CUT is the European debut of the American Michelin-starred restaurant owner Wolfgang Puck, famous for his Oscar Awards banquets, as well as for being President Barack Obama's favourite chef. The new London restaurant has recently taken over the former Playboy Club and is now part of the Dorchester Hotel, steeped in the 1930s glamour and set in one of London's most beautiful neighbourhoods at 45 Park Lane.
Spread across the whole of the first floor of the hotel building, CUT seats 70; the tables are arranged along a sort of gallery, so long and narrow that you can hardly see the other end of the passage.
A contemporary American steak restaurant, CUT serves a great selection of vegetarian and seafood courses alongside its basic menu of top quality dishes from hand-picked meat. However, you would do well to sample some of the CUT Restaurant's complimentary dishes and starters before you start tucking in the great beef produced by small cattle farms in America, Australia, New Zealand and Chile.
Could there be a better chef's compliment than skilfully twisted long and crunchy Parmesan breadsticks, followed by tuna tartare with wasabi aioli dressing, served with vendace caviar: it is like an alarm clock for the taste buds. And then there are the outstandingly delicious wagyū beef mini-burgers, yumm... Incidentally, even the burger bun is the best of the best here, and seaweed butter is served alongside the traditional variety.
If it is followed by a starter of bone-marrow crème brûlée with mushroom marmalade served in the bone, you can already consider the night out a success. Spend some time trifling with bone-marrow dumplings and chervil in ox-tail broth or a salad of butter lettuce, avocado, Shropshire blue cheese and herb vinaigrette, and then you can move on to the most important thing of all, an excellent meat dish!
CUT serves both dry-aged (hung for 35 days in an excellently aired environment, close to the freezing point) and wet-aged (kept for several days in vacuum) meat. The fabulous charred crust of the CUT steaks is guaranteed by the final minutes of cooking when they are fried at the temperature of 650 Fahrenheit. I cannot wait to taste my New York Sirloin and Petit Cut Filet Mignon from beef produced in small American cattle farms. They are fantastic!
The best pork, of course, comes from Iberia; it is the one produced by feeding the animals with acorns for the perfect taste and tenderness which come through vividly in the pork dishes served at CUT. The highlight of the CUT menu of meat dishes is, of course, the pink and marbled wagyū beef, prepared in a number of ways here. To accompany any of these meaty temptations, choose from a selection of great sauces (Wasabi-Yuzu Kosho Butter; Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce; Béarnaise, etc.).
If, aside from being a gourmet carnivore, you also belong to people who crave some extra attention, this is indeed the right place for you: the CUT waiting staff greet you standing in a long line, bowing in front of you as if you were a duke returning from a significant distant trip: you will quite possibly never have returned as many greetings before. The American-style small-talk attacks continue throughout the night; soon enough I catch myself mentally waving them away like flies...
45 Park Lane, Mayfair
Keywords: restaurant, restaurants, London