Wednesday, January 28, 2015

M Raw Restaurant, London: Review

Sashimi Sharing Plate
A dining experience to remember despite the January blues - okay, let's all be honest to each other, who is feeling the blues? I'm still trying to shake off the Christmas partying and we are almost at the end of January - oh dear!

An extraordinary dining experience on a Monday night (yes a Monday) we went to M Raw in the City of London, just off Threadneedle Street near to the bank of England. And let me share this now – it is a fabulous space worthy of your attention, so keep reading.

As you walk in, I was struck by the vast size of the restaurant, the open kitchen and the stairs leading to the upstairs bar area. It’s a highly polished restaurant, very modern, slick with low lighting. Service from the start was five star with a warm welcome, bag check and guidance to a comfy seat being offered with precision.

The dining space falls into two areas. M RAW – which is casual dining and all about tapas style dining. Whereas, M GRILL is geared up to those serious about their meat which can cost up to £150 pounds for a 150g Kobe beef fillet (we never tried this!!!)

The menu is packed with exciting foods to share. As you order, the food comes straight to the table so it’s in its peak. I’d recommend choosing five dishes to start with then see how you go.

We chose the edamame beans served in chilli and lime - perfectly washed down with one of their organic wines - Alsace in my case.

edamame beans
From the Nibbles menu 
Then we went for the BEST fish sharing plate of sashimi which included sword fish. My dining companion was quick to say that it was the best he had ever eaten outside of Japan, he was right!

Next up was the Argentine beef tartare which was served with cornichons, shallots, sourdough and, rather uniquely an egg! Cooked at exactly 62 degrees and with a texture somewhere between a runny and a hard egg, it was very clever and a conversation piece.

beef tartare
Our choice from the Tartare and Tiradito menu
There is always space for dessert and we chose the white chocolate with lavender soup. Don’t let the word soup put you off here though – it was beautifully executed.

White chocolate and lavender soup
with poached apples and coconut tuile
After dinner we went taken on a tour. We were extremely lucky to be shown around by Martin Wllliams – former MD of Gaucho. He showed us the secret den with iPod booth featuring different whiskies kept behind numerous lock and keys.

There was even a funky Japanese toilet in the bathrooms with all the features you might expect from such a contraption and again made for great conversation. This one was for the boys!

toilet control panel
The toilet control panel - no I'm not showing the toilet!!
If there was ever a restaurant which is hip, right now, and very London, then it’s got to be this one. Go visit (if only for breakfast) and be prepared to be in awe.

M Restaurants
2&3 Threadneedle Walk
60 Threadneedle Street

Disclaimer:  We were invited to review the restaurant, all thoughts are our own.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Breakfast Week 25th - 31st January 2015

Breakfast Week in January is an annual event to remind us how important our first meal of the day is for us.

I know the above isn't a healthy meal, but in my defence I only eat a cooked breakfast a few times a year. I cooked the bacon, sausages and bread in the oven. The egg and pancakes were cooked in a minimum of oil in a non-stick pan.

The potato & spring onion breakfast pancakes came from the BBC GoodFood 2015 Recipe Calendar. To be honest, I didn't enjoy the pancakes because the potato made them too much for me - I'm simply not up to eating heartily first thing in the morning.

Makes: 6 pancakes
140g potatoes cooked and mashed
50g self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
5 tbsp milk
1 spring onion chopped
sunflower oil

1. Cook the potatoes until tender. Mash and cool.  Put to one side to cool.
2. Place the mashed potato in a bowl, add the flour and bicarbonate of soda.  Whisk the milk and egg together.  Add to the bowl and whisk until all the mixture is smooth.  Stir in the spring onions.
3. Add the oil and butter to a non-stick frying pan and heat until the butter has melted.  Spoon in 3 tablespoons of batter.  Cook on one side until brown, flip over and cook the other side.  Place in a warm oven.  Make three more pancakes.
4. Serve with egg, sausages, bacon, brown sauce.............

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Premier Housewares Green Leaf Placemats and Coasters: Review

These gorgeous on trend quality leaf placemats and coasters in shades of green remind us that the first new leaves of the year will soon be appearing on our trees. Spring is around the corner and a cheery design always lifts the spirits. They have certainly cheered up my dining table, the coffee table, my kitchen and the bedside table.   My usual mats are plain dark brown and I'd forgotten just how uplifting a pattern can be.

  • The mats come in sets of four
  • Placemats: 22cmh x 29cmw x 0.5cm depth -  RRP £9.99
  • Coasters: 10cm x 10cm  -  RRP £3.49
  • Wipe with a damp cloth
  • The top is PVC
  • Cork Base
The mats are part of a great value and quality co-ordinating collection, there is also a 16 piece dinner set, matching mugs, beanbag lap tray, single and double oven gloves, apron and matching tea towels.

Available from Amazon.

Disclaimer:  I was sent the above products for review from Premier Housewares, all thoughts are my own.