Rupert Parker visits carnivorous-centric M, Canary Wharf’s latest eatery
It’s always difficult to get your bearings in Canary Wharf, not helped by the identikit architecture and lack of landmarks if you don’t travel there regularly. So I was. fashionably late at this new waterside restaurant located on the first floor of the Newfoundland Quay Tower, the seventh tallest building in the UK. Still there was no mistaking its location as I turned the corner to see an illuminated M beaming out to me across the water.
Opened only in September 2022, M Canary Wharf this international bar and grill occupies 10,000 square feet on the ground and first floor of the tower. 360-degree floor-to-ceiling glass ensures stunning views over the Thames and the interior decor is inspired by vintage yachts from the French Riviera. As well as the 180-cover restaurant, there are two private dining rooms, a wine tasting room, the Taste of La Petite M Café, and an exclusive private members’ lounge.
There are already two M Restaurants in London, offering the most exclusive cuts of Wagyu Beef, and Gaucho is part of the same group. So without being a culinary detective it’s pretty easy to guess that meat is on the menu. The world’s finest cuts of beef, such as Highland Wagyu and Kobe grade 10+, are enhanced through ageing in an in-house Himalayan salt chamber and cooking is carried out on a bespoke grill.
But before embracing carnivore nirvana, we start with mini baguettes with grilled olives and tapenade, with excellent early harvest olive oil. The food is said to be inspired by Provencal cooking, although the Yellowfin Tuna Takaki is more Japanese than French. Delicate lightly seared slices of tuna with a sauce of seaweed, spring onion, ginger and chilli with Yuzu Ponzu is a good mix.
The other starter is Lobster and Pumpkin, a lobster claw with Wagyu fat and pumpkin both confit and smoked. It’s an interesting combination, reflecting autumn flavours, and, although shellfish and pumpkin don’t seem like natural bedfellows, it works surprisingly well
So to the mains, and I’m getting ready to murder the meat. There’s so much choice it’s difficult to know where to begin so I hedge my bets with the International Beef Board, an entire kilo of USDA Sirloin, Argentinian Ribeye and Rump plus British Fillet and Sirloin. Everything arrives rare, as requested, yet achingly tender with oodles of flavour.
My partner, strange as it may seem, is having a meat-free day so goes for the Pan Fried Halibut. It’s served on a basil and courgette purée with smoked halibut jus, grapes and olives. Clearly nodding a wink to Provencal cooking, the fish is perfectly cooked, the flavours not overwhelmed by the accompaniments. A side of 15-Hour Wagyu Parmesan Chips, thick cut and cheesy on the outside is a good companion.
We also share a plate of Wood Cooked Broccoli, topped with fermented chilli brittle giving a spicy kick. I’m still facing the mound of meats in front of me and fortunately, my companion relents and starts to tuck in as well. Still, we eventually have to admit defeat and I shamelessly ask for a doggy bag. At home, over the next few days, these cold tasty morsels are a tasty reminder of the quality of the steak they serve here.
We’ve eaten too much to be tempted by dessert but share a cheese board consisting of Epoisses Fermier, Brie de Meaux Quart and Morbier Au Lait Cru served with crackers and chutney. The cheeses are very good but slightly too cold, as though they’ve just emerged from the fridge. I raise this with Culinary Director Mike Reid when he visits our table to ask about the meal. He immediately apologises and admits to first night teething problems.
Restaurants in Canary Wharf have to cater for two types of clientele – financiers looking for lunch or early dinner and weekenders coming from out of town for shopping opportunities. If you’re any way meat inclined, then M Canary Wharf fits the bill admirably for both sets of diners.
Tell Me More About M Canary Wharf
M Canary Wharf First floor – Newfoundland London E14 4BH
E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 0203 327 7771
Starters £10 – £25, Mains £18.50 – £89, International Beef Board £140, Sides £5.50, Desserts £8 – £10.50