You know you’re dining in ‘banker land’ at M Threadneedle St when you turn the corner and are faced with a sea of black suited clientele blocking the restaurant doorway. It is Thursday 6pm after all – The Thursday Club are out in force. After work drinks in hands, the sea of ebony graciously parts as I wind my way through the throng, picking up on business jargon as I pass. Buzzwords of ‘bureaucracies’ ‘the market’ ‘ladder up’ and ‘amplify’ – the tyranny of linguistic words that are on the rise in boardrooms according to The Telegraph’s Lauren Davidson is played out right in front of me.
Incredibly, I open the door to enter and hold it open for the only other female in the vicinity. We start chatting and ironically I discover she is a PA – and her boss is outside with her and their team. He has insisted she join them to discuss business over a tipple – of which it was evident she had grabbed the opportunity with gusto, courtesy of her wide-eyed expression and the fact that wine is sloshing out of her glass – ‘It’s been a long day, I was in the office at half seven this morning’ she tells me. Obviously I’m not surprised to hear this.
Kate, my dinner companion rings me to say she’s arrived. It’s off to the restaurant we go, home to some of the city’s finest steak cuts from six selected countries: USDA Prime fillet, Argentinean rump, South African rib eye, Wagyu from Australia and Kobe from Japan.
As always, I ask for recommendations, even though the unique kangaroo tartare for starters has already captured my attention. Our waitress must have read my mind and confirms it to be a good choice. She is right, it is excellent. Light, with only two per cent fat, it is lean and rich. Kate’s grilled octopus is top too, buttery and fishy.
The Creekstone Farm fillet with red wine jus and 400G rib-eye are suggested for mains. We go with both. The result? A glorious, gargantuan, uncompromising dinner. Delivered flawlessly rare, they were some of the best steaks I’ve eaten in London in along time. Trying to be good, I opt for a side of sweet spring peas with crème fraiche and salty bacon. Kate laughs at my healthy choice, ‘Sod that, I’m having chips.’ And that she does – she ploughs through the gaspingly good triple cooked chips at lightening speed. Previously she’s tried out the 5-2 diet (completely unnecessarily); today is evidently a ‘2’ day.
The service from a warm-hearted waitress was on point, the sommelier’s recommendation merging both Kate’s and my preferred grapes of Merlot and Malbec were decent, a 2012 Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot was medium-bodied and well balanced, the silky Salentein 2014 Malbec was the winner though, boasting subtle hints of violet and vanilla. Desserts of white chocolate ice cream and sweet honey cake are polished off with a raffish lack of regret. (I did forgo the chips after all).
The décor here is elegant – leather banquettes, flattering lighting, tonnes of space, the atmosphere is buzzing; it’s a fun place to be. M Threadneedle St has an air of machismo about it; it’s sexy, primal. It’s home to a cocktail bar, a secret drinking den, a wine-tasting room and four private dining and events spaces, plus an in-house butcher. It’s a neat place to take clients and quite frankly, a neat place just to take yourself after a ‘long day’. M’s Steak and red wine is a perilous mix of shameless indulgence.
I shall return.
M Threadneedle St, 2-3 Threadneedle Walk, 60 Threadneedle Street EC2R 8HP; 020 3327 7770; mrestaurants.co.uk/threadneedle