I’m going to be honest. I really don’t like The City. There are some really unique little finds hidden in amongst it like St. Dunstan’s and Sky Garden but whenever Tom and I bike through it, I find myself suddenly peddling frantically to try and reach the other side, where the grass is definitely greener. Apologies for whomever I’m about to offend here, but I find it all a bit grey and sludgey and depressing. Finding a hidden gem in the city is a bit like painfully rifling through rubbish at TK Maxx before you happen upon something fairly-decent. So I find it all a bit exciting when we can tell you about a place we really do love which is located within that dreaded Square Mile.
Our latest City find involves one of the most innovative breakfast menus we’ve been posed with in ages, with a side-serving of seriously suave interior design and probably the best fresh juice we’ve ever gargled. The home of this combination of dreams is a restaurant called M. It’s a massive expanse of high-ceilinged space, mezzanine eating areas, leather booths, moody lighting and pure seduction. Even their font is swanky. To be fair, if someone blindfolded you, bundled you into a taxi, drove you across London, removed the blindfold inside M and told you to guess which part of London this restaurant was in, you’d say ‘The City’, definitely. Well, shortly after calling them up on being a hostage-taking weirdo, probably. M is pretty reflective of its catchment area – it screams business and luxury – so initially I was unsure about what could be so different about it that I’d want to write to you all and tell you about it.
Then the breakfast menu arrived.
It was refreshingly innovative. I mean …breakfast ramen. Noodles as your first meal of the day. I know that for the far eastern part of this planet, that’s like saying “let’s pour MILK on cereal!” but it was the first time I’d seen this option on a restaurant brekky menu, so we ordered one to try it out. We weren’t disappointed. It arrived in a bowl which was big enough for us to climb in for a quick early morning hot tub session, with a ladle and a jug of miso soup. We poured the soup over the ingredients in the bowl which included shiitake mushrooms, slow-cooked ham hock, noodles and a perfectly poached egg which delicately burst and oozed, mixing in with the ramen. It was freakin’ yum town. We also ordered a round of gluten-free pancakes which arrived with vanilla bean yoghurt, fresh fruit and …(Oh God, I’m too excited to type) a massive dollop of peanut butter. They were perfect. Tom ordered poached egg, avocado with chilli and lemon on sourdough toast, which, again, was flawless.
Other choices on their menu include coconut quinoa porridge, housemade granola and the M Breakfast – their take on a full English. I can’t begin to tell you how good their juices were; super-smooth, bursting with flavour and one hundred percent healthy – just promise us that if you go, you’ll order a juice. Or two. Or all of them. If I was rich enough and demanding enough, I would have left M insisting on starting every single day with one of their juices, but I’m neither of those things so this morning I imagined I was drinking their juice whilst supping my usual Yorkshire Gold. Finally, to top off this whole early-morning affair, the service was incredible. We really put our fantastic waitress through her paces by spilling a large coffee across our table and she immediately whipped all of our things into a new, clean booth without even breaking a sweat.
I had arrived at M not really expecting it to be up my street, but was pleasantly surprised by just how up my street it was. If you’re looking for somewhere in the City to eat which feels relaxed, spacious, luxurious and serves excellent food, this is your place. Just don’t forget to order a juice, even if you go for champagne dinner.