Top of the charts of popular New Year resolutions? To lose the pounds we packed on, over Christmas. However half way through January – if you’re anything like the Haute Time team – chances are you’ve had enough of being cooped up at home, consuming a carb free diet.
Happily eating healthily doesn’t HAVE to mean house arrest. If you want to dine out sans guilt, follow in Haute Time’s well heeled footsteps and make for M – aka Martin Williams’ first solo venture.
The former Gaucho boss’ new venue – whose launch in November 2014 attracted the A list likes of Keith Allen, Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens, cricket ace Michael Vaughn, Heather Kurzner and Tiny Tempah who performed a string of hits including Earthquake, RIP, Pass Out andTrampoline – encompasses a drop dead gorgeous cocktail bar, a wine tasting room, a secret den and four private dining and events spaces plus two restaurants, Grill and Raw. The former serves serving £149 Kobe steaks and £3,000 bottles of wine but if you’re still on a January health kick, then Raw – which as the name suggest, specialises in small plates of raw food – is the restaurant for you.
Sounds tedious? That’s what we thought until we picked up our chopsticks and got stuck into that’s full of some of the most saintly sounding but delicious dishes imaginable.
Standouts include the Smoked baby beets (balsamic, goats cheese, almonds) - a riot of colour and texture – and the sugar snap peas accompanied with wasabi, both from the ‘Leaves and grains’ section of the menu devised by Jarad McCarroll (formerly Chiltern Firehouse).
Scallops and bacon made with scallop tartare, apple jelly and bacon crumble from the ‘Tartar and Tiradito bar’ and sashimi are equally satisfying but the knockout dishes are the Forbidden hotspots: the Chicken Yakitori was beautifully presented while the veggie version – Crispy aubergine, tofu and salted chilli – was no less fabulous.
For dessert, there’s a wonderfully creative White chocolate and lavender soup, served with poached apples and coconut tuile, Ginger toucan (toasted granola, organic honey granita), Fruit ceviche (pineapple, torrontés, black cardamom, vanilla bean yoghurt) and a Trio of scummy sorbets (coconut, plum, quince).
To drink, choose froman array of Organic and bio-dynamic wines as well as an extensive sake list. If that sounds too virtuous though, you can always move up to the mezzanine level where you’ll find M Bar – designed by Lance Perkins, bar and beverage director of the Edition Hotelwhich recently won the ‘Best Hotel Bar’ at the London Bar & Club Awards.
Raw’s setting also elates: think polished, concrete tiling and brightly coloured seating that includes sharing tables and high stools. And don’t forget to visit the unisex bathrooms before you leave: the imported heated Japanese-style toilets are a real talking point!
Factor in perky yet professional service (our waitress, Natasha, was impeccably smart and efficient) and you’ve got an extraordinary restaurant – you’re unlikely to have been anywhere like it before – at the top of its game.
Bottom line? Being healthy has never been so fun or so easy. We’re going back next weekend.