Natasha Blair samples a Beverley Hills Brunch at Cut at 45 Park Lane
A visit to Los Angeles earlier this year, working with Wolfgang Puck, inspired Executive Chef Elliott Grover to introduce a brunch culture on Saturdays to the menu at the Cut, Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant at 45 Park Lane.
A doorman ushered a friend and I into a cool, high-ceilinged Art Deco-styled interior that exuded luxury with its discreet reception. The ground-floor air-conditioned restaurant with floor-to-ceiling glass windows was styled so that passers-by were unable to see inside. A guitarist was entertaining diners with songs that created a soothing atmosphere without being intrusive, and which didn’t distract from being able to talk.
The two-course menu includes a glass of Rathfinny, a delicate white English sparkling wine from Sussex which compares favourably to its French equivalent. The wine was served in an elegant champagne glass with a long stem which set the mood for our brunch.
Drinks were served with an amuse bouche of mini, cheese puff balls. This was not a brunch to be hurried. The atmosphere was one of calm and relaxation rather than hustle and bustle. Although the restaurant borders on Park Lane, a main road in the centre of London where we could see cars and buses going by, and even had sight of the Royal Cavalry on horseback dressed in all their finery, no sound carried into the restaurant.
Elliott grew up in Cornwall which has a lot to do with his being a huge fan of seafood. The first course of ‘light bites’ reflected this in a choice of three Archill Rock oysters or a trio of mini tuna cones, smoked salmon blinis, and steak tartare.
The oysters were served with lemon halves, and a choice of dips, the traditional vinaigrette with tiny shreds of shallot, and a hot vinaigrette infused with chilli. The light bites consisted of mini crunchy cones stuffed with spicy tuna tartare, and covered with a sesame miso tuile; a small piece of smoked salmon perched on a herb blini, topped with creme fraiche; and steak tartare sprinkled with slithers of shaved black truffle nestled on a rondle of toasted sourdough.
Mains include Bel-Air braised beef cheek, chunks of meat which were so tender that the meat fell apart, a buttermilk waffle, smashed avocado with a splash of crème fraiche, and slithers of pickled vegetables, slices of cucumber and pepper. Another speciality, tacos filled with thin slices of rare beef with avocado, and cabbage coleslaw were accompanied with a green salsa and cilantro cream.
I chose to be less adventurous, picking from a selection of more traditional brunch dishes which included eggs Royal, Florentine and Benedict. A subtle addition to my eggs Florentine which came beautifully presented, were asparagus tips, in season during my visit, with a poached egg perfectly cooked and balanced on a bed of blanched spinach, all topped with a bright yellow, due to the yolks of the eggs, hollandaise sauce.
My dinner companion chose the UK New York Steak, one of the cuts that Wolfgang Puck restaurants are famous for, served with French fries and sauce béarnaise, The steak which melted in the mouth, was thickly sliced, and cooked medium as requested, red inside but not bloody. Side dishes, which are extra, include Cavatappi, tube-shaped macaroni pasta, mac served with cheese and truffle fries.
A speciality of the brunch at Cut at 45 Park Lane is its alcohol-imbibed milkshakes. The Baileys and Oreo Milkshake looked like a work of art, and if like me, you are a lover of Baileys, it is worth ordering. My only problem was being able to enjoy it after having eaten so much rich food. Fortunately, the strawberry and mint vodka slush, made with lots of crushed ice was for me, a more digestible option.
The hotel’s philosophy is that art is good for the soul as it makes the person look, think, and imagine. Their view is that art takes the viewer to new places while offering a fresh perspective, and at the same time raising questions. As part of this ethos, every space at Cut 45 Park Lane is a living canvas for a revolving collection of art by contemporary British artists. Even the ceiling lights made of wire to give the illusion of clouds are works of art.
Once the haloed entrance to the Playboy Club on the corner of Park Lane and Curzon Street, a permanent outdoor dining terrace has also opened at Cut at 45 Park Lane. The terrace, which would normally be ideal for a relaxing drink before dinner, due to licensing restrictions, they are obliged to also serve food. A light summer menu has been created to meet this criteria.
Brunch at the Cut at 45 Park Lane is available on Saturdays from 11 am to 3 pm. £55 for two courses which include a glass of Rathfinny. The producers have the accolade of being the first sparkling wine grower-producer in the world to achieve B Corp Business status which balances purpose with profit while taking account of its environmental and social impact.
Tell me more about Cut at 45 Park Lane
CUT at 45 Park Lane, 45 Park Lane, London W1K 1PN.
T +44(0) 20 7493 4545
Brunch at the Cut at 45 Park Lane is available on Saturdays from 11 am to 3 pm. £55 for two
For a more traditional lunch, the restaurant has roasts on a Sunday.