Test Driving M Canary Wharf – wagyu steaks meet Provençal cuisine | Road test
What can you tell us about M Canary Wharf?
This is the latest M restaurant in London, following their previous openings in the City and Victoria. It’s all helmed by Martin Williams (who is also CEO of Gaucho) with a menu created by their executive chef Michael Reid (who has previously worked with Gordon Ramsay, Michel Roux Jr and more).
And it’s primarily a steak restaurant?
Yes and no. While steak, and particularly wagyu cuts, are at the heart of the menu here, there’s plenty more at the restaurant as well. Each of the M restaurants has a specific identity – the City version therefore emphasizes Japanese cuisine while the Victoria restaurant offers additional British dishes on the menu. Here at Canary Wharf, the specialties are Provencal cuisine.
Where is he?
it is housed in the brand new Newfoundland building on the west side of Canary Wharf. So if you arrive at Canary Wharf main station or via the Elizabeth line to Crossrail Place it will take you around 5-10 minutes on foot to reach the building.
From the main station, walk down Bank Street, keep to the right and you will find the main entrance (which is on the east side of the building). From Crossrail Place it’s a bit trickier as you have to go around the water, but eventually you’ll find some steps down to the building. We’ll admit we got turned around a bit there – so keep that in mind.
And where is it good to meet for a drink first?
From this side of Canary Wharf, we’d definitely say it’s best to come here first. The outside terrace is perfect for having a drink overlooking the river (on a decent day) or sitting at the bar with the same view. The cocktails are also impressive.
So what is the layout?
In addition to a small terrace space outside, they have taken over one of the lower floors of the building. This includes the bar, two large sections of the restaurant (including one with a 180 degree panoramic view) as well as two private areas for members. They also have a hidden bar, dining room and listening room.
On food – what can we expect?
As mentioned above, it’s a mix of steaks, Provencal dishes and more. It is divided into snacks, small and large plates as well as a well-stocked steak section. You’ll see some of their signature dishes from their other restaurants like the M fried chicken with kaffir mayonnaise (£12.50) or the mushroom miso with added mushroom ketchup (£10).
As for the Provençal specialties, they include the burrata de grasse with candied tomatoes, tomato gel, lavender, perfume of Provence (£13.50) a plate to share of sea bass with salt with “Crate to Plate” salad, salmoriglio and lemon ( £65.00) as well as duck & watermelon which is duck breast, duck fritter, compressed vodka watermelon, duck & watermelon jus (£28.50). As you can tell from some of these descriptions, there’s quite a bit of work in the dishes.
We were strongly tempted by the idea of the squeezed vodka watermelon, but here’s what we chose during our visit:
How about the steaks?
They fall under the title “Sustainable Steaks” as there is an effort to reduce the group’s carbon footprint and reach net zero through a series of projects. The usual suspects are all on the menu – rump, tenderloin, sirloin and ribeye with or without bone. But the special attraction is undoubtedly the wagyu beef. You won’t get so much for your money – the cheapest is the Blackmore Wagyu Grade 9++ Inner Skirt at £45 for 200g, but it’s all about taste with wagyu, of course.
You can go up to Kobe grade 10+/A5, the highest grade available in town at £150 for 100g – but we ended up going with their most premium wagyu…
On top of all that, there’s the “steak roulette” for £68. It involves spinning a wheel to see if you can actually manage to get a wagyu steak or something else high-end if the wheel lands in the right space (but you’ll still get a decent steak).
And the desserts?
The idea of finishing with a dessert cocktail was hugely appealing, but we ended up going more traditional. If you fancy finishing on a boozy note, there’s the Strawberry Cheesecake which contains Ciroc vodka, digestive biscuit, strawberry in coconut milk, reconstituted lemon juice and gum (£11.50 ).
And the drinks?
The cocktails are excellent, but the wine list is really up to scratch with a menu concocted by sommelier Zack Charilaou. And yes, you will find a lot of Provençal wines there. There are also plenty of wines by the glass – over 50 by our count and all broken down by region. This is certainly one of the most impressive lists by the glass we have seen in a restaurant recently.
Bottles start at £32.50, which isn’t bad at all for a high-end steak restaurant. If you’re willing to stretch your budget to £50-£75, however, you’ll find plenty more to choose from. There is, of course, the possibility of really splashing out here. Fancy a Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvignon? It will cost you £6,000. A 2003 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, La Taché will be £7,000.
M seems like a perfect fit for Canary Wharf – we think the wagyu steaks will do just fine and the locals are sure to put the wine list to the test. But aside from the steaks, these new Provençal-style dishes certainly impress and there’s a lot to love about the room(s) here. We think it will be a great success.
Find out more about M Canary Wharf
Where is he? 10 Newfoundland Square, London E14 4BH
How to book: online booking
Learn more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @mrestaurants.
Hot dinners eaten as guests of M restaurants. Prices correct at time of writing.
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