One day the Cool Docks Riverside will make it. The construction on both sides of the river will be complete, taxis will actually know how to get here and people will flock here in their thousands to enjoy a new slice of the bund.
When they do, M's Teppayaki will be waiting like it has been for all these years. The restaurant is so old there's nobody left who knows who M is... but they do know that in their small dining room is served a Fusion of French and Teppanyaki using some seriously high end produce.
I was lucky enough to be invited to a daytime tasting of their evening menu. On paper it is a superfecta of caviar, foie gras, king crab and wagyu beef.. and a healthy ¥798. They knew I was coming so I must admit to being slightly biassed. Our Chef definitely slipped me all the choice cuts with a wink. Or perhaps I'm just too handsome.
with a backdrop of river traffic and chrysalis-like residential compounds forming in the background, we are led through the ritual of table-sized hot plate teppanyaki preparation one dish at a time. The distinction between M's and many other places in town is the raw-ness of the ingredients. There aren't lashing of MSG or salt or sauce or garlic being applied to every course. Instead the produce is left to speak for itself - something my simpleton european palate can appreciate.
This is admittedly at heart a Chinese ownership restaurant and as such the finest dishes must come with a story. The three lands represented in their Egg Souffle are realised through an infusion of Foie Gras topped with caviar.
Showing 15 years of Teppanyaki experience our Chef cooks, fillets and season the 'South Pole Ice Fish' entirely with her blades. It is a work of deft beauty. Then she cooks the spine and serves it in the mouth of the fish. Oh boy.
Fortunately the king crabs legs face no such humiliation. They are plainly cooked to perfect succulence before we gouge out their flesh like barbarians. Delicious, but not perfect.
Alongside fig, pear and grilled apple the sautéed foie gras was the highlight of the meal. Considerately plated it demonstrates M's comfort in the franco-teppan realm.
After all that had preceded, the Wagyu beef could have been cooked in the microwave to make us happy. Watching it aggressively sizzle on the hot-plate as all the marbled goodness ensures an even tenderness and texture was all the more satisfying.
M's is a curious venue in the wrong part of town above the surely copyright-infringing Oscar nightclub. It's a little dated and a little forced in areas. That said, it's my tip for the highlife when the Cool Docks Riverside finds its footing and basks in glory.