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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

CUT: THE MUSTARD?



























Cut to the chase: It's a Steakhouse. It's expensive. Rich people and Americans will love it. (Cheque to the usual place please).

Oh. Ok.

Much as I'd like to believe Wolfgang Puck has always wanted to open a restaurant in London and isn't it just wunnerful with your history and I'm actually thinking of buying a house and sending my kids to school here and the weather, just love your weather etc.etc. Much as I'd like to believe it I just can't. Let's face it: not only is the weather crap here but CUT is really just another branch of an ever-expanding franchise in yet another tony location

This one is located in a narrow space on the ground floor of some sort of boutique-like annex of the Dorchester Hotel. It’s all (presumably) hideously expensive with hard, reflective surfaces and heavy furniture. Surroundings designed to confound simple folk like myself but one in which people like hedge fund managers – there’s alot around these parts - will feel right at home.

There's a definite Siberia in this restaurant, situatedt right at the back, to which I was inevitably led and seated so that the other sad-sack single diner had a nice view of my back. I had a view of the wall. Avoid.

On a sort of mezzanine floor overlooking the dining room there’s a bar where I could only imagine the fun people were having but could certainly enjoy the sound system blasting out hits of the 70’s. David segueing into Al segueing into Marvin.

Although it’s ostensibly a steakhouse the menu has pleanty choice with even a few options for vegetarians - although if you are one of those so-blessed you may ponder upon on your choice of dining venue when you see mushrooms coming in at £19. They are Masala Wild Mushrooms though. In the end, though, it’s still a steakhouse and it seemed perverse and not a little bit dumb to order anything but a piece of beef.

Before that though there were some nibbles: nice, crumbly cheese straws, warm cheesy gougères and some toughish bread.

A starter of Crab and Lobster “Louis” was an assemblage of lumps of lobster, white crab meat, toms and microgreens – like a sort of refined seafood cocktail. I couldn’t detect any of the advertised horseradish and it was a little underseasoned for my taste but it was a light and pleasant enough dish and the shellfish tasted nice.

There’s a decent selection of steaks available and there was the now obligatory show ‘n’ tell of the primo cuts. Foolishly, as it turned out, I spurned my usual “Stupidly Big Steak on Bone” MO and went for 6oz of Australian Wagyu. Yours for an arm AND a leg – I suspect it hadn’t travelled cattle class from down under. Super-sizing it with £10 of Foie Gras was just showing off.

Whoever’s manning the grill here knows exactly what they’re doing as the smallish lump of beef – it was a shock to see what 6oz of steak actually looks like – was perfectly cooked and
looked bloody great (mate).

Unfortunately, it had about as much taste as your average Ocker. Whether I should requested it cooked less rare; whether the odd seasoning covering the outside of the meat was killing the flavour; whether I’ve developed a tin mouth, I’ll never know. What I do know is that it was one of the more disappointing steaks I’ve eaten in a restaurant. So much so I hardly noticed that the FG had been overcooked.

The sides were more enjoyable though. A large tower of Tempura Onion Rings were light and crisp although its height had been enhanced by judiciously filling the bottom of the cup with the onion ring equivalent of 'bits'.

Fries were light and crisp although they’d been cut from unpeeled spuds (quite common in the US) – just made for dipping in an anaemic-looking but fine tasting béarnaise.

An off-menu Ice Cream selection was a metaphorical shrug of a desert but I liked the accompanying gooey chocolate cookie as well as the ones which came with my coffee.

Wines were just as eye-gougingly expensive as the food which is to be expected – there are very few reasonably priced wines to be found in London restaurants. Service was ultra-smooth and never missed a beat. As a whole though the experience left me underwhelmed. To be fair I feel this way about the majority of new places and find myself returning instead to my old favourite haunts.

To be honest if all you’re after is a good steak and are not fussed about dining at bling factor 50 then one of the established London Steakhouses – Goodman is but a 15 minute stroll away - would be a better choice. If you do not partake of the cow and have plenty of dosh CUT may just suit the bill.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Andy K said...

go on tell us - what was the bill?

Thursday, September 08, 2011 7:17:00 am  
Anonymous ross gardner said...

Wow. Either its a small plate or thats even less than 6oz. Think I'll be sticking with the 600g rib eye at Hawksmoor (if dining alone of course)

Friday, September 09, 2011 12:45:00 am  
Anonymous Abe F. said...

Why do vegetarians go to steakhouses ?
This is not a joke like "why did the chicken cross the road?",but am always amazed that they go and then expect a "vegetarian " option.

Friday, September 09, 2011 1:18:00 pm  
Blogger Foodycat said...

The couple of times I have had wagyu in Australia, I was underwhelmed. It's fine if all you are going for is tenderness, but that isn't how I choose my steak!

Sunday, September 11, 2011 6:13:00 pm  

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