Cut at 45 Park Lane

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  • North American
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2 course set menu: £39

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Celebrity. Hype. Expectation. The unholy trinity of the restaurant world. When a US celeb chef, such as Wolfgang Puck (who, having found fame with A-list haunt Spago in Beverly Hills, became a US TV regular), arrives on our shores, it’s going to be marked with a hefty dose of hype. His new London restaurant, we learned, would be the sibling to a clutch of glamorous steakhouses in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and Singapore. What’s more, the London outpost would be housed in a brand-new five-star Mayfair hotel called 45 Park Lane, just yards from The Dorchester. ‘Swankorama’, I thought. ‘This’ll be good.’

The reality, however, didn’t match up. On arrival, having been greeted by the obligatory high-cheekboned staff, it quickly became apparent they’d been chosen for looks over experience. After arriving on time, but then being kept waiting for 25 minutes, with baffling explanations (‘your table IS ready, but please can you wait a little longer?’), we were finally seated.

Surveying our surroundings, it was hard not to feel disappointed. Yes, there was an original Damien Hirst butterfly kaleidoscope painting (one of a dozen) hanging behind us, but despite being expensively decorated, this place lacks soul. A long, lean room, with acres of pale marble and soundproof floor-to-ceiling glass shielding diners from the Park Lane traffic outside, it felt more like an extension of the lobby, rather than a bona fide dining destination. In the background, ’70s soft rock music (Dire Straits, Santana) only heightened the sensation.

The painful waits continued. In spite of an army of front-of-house flunkies to wipe away crumbs, shake napkins, repeatedly change cutlery and deliver condiments, we had to assume things were less rosy behind the kitchen door. Starters arrived a full hour after we did: this was not going to be an express lunch.

We were placated, however, by an excellent basket of homemade breads and things started looking up. And up. Belying the experience thus far, the food was exceptional. Steakhouse classics were given the luxury treatment, with high-end ingredients and thoughtful presentation. Light and creamy (as is the American way), a shellfish salad was rendered as a tian of lobster and Dorset crab, while steak (one of only four choices at lunchtime), came perfectly cooked, with a ruby-red middle and flavour imparted by an expensive broiler.

But a simple £15 burger stole the show: made of succulent Black Angus beef layered with molten cheddar, a fat slice of ripe tomato and roasted red onions, it also came with fresh pickles, proper hand-cut French fries and four kinds of mustard. Factor in a tower of delicately crisp onion rings on the side, and this has to be one of the best burgers in town. Which makes it even more of a pity: the cooking here may be a cut above the rest, but the rest of the experience really needs sharpening up.

 

Venue name: Cut at 45 Park Lane
Contact:
Address: 45 Park Lane
London
W1K 1PN
Opening hours: 7-10.30am, noon-3pm, 6-11pm Mon-Sat; 7-10.30am, noon-3pm, 6-10.30pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Hyde Park Corner tube
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £110

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
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  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|2
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Jay J

I really liked this place - the food, is without doubt, exceptional. Seriously good steaks and one of the best burgers in town (I've eaten a few...). Obviously it's expensive (Susan! You're on Park Lane - come'on!) and you can definitely get better value elsewhere but it's definitely worth it. The setting is lovely too (GREAT art) and service well-honed. The only negative I have is that it wasn't exactly buzzing when we went but it was an early midweek dinner - we're getting old. 

Susan

This was one of the most embarrassing rip offs I have ever experienced in a restaurant. Actually, scrap that. It was definitely the biggest rip off I've ever had. The food was TINY and very little on the menu was less than £20, even the starters. That lovely dish of tuna tartare you can see in the pic up there was £22!!! And it was not sizeable or anywhere near worth the price tag in taste. Furthermore, it wasn't pure tuna in the tartare, it was diluted with avocado. I went because I was taken out by some friends otherwise it's highly unlikely I would have gone near the place myself. Especially as I'm not a red meat lover (a bit ironic to be sat in a steak joint). So I ordered the scallops as a main (£22). I was pretty hunry so I checked with the waitress if it was a good portion or small as scallop dishes are often starters and this was titled as a main. Oh no, she reassured me, it was very filling. This was the same waitress who allowed the guy paying for the meal to order additional chips for the table without a whisker of a mention that the burgers most of the table ordered already came with hearty chip portions - we had alot of chips on the table when everything arrived. When the scallops turned up, the minute size of them was so swamped by the massive plate they came on that I think everyone else was embarrassed by how little I had to eat. The waitress had specifically said the scallops were large, well they were definitely small ones and there was only 4 of them. I'm a petite girl with a small appetite but I had to make the most of the bread basket (the best bit) because the meal was so stingey. I felt ripped off on behalf of the guy paying. I felt ripped off when a diet coke was £5. I felt ripped off when the garden salad from the starters for £12 was a few shreds of carrots and leaves - I actually laughed when it arrived it was so ridiculous. The whole experience disgusted me really. I know there are people who like to eat in expensive and shee-shee places but I'd imagine that even those with spare cash to spend would feel duped. Fair enough this place is not famous for its fish, but even the burgers were just burgers. One of the women who had one said she preferred GBKs to this and at least there she didn't have to pay £19 for the privilege. There was little atmosphere, it was stuffy and for 5 of us the bill came in at £380, sans alcohol and desserts (only coffees and 2 diet cokes) and only 3 starters between us. I'm sure people with the cash will carry on going to a place like this, but if you want an excellent meal for the same amount of money, go somewhere else.