M Test Kitchen Now Open in Fenton

Testing, testing! Stretching the limits of creativity and one-of-a-kind cooking is Michael Lee’s highly anticipated sixth cuisine concept, M Test Kitchen—neighboring M Sushi and joining the lineup at Fenton mid-April—now taking reservations. Cary’s newest culinary creative studio will sate foodies via cleverly concocted dishes—from Thai basil pesto rice noodles to lobster shumai with Chinese chile and anything else the culinary artists dream up. 

Executive chef  Connor Johnson—who cut his teeth at myriad Michelin restos before making his mark over at Oakwood Pizza Box, among others, and last landing at M Sushi—has clearly found his finest footing yet at M Test Kitchen. The impressive and mouthwatering menu is truly a tour of the senses. And in addition to the excellent Asian ops, the tapas-style menu touts tastes representative of Italy and Greece that’ll keep you on your toes. 

We got a sneak peek in front of the opening—pro tip: Be sure to try the watercress salad (yes, the salad… trust us!), sample a plate of carrot cake, and take a sip of one of the ops on the extensive wine and cocktail list. We’re lovin’ the East Meets West tequila take.

“This restaurant will have a constantly evolving menu inspired by many different Asian cuisines,” says Johnson. “I hope this adds a more intimate dining experience where the kitchen and dining room become one space. Every plate will be as focused and intentional as possible. The beef and broccoli for example, is just that, beef and broccoli. However there are multiple preparations of each of those two simple ingredients.” … Clearly, each plate coming out of the kitchen is sure to keep diners intrigued—echoing the essence of the eatery’s vision.

“M Test Kitchen is something we came up with so we can constantly test and try out different recipes without having a boundary of being a specific type of cuisine or restaurant,” says Lee. “We wanted the freedom to do pretty much anything in the name of research, knowledge, learning and possibly for our other restaurants.” And in the name of research, we volunteer as guinea pigs (!). See you in the laboratory?  m-restaurants.com

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.