CUT at 45 park lane
Austrian chef Wolfgang Puck is a bit of a legend in the States, with a successful career spanning decades and a string of lauded fine dining and casual restaurants to his name. He recently began venturing further afield, opening outposts of his steakhouse CUT first in Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, and now at the new 45 Park Lane here in London. Having grown up with the occasional Puck-branded frozen pizza at the dinner table I was sceptical, yet curious to sample the cuisine that made him famous.
Dinner commenced pleasantly with gougères and crumbly cheese grissini to nibble on while we dissected the menu. One of the lovely waitresses rolled over a presentation of the cuts of beef available and gave us a brief description of each breed. We made our picks and tucked into the bread (a solid selection of walnut, sourdough and onion focaccia) which was served with two butters – a plain salted one, and a rather delectable seaweed-specked number.
The tian of Dorset Crab and Lobster “Louis” and Spicy Tomato-Horseradish was a beautiful start to the meal – sweet shellfish delicately herbed and dressed, resting on creamy cubes of avocado and a silken round of mild horseradish panna cotta. Served with a refreshing salad garnish, it was vibrant, light and delicious.
Australian Wagyu Steak Sashimi with Spicy Radishes also hit the spot – meltingly tender slices of ruby marbled meat matched with a mix of colourful sprightly vegetables.
A main of Wagyu Beef Short Ribs “Indian Spiced” with Curried Cauliflower and Garam Masala was intensely flavoured and unctuously soft from eight hours of slow cooking. Incredibly tasty, just a pity there wasn’t more of it on the plate.
Naturally, it being a steakhouse we couldn’t leave without delving into their extensive offering. We were intrigued by the Australian Wagyu and Black Angus hybrid but balked at the cost (£85 per 6oz/170g) and instead opted for the more moderately-priced Tasting of New York Sirloin (£45) which featured 4oz portions of USDA Prime Black Angus and Casterbridge Angus, as well as a 2oz serving of the aforementioned crossbreed.
Each of the trio was tasty in their own right, and well-complimented by the accompanying sauces – the rich Béarnaise and piquant Housemade Steak Sauces (the latter was so good B wanted to takeaway a bottle) partnered nicely with the leaner Angus cuts, while the acid of the Argentinian Chimichurri cut through the juicy fat-laced Wagyu hybrid. Of the three, the last really stood out – a perfect balance between the robust meatiness of Angus and melt-in-the-mouth goodness of Wagyu.
None of the steak comes with sides but there is a lengthy list of tempting add-ons available for a little extra. Not wanting to mess with the pure taste of beef we shunned the bone marrow (£6) and seared foie gras (£10) toppings and went with sides of Herbed French Fries (£4.50) and Creamed Spinach (£5.50).
The fries were very good indeed (crisp outside, fluffy within) but not distinctively herby. The Creamed Spinach however was phenomenal – sinfully buttery and crowned with a gorgeous soft-yolked fried Burford Brown. I could have eaten just that with some crusty bread and have been blissfully happy.
Desserts were rather lovely too. The Banana Cream Pie with 10 Chocolate Sauce and Butterscotch Gelato came highly recommended and didn’t disappoint. A sophisticated take on an American favourite which was well-balanced and surprisingly light.
The oh-so-decadent Warm Chocolate Soufflé was fluffy yet dense with a deep rich molten centre. A real chocoholic’s dream.
Mint teas and biscotti wrapped up a hugely enjoyable meal. The sommelier and wait staff were attentive, friendly and knowledgeable, the food both comforting and refined, and we even liked the narrow hotel lobby-like dining room and eclectic soundtrack (Wolfgang’s personal playlist we were told) that ranged from opera and 60’s hits to current chart-toppers and dance tunes.
The menu reads well and there is plenty on it I would return for. I had a quick glance at the Breakfast and Lunch à la carte, and those too looked inviting. In fact I can imagine myself being a regular here; if it weren’t quite so pricey that is (all those extras really rack up).
CUT at 45 Park Lane
45 Park Lane, Mayfair
London W1K 1PN
t.020 7493 4545