If you are looking for an elegant restaurant central London to visit with your family, you will no doubt already know that you are spoiled for choice. But with the capital's food scene changing so rapidly over the past few years trends have been leaning toward pop up restaurants, food trucks and boutique diners. So, what of the grand restaurants? The ones with chandeliers and live music of the classical kind? They are still here, and are serving up aspirational food with a twist alongside entertainment with bite.
We ate Sunday brunch as a family at CUT at 45 Park Lane, a Dorchester Collection restaurant; which gives you a small insight into the kind of joint it might be. Dark wood, warm lighting, and yes, there were chandeliers, and live music - albeit a natty Italian singer, rather than a grand piano.
Austrian-born chef Wolfgang Puck has made his debut in Europe by opening here at 45 Park Lane, after spending his adult life cooking and opening restaurants in America. CUT London is a mirror reflection of it's namesake in Beverley Hills - in layman's terms, a fantastic steak restaurant with French and American influences. The reputation Puck has for the quality of meat his restaurants serve up is surely one of the main draws, and the perfect place to introduce young diners to how a steak should taste.
Don't miss... Our tantalising interview with chef Wolfgang Puck
On arrival, we noted that our fellow diners were also brunching with their families - one was a large party celebrating a birthday, and who were already onto a rather eye-catching and ginormous birthday cake as we were escorted to our table. The kids hoped it was a sign of things to come...
I'm not sure when brunch became more than pancakes and coffee, but at CUT, it can be a three-course meal. For starters we shared a crab and lobster cocktail, which it was declared was 'the best cocktail ever'. It certainly had crunch, and was served reassuringly chilled as dressed seafood should be. Knowing that Puck was also known for bringing a French twist to American style cooking, we also shared a lettuce and blue cheese salad with chunks of avocado, that went down a treat. Nothing too heavy, but we couldn't help also indulging in the fresh, warm crusty bread that had also arrived at the table. There is a steak tatars on the starter menu, but we had decided to save ourselves for the main event.
I chose the South Devon Angus filet mignon with black peppercorn and armangnac sauce, which arrived in almost a tar like looking substance encrusted around the top and edges. I can say, without fear, that it was the tastiest steak I have ever eaten, and my family will tell you - a steak is my benchmark. We will have to go back for them to get a taste. Sorry kids.
We would also entirely recommend the Wagyu beef burger which is served with cheddar, shallot-jalapeno marmalade and garlic aioli (mouth is still watering as I type) alongside tempura onion rings and French fries. I know what you're thinking - first, that's a whole lot of fried food, and second, that's a whole lot of gluten. Actually, one of our diners was a coeliac and the wait staff were very accommodating, even providing (shock, amazement) some delicious bread to go with the starter. For her main she choose jumbo prawns toasted with chilli oil and ginger (hold the soy sauce) and there is also a huge selection of large and tempting salads should you be feeling the squeeze. But, to be honest, if you don't want to push the boat out on Sunday brunch at a restaurant known for it's American and French fusion, and therefore calorific, cuisine, then when will you? Let me tell you - it is worth every satisfying bite.
Beneath it's glitzy surface, CUT is a good candidate for best steak restaurant in town, with a whole heap of tempting other options besides. And, since it is located on Mayfair, directly opposite Hyde Park, it is also in an ideal place for you to walk/run/play it all all off.
Sunday brunch is served from 11am -315pm every weekend
If you wanted to make a weekend of it… The 45 Park Lane hotel offers great accommodation deals for families, including the '2 for 1' deal, which means a free room for the children. Children are also offered cookies and a selection of DVDs. For more information and too book, visit the Dorchester Collection website.