco, took Traze and I on a tour around the venue. Upstairs from the dining room, located on a mezzanine level is the bar serving a variety of cocktails and bar snacks.
I also loved the idea of their sampler station where you can try out various different wines in small measures. It’s a fab idea, you can buy credit on your M card and try out lots of different varieties, M even have their own wine club.
Next to the bar is a secret den, regulars can hire a locker and purchase various bottles of spirits to keep there.
The interior has been designed by Renee Dekker with art by Miles Aldridge and there lot’s of interesting features around every corner of the space.
Francesco also showed us some of the private dining areas…
My favourite of which was by the bar area on the mezzanine floor.
I think private dining areas like this are great, the table was separated by a lattice divider so patrons can experience the atmosphere of the restaurant but they still have their privacy. There was also a basement area that housed a much larger and totally private dining area which looks perfect for business events.
Back in the restaurant we were shown the ageing fridge where the meat for M Grill is kept. The restaurant serves cuts from six different countries including speciality Wagyu from Australia and Kobe from Japan.
Whilst hanging around the kitchen we were lucky enough to get introduced to the rather handsome chef! Head Chef Jarad McCarroll has come to M from celeb hotspot, Chilten Firehouse; the exec chef is Michael Reid who was the right-hand man to top Melbourne chef Shannon Bennett. I was fortunate enough to eat in Shannon’s restaurant, Vue de Monde, while I was in Australia and I still maintain it’s the best restaurant I’ve ever been to.
We popped back up to the bar where I chose a glass of sparkling wine and Traze had a Bella Muchacha which contained tequila, vanilla liquer, pomegranate juice, rhubarb and elderflower. A beautiful woman in a glass apparently.
We accompanied the drinks with a few bar snacks… but I mean would you ever take a picture of a bowl of popcorn before starting blog?
We also nibbled on some lovely light rice crackers with burnt aubergine. We were then led down to the restaurant where we had a very large booth, giving us the opportunity to cackle loudly together!
Nearly all of the dishes at M Raw espouse a healthy living concept. Even the wine is healthy! Wait, I thought all wine was healthy… ? There is a special wine list at Raw which is chosen based on purity of flavour and grape variety and many are unfiltered, organic and bio-dynamic. I actually had to look up why this was a good thing and apparently when wine is filtered elements can be removed that effect the flavour and aroma, so filtered wine should in theory taste better.
There was also a wide range of sparkling wines on the extensive list, so that’s what Traze opted for. It was great that they had so many different options by the glass so we could both try a different wine.
As well as having a very similar sense of humour, we share very similar tastes in food…particularly a shared love of seafood (and drunken pizza cravings), so we started with the sashimi sampling platter to give us a chance to try the trout, swordfish, eel and tuna. Our fave was the tuna, and being the good friend that I am, I let Traze have the extra piece. I know, I’m just all give 😉
The yellow fin tartare was our favourite dish of the night and we both loved the succulent pieces of raw tuna, served with a perfectly cooked quail’s egg.
The scallop tiradito served with apple and bacon was less successful. Actually we didn’t like it all, I felt like the plating was a little messy and the bacon bites reminded me of the salad topping at Pizza Hut. In other words, they tasted a little processed.
Next up was the black cod ramen containing fresh noodles, a slow cooked egg and bamboo shoots. Ok, it’s difficult to share a bowl of ramen…but we’re close friends and we like sharing ;). Fortunately, we are both soya sauce lovers and we felt the dish could use a good glug of our favourite condiment before we happily slurped away.
We were intrigued by the ‘Forbidden Hot Pots’ on the menu…every girl wants what is forbidden after all… and the waitress bought over a hot plate for us to make our own chicken yakitori skewers. We added soya sauce (lots) and sesame (lots of Traze, less for me) until we had a perfectly cooked and tender skewer each. Portions are small at M Raw and I would advise ordering a good number of plates, for example the skewers were only one each so order a couple if you’re hungry.
Even the desserts are healthy with options such as a fruit ceviche and toasted granola…
We decided to cleanse our palates with a trio or sorbets including coconut, plum and quince. It was the perfect way to end a light and healthy meal. And it meant we could head out to Soho for more drinks without feeling overly full!
Thank you M Raw, you were a brilliant restaurant for us to share our fond farewell.
2 – 3 Threadneedle Walk
60 Threadneedle Street
020 3327 7770
Our meal was complimentary but my words remain uninfluenced