insideKENT Magazine insideKENT Issue 69 Dec 2017 - Page 101

LONDON A CUT ABOVE by Donna Martin OH, HOW I DO LOVE A LUXURIOUS, LEISURELY LUNCH IN LONDON. PARDON THE WILD USE OF L WORDS, BUT I CAN THINK OF NO BETTER WAY TO DESCRIBE THE MOST LUSCIOUS LUNCH I EXPERIENCED AT CUT AT 45 PARK LANE. I was first introduced to Wolfgang Puck’s cuisine when living in America, many moons ago. I’d seen him on TV and had dined at the Wolfgang Puck Café at Disney World, but since that time in my life (let’s say it was a long time ago), I haven’t been reaquainted with the Austrian chef. Until now. CUT at 45 Park Lane is a mirror of Puck’s original CUT in Beverly Hills, and you kind of get that posh, California feeling straight away. Quite inconspicuous from the street, once inside, you almost feel the need to walk with a swagger as you make your way to your swanky table. Glossy stone floors, rich ivory and lipstick-red leather chairs, sweeping floor- to-soaring-ceiling curtains and sparkling spherical chandeliers make you feel like you’re in for something special. And I promise, you are. The décor and ambiance, though inspiring, are nothing compared to the food. The wonder of Wolfgang Puck is not only his ability to feature ingredients that you’re familiar with (and generally love), but that he can weave their flavours together exquisitely, offering tastes that are recognisable, but also new and exciting. Take, for example, my small but perfectly formed pre-starter: a mini Wagyu beef burger. You’re probably thinking the same thing I was: what could be so great about a puny, little burger? When placed before me, I chuckled at its minuteness, but never have I tasted anything so small that made me go completely silent in flavour-induced bewilderment. The Wagyu beef was out-of-this-world good, so after that tiny palate tease, I knew had to order a Wagyu filet for my main course. Realising I’d need plenty of room for my steak, I decided on a light starter: butter lettuce salad with avocado, stilton blue cheese and champagne-herb vinaigrette. The presentation was gorgeous, with dainty layers of lettuce atop a delicious dressing, topped with fresh tomato, blue cheese and edible flowers. Every dish at CUT is a work of art, both for the eyes and the mouth. From the perfectly presented grilled sashimi, to the rainbow colours of the heirloom salad, to the too- pretty-to-eat baked Alaska, everything put in front of me required a conscious decision of am I really willing to ruin that beautiful thing? Obviously, the answer was a resounding ‘yes’ – my tastebuds always win. The Wagyu fillet was the definitive star of the show. Referred to as the holy grail of beef, this Japanese breed of cattle produces beef that contains intense marbling and a high amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids; in other words, it is the king of steaks, and rightly so. Served alongside the staff-recommended desirée potato purée and roasted carrots and turnips with thyme honey, this was a meal made for royalty. After sipping on a refreshing loose-leaf peppermint tea, and some cheeky Park Lane people-watching outside the large, street-side windows, I left the restaurant already thinking of a reason to return. Lunch meeting, anyone? CUT at 45 Park Lane 45 Park Lane Mayfair London W1K 1PN THE BEST WAY TO GET TO LONDON Southeastern runs train services into London from Kent and East Sussex, operating some 2,000 trains a day, including the high-speed from Ashford to St Pancras International in just 38 minutes. 101