Four doormen fumble over who helps me through the revolving door as I stroll into the latest addition to the Dorchester Collection family of hotels, known as 45 Park Lane. Barely in its infancy, it’s become a hive of exclusivity, for the modern-day equivalent of yuppies and out of my league bimbos that are disturbingly paired with men much older, much fatter and much uglier than myself. I am here to dine at CUT: the first European iteration of Austrian super-chef, Wolfgang Puck’s steakhouse. With over twenty fine-dining establishments in America, including the two Michelin star Spago in Beverly Hills, I suppose Puck figures it’s time to expand the empire.
CUT display unit
The waiter brings over the display-unit of their meat cuts. I do the usual ‘play dumb’ routine as he talks me through the benefits of marbling and what Wagyu is and how the farmers massage the cows’ balls and play drinking games with them, and so on. Most of the meat here is of the USDA Prime variety sourced from Arkansas City, Kansas. The Wagyu chunks are pure breeds from Australia and Chile and cost enough to make your wallet hurl itself into the Thames. There’s a wine list that is surely designed to do nothing but frighten the diner.
Australian Wagyu steak sashimi, Spicy Radishes, Greek cress £23
My starter of Australian Wagyu steak sashimi arrives. The juicey burgundy slices glisten with a majesty becoming of their price. There’s a sweetness and intensity to the flavour. I finish the first of these marbled sex slabs to realise that there is plenty more to go. Surprisingly generous – or not – at £23 a pop. Spicy radishes and peppered Greek cress augment each mouthful with some added texture.
USDA Prime, Black Angus ribeye 14 oz £44
Following a brief interlude, my ribeye arrives looking menacing with its external char; medium-rare and rested impeccably well. They get the seasoning just right. The quality of the meat is on a par with Goodman, but it’s the seasoning that gives CUT a slight edge, really boosting the flavour. The flesh is the essence of tenderness with the sweetness I’ve come to expect from the US corn fed stuff. I haven’t tasted a better steak in this country.
French fries with herbs £5.50
I find the bordelaise sauce too potent to want to keep overpowering my mouthfuls of meat, so revert to the bernaise served with my fries which proves a better fit. The fries are very good; satisfyingly crispy on the outside with mushy inners, with a slight herby twang.
Warm chocolate soufflé, whipped crème fraîche , Gianduja ice-cream £9.50
Onto dessert. An unassuming soufflé finds its way to me. The waiter knifes a slit into it; then pours an avalanche of chocolate sauce, crème fraîche, Gianduja ice cream and even more chocolate sauce to create a vortex of indulgence. There is so much going on here that it borders on the overwhelming. The warm, the cold, the liquid, the fluff. If the Devil were to lure me through the gates of Hell, this is the dessert he’d dangle before my face. You need this in your life.
I’m enamored with the food at CUT, but it comes at a hefty premium. My bill came to a whopping £120 for a three course meal and single glass of wine. It’s the way it goes: they couldn’t charge these prices if people weren’t willing to pay them, and they know their demographic. I’ll come back on occasion, but my loyalties lie with Goodman where the standard isn’t far off, and my debit card lives to fight another day. CUT at 45 Park Lane is exclusive and that’s by no means an accident. Bring your friends, your clients, your dates, your master or your gimp. Just don’t forget to bring your wallet.
food : 9/10
service : 7.5/10
ambience : 6/10
value : 6/10
CUT at 45 Park Lane
45 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1PN
020 7493 4545