Narise Kamber reviews…
Did I just give my verdict right at the beginning of the review? Yes I did because it is the simple truth. Dining in Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Cut, one of the best steakhouses in the world, in the Four Seasons Bahrain Hotel, is a special experience and a privilege.
The fine hospitality starts way before we – myself and my husband – reach the restaurant. It starts from the welcoming valet personnel, and the readily available hotel staff waiting in the beautiful olive tree lobby to guide us to the location of the restaurant.
The first feeling you get as you enter Cut is that you are in a fine dining restaurant in New York city, only here you get to see a stunning panoramic view of Manama city. The decor is contemporary, cool and chic with a monochromatic color scheme and a rich Brazilian rosewood and mahogany dominance in the furniture. There is also sparkling art deco lighting elegantly paired with the dark hues of the place.
Now lets talk about everyone’s favorite part; the food. A delectable trio of amuse bouche was sent to our table. It included tuna tartare bites, beef tartare crostinis and a small basket of gruyere gougeres. All three were delicious but the beef tartare was another story. I wanted to ask for more but I knew I had more dishes to try.
The menu is both rich and detailed and deserves to be read thoroughly. We started with some mocktails. The list includes items with interesting names and ingredients such as Double happiness (pineapple, passion fruit and orgeat syrup) and In the name of love (cucumber, orange blossom, coconut, elderflower) and Cracklin’ rose (raspberries, rose, lychees, cranberry). The latter was our favorite and was one of the most unique mocktails I ever had. There is also a wine room that has the largest selection of wine on the island. But my husband cordially declined as we both don’t drink alcohol. Shortly after we had our mocktails we were given a selection of four choices of freshly baked bread. There was the onion focaccia, olive ciabatta, blue cheese bread roll and salted pretzel bread. All the breads were excellent, but if I were to pick one it will be the salted pretzel bread especially if you have it with rosemary butter also prepared at the Cut kitchen. For the starters we were recommended Cut’s best selling appetizers and they were the butter lettuce salad with blue cheese dressing and the jumbo lump crab and shrimp ‘louis’ cocktail. My husband – an avid salad lover – loved the salad saying it had a good combination of avocado, tomato, butter lettuce, blue cheese and nuts. The crab and shrimp cocktail had a twist to the usual shrimp cocktail, this had more tender pieces of fleshy crab and shrimp with the right zesty sauce and was served on what I thought was a mozarella disk, but turned out to be a horseradish panna cotta. And yes that was very good. I tend to like to choose items that are not part of an ordinary menu so I opted to try the bone marrow flan. It had to get the best marks in presentation. I got two vertically placed pieces of bone marrow on a bed of a dreamy mushroom marmalade and topped with some paper thin slices of onion and parsley, a treat for the eyes and certainly for the palate.
Of course speaking of the starters there is so much more to choose from on the menu, ranging from the beef sashimi to the summer squash risotto to the scallop carpaccio and the different salads.
Now lets get to the most important part of the meal. This constitutes of either choosing your favorite meat cut with a sauce and a side dish or you can go for the slow simmered and pan roasted items that are mainly non ‘steak’ for those who prefer chicken or fish.
The very knowledgeable maitre d’ carries a tray of numerous cuts of uncooked meat covered by a black napkin to our table and proceeds with an informative explanation of the differences between each cut and the cooking methods and aging techniques used by the restaurant. We proceeded to choose three different cuts of sirloin and a pan roasted lobster.
Before we get to the meat cuts let’s talk about the sides, who deserve another independent review as they are some of the best I have ever had. Some examples of the sides include hand cut truffle fries cooked with peanut oil, creamed spinach with fried organic egg, tempura onion rings, cavatappi pasta mac and cheese with aged cheddar and yukon gold potato puree. My top three picks from the sides are the creamed spinach with fried egg (my new comfort food pick), the soft silky buttery potato puree and the unprecedented mac and cheese, which I would order on a cold rainy day and not have anything else with it. The lobster arrives and is served with a table side presentation and is eaten with clarified butter and a truffle sabayon. This lobster was perfection on its own. It did not need any embellishments, spices, nor sauces, it has to be eaten slowly and quietly in order to savor its simple magnificence. The second part of our main dish was the long awaited sirloin steaks. We ordered a USDA prime New York sirloin from Nebraska paired with a bernaise sauce, a sirloin Australian wagyu from Stockyard Queensland paired with a house made steak sauce and a Japanese pure bred wagyu beef from Tajima prefecture paired with Argentinean chimichurri. All three pieces were cooked to perfection and were properly paired with the right sauce. But in the first place comes the Japanese wagyu. Why? Because, this Japanese wagyu is more fat than flesh due to the high level of fat marbling in Japanese breeds. And thus the taste of this wagyu was a rich, mouth-filling, palate covering butter-like heaven.
In some steakhouses the meat pieces are usually doused with so much sauce and spices that you don’t get to taste the real meat, yet in Cut the meat represents itself alone seasoned with a house made salt to enhance and not camouflage the natural meat flavor. The steaks are grilled over hardwood and charcoal then finished under a 650 degree broiler. All the beef used in Cut is USDA prime corn fed from Nebraska, Japan and Australia.
There was barely any place for dessert and if you enjoyed the meal as much as we did, you wouldn’t want to have any thing after. But there was a tempting dessert list we couldn’t resist. We ordered the lychee coconut baked alaska, and the dark chocolate souffle with whipped creme fraiche and gianduja chocolate icecream which was served with a table side presentation. We were also served a cherry crumble with toasted almond ice cream. My favorite desert though has got to be the Cut chocolate bar, a chocolate lover’s dream of decadent chocolate layers and crunchy feuilletine with a side of a mango passion fruit sorbet whose acidity cuts the intensity of the sweet chocolate bar. And last but not least an espresso with a thumb size trio of sweet bites, a pistachio financier, a lemon tart, and a dark chocolate tart. There is also a selection of artisanal cheeses from England and France such as Shropshire, Morbier AOP, Fromage de l’Herve and Chevre Buche Capifrais. The cheeses are served with honeycomb, quince paste, candied walnuts and fruit and nut bread.
The quality of food and service you will receive is a feast fit for royalty and well worth every dinar you pay for at Cut. I firmly believe that Cut will be on my date night list for at least once a month every month, especially when the weather becomes colder and the Cut terrace dining area is open alongside the new cigar seating area; A view of the sea, a cigar and Japanese Wagyu, every man’s dream dinner, (definitely my husband’s ideal outing).
CUT by Wolfgang Puck
Located at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay
+ 973 17115000
Lunch: Mon-Sat 12:00 pm – 15:00 pm (Lunch is closed on Sunday)
Dinner: Daily 19:00pm – 12:00 midnight
Brunch: every Saturday
Indoor seating: 112
Private dining room seating: 20-40 guests
Attire: Smart casual
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