20 December 2013
After the debacle of Kazan (see separate review) I decided to compensate for this by holding my own ‘Christmas’ lunch for me and a longstanding friend at Cut.
I’d not been before, but she loves it there, and rates it one of her two favourites in London (the other being Pollen Street Social).
It’s a lovely dining room – I know some people have likened it to a corridor, and yes it’s a funny, long and narrow shape, but it’s oh so sexy as well. Everything sparkles, but somehow it just stays on the right side of bling – I particularly loved the high ceilings and the sliver cloud lights. If it were a bit of clothing it’d definitely be a Louboutin stiletto.
On a Thursday lunchtime, in the week before Christmas, it was busy with a mixed group of people, from suits, to ladies that lunch, to hotel guests. There isn't music, but it’s also not somewhere that you feel the need to whisper, but neither is it overwhelmingly loud like, say, Berners Tavern.
Service is excellent; everyone is polite, friendly and efficient. Its ultimately less polished than, say, Petrus, but at the same time you’d struggle to find fault with it.
Food is not adventurous – think steaks, salads, sandwiches etc – but it’s done really well and delivered to an exceptional standard. After a fantastic selection of warm bread (Olive, sour dough, foccacia), with spreadable, salty butter, we both went for the set, Cut on the hour, menu. We both went for Angus Filet Mignon (no starters); it was a perfect, thick (if smallish), steak, done nicely pink and as good as any I’ve eaten; the only downside being what you get is a steak and everything else (sauce, side dishes etc) is extra and at a minimum of £7 a side, costs do mount up quickly. Dessert was cherry Baked Alaska with pistachio base and sauce – slightly chewy, rather than crisp, meringue, but overall excellent.
We managed to accompany lunch with 2 glasses each of LP champagne and a rather nice glass of Malbec each with our steaks. All really good, but again at a cost – we managed £100 worth of drinks, which when you’ve added service on top does make for a costly option.
And that’s the biggest issue with Cut, the sheer cost. Two set menus, water, 3 side dishes, sauce, drinks and service came to £250. And if you’d got into the main menu and a bottle of wine would have probably been closer to £400 – which is simply too much given Petrus, Pollen Street, Eric Chavot etc would all come in far cheaper than that.
But would I go again? Absolutely, though I’d prefer if someone else paid the bill.