As you may well know I just got back from a trip home, and on that visit I spent a few days in my old stomping ground, London. Not only was I desperate to catch up with old friends, I also had a very important lunch engagement at Cut at 45 Park Lane. Now as much as I enjoy the good life, I’m not on Park Lane as often as I would like, so I was thrilled when the restaurant part of the Dorchester Collection invited me to try Wolfgang Puck’s award winning steakhouse, Cut. I’ve been dying to try one of Wolfy’s steaks for forever, in fact it was on my list of must eats when I visited NYC last year, but alas it was a little out of my price range.
When we arrived we were dazzled by the sleek and luxurious dining room. The whole place just exuded an understated elegance that you really don’t seem to find in the haunts I usually tend to frequent. After we were graciously shown to our table, we were presented with a glass of champagne to sip upon while we perused the menu, and I thought it to be the perfect way to begin a fabulous lunch.
Once the bread platter had been round and we had made our selections (all three of of course), it was time to start the first course. To start I tried the Dorset Crab & Lobster Louis with spicy tomato and horseradish cream mousse (£25). This itself was poetry on a plate. The light and fresh crab mingled with the juicy chunks of lobster in a way that was so light and refreshing, while the horseradish at the bottom really complemented the white shellfish. I have no idea how they made such a velvety creamy mousse, but I’d lick it off of any surface you put it on. It was really special and the perfect prelude to a heavier main course of steak.
My dining companion for the day choose the Butter Lettuce Salad (£14) to begin her meal. The salad was a mix of butter lettuce, avocado, stilton, and champagne herb vinegarette. Again another very light start to the meal. The champagne dressing was lovely and zingy and a nice counterpart to the studs of blue cheese which were strewn throughout. The whole things really looked like a work of art, if every salad was as beautiful and delicious as this, I feel we would be a much healthier nation.
Being a meal of a certain calibre, the sommelier selected a couple of wines to go with our dishes. However I think my regular readers know what a cocktail girl I am so he also provided us with a palate cleansing cocktail between each course. After we enjoyed out starter we sipped upon Pepino’s Revenge (£17), a mix of Patron silver tequila, Japanese cucumber, fresh basil, coconut and lime juice. If you were ever to describe this cocktail to me I would in no way ever imagine that tequila, coconut, and cucumber would fit together, but this was sensational. We both agreed the light and refreshing drink was summer in a glass.
After the surprisingly refreshing cocktail it was time to tackle the steak. Steak is, non surprisingly, the main pull here at Cut, and they have rather a lot of different cuts from different countries available. Now it so happens that I brought my best friend along with me to enjoy this meal, and that she had never eaten a steak before in her life. When our charming waiter found out out this fact, instead of pointing and laughing at her, he whipped away her lunch menu and instead presented her with the evening menu which has a lot more options. He knowledgeably talked her through the menu describing each different piece of meat and then suggested she try the tasting platter, which consisted of 4oz of USDA Black Angus, 4oz of Australian Wagyu, and 2oz, of Japanese wagyu (£95) I’m honestly not quite sure how someone makes it to the ripe old age of 33 without ever having eaten a steak, but I think years of vegetarianism put her off one of the greatest pleasure in the meat lovers diet. However since this was her first experience it only seemed right that she sampled the very best that they had to offer. After trying a piece of each we wholeheartedly agreed that the Australian wagyu was our favourite, followed by the Japanese. She absolutely adored her steak and has since inundated me with messages about how much she is craving steak. However I haven’t had the heart to tell her that what she had was pretty much the creme de la creme of the steak world, and it is unlikely she shall be fortunate enough to have a steak that good again.
For my main course, I decided to stick with the lunch menu and try the USDA Prime Rib Eye Minute Steak (£40). A supreme piece of meat cooked to the ideal shade of mauve in the centre, while the exterior remained crisp and the fat just melted in the mouth. Despite my steak being on the cheaper end of the scale I’d still pick it as my second favourite after the Australian Wagyu. To complement our steaks we had to have some sides, so we tried the French Fries (£7), Mac & Cheese (£10), and Creamed Spinach (£7). Served with our steaks were a fabulous array of mustards, included in the mix were an English mustard, whole grain mustard, a Dijon Mustard, and a red grape mustard. We were also given a bernaise, a hollandaise, and a steak sauce for dipping. It’s the little details like this that really make Cut a cut above as far as I’m concerned.
With our bellies full of meat, we enjoyed another palate cleansing cocktail called Smoke & Mirrors (£17), a blend of Glenfiddich 12Y.O. infused with Lapsang Sauchoung tea, Drambuie, cherry liquor, and lemon juice. Again the whisky and tea mix was quite a departure from my usual selection but after the steaks the rich smokey whisky was just what we needed. Very moreish, especially the brandy soaked cherry at the end, I’d certainly order this sophisticated choice again.
Despite the fact that my my skirt was becoming tighter by the moment, and that I was developing a very prominent muffin top in a rather upmarket location I just couldn’t say no to dessert. I opted for the Bruleed Banana Cream Pie (£12) which was topped with a 10 year old chocolate sauce. Now I’ve never been one for aged whisky, or wine for that matter, but I can get right on board with aged chocolate after trying this sauce.
My compadre chose the super sweet Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownie (£12). If pushed to decide between the two she probably won the dessert wars just for the sheer decadence of it. Mine was the lighter option, if you can call it light. We finished up with tea, coffee, and biscuits of course, because when in Rome!
Overall we had the most outstanding meal at Cut and I’m not surprised as it’s part of the Dorchester Hotel collection, which I have enjoyed numerous special occasions at over the years including my 21st birthday. While the restaurant is at the higher end of the scale in terms of price its absolutely worth it if you are looking for high quality steak and service. For those who are looking for something a little lighter on the wallet, they do offer a set steak and salad lunch menu which comes with wine and petit fours for a very reasonable (£39). Cut is a collection of restaurants founded by Wolfgang Puck and can be found in London, New York, Las Vegas, LA, and Singapore. Cut is located at 45 Park Lane, Mayfair, London. To get there just take a taxi, if you can afford to eat there you can certainly afford a cab. Otherwise the closest tube station is Hyde Park Corner on the Piccadilly Line. For more information you can call them on or check out the Cut website.