Restaurant review: a Cut above for steak in Dubai

Celebity chef Wolfgang Puck's newish eaterie at the Address Downtown Dubai is a cut above for a business dinner.

Wolfgang Puck shows one of the top-quality steaks ready for the grill at his Cut by Wolfgang Puck restaurant in Dubai. Jaime Puebla / The National
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It is not brand new, but Cut by Wolfgang Puck at the Address Downtown Dubai is a relatively fresh arrival to the UAE's dining scene. Well located next to The Dubai Mall in one of the city's better hotels, it might make for an ideal post-work dinner option for those who are taking clients or colleagues out for a meal.
By the name it should be obvious that steaks are the dominant item on the menu and the restaurant is suitably proud of its wide choice of meat, even offering a tasting menu of its sirloin range from Queensland and New York.
The space itself is awkward, seemingly chosen for the view of Burj Khalifa through the giant glass frontage, which might make more sense for a romantic setting.
I prefer to enjoy the ambience of the restaurant itself, especially one of the Hollywood staple Puck's places, which rarely lack for a watchable crowd. However, the giant columns that break up the room and block your view of other diners will be ideal for a business dinner where discretion is the order of the day.
Cut is also perfectly lit for any occasion - not too bright and not too dark. There are also one or two bigger tables that would offer a larger group some privacy.
Eschewing any of the starters which sounded fancy and are priced at around Dh100 each, for fear their ingredient heavy nature would get in the way of a good piece of meat, I chose a 225g filet mignon from the US, cooked medium.
It was excellent, almost perfectly done and full of flavour; the quality of the steak was obvious even from the way my knife easily parted the meat. The Béarnaise sauce was spot on and the peppercorn option was also good.
Lots of sides to choose from including the usual potato varieties but instead I chanced the sautéed summer vegetables with mint and feta cheese, creamed spinach with an egg on top and sautéed cauliflower - all full of flavour, fresh tasting and very creative. Overall the meal was good value too, around Dh400 to Dh500 a head, which for Dubai and steak is not too bad these days.
q&achef with celebrity aura
Who is Wolfgang Puck?
He is probably the original celebrity chef. The Austrian made his name in Los Angeles in the 1970s and '80s, attracting a loyal clientele of Hollywood stars and power brokers, particularly at his Spago restaurant, which became well known for its modern take on Italian cuisine.
What is he most famous for now?
Since the '90s he has been expanding his global food and restaurant interests including middle-tier concepts and branded houseware. He was also Chef Smurf in the 2011 Smurf movie.
How did he start out?
His mother was a chef in the local town he was born in and she taught him as a young child. He began formal training at the age of 14, studying in Austria first before moving to France to work at L'Ousteau de Baumaniere in Les Baux-de-Provence and the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. His big break came in his mid-20s after he moved to the US in the early '70s and eventually became the chef at Ma Maison in LA.
Is Cut a Dubai-only creation?
No, Puck first opened the steakhouse at the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel on the east side of Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles in 2006. He has since expanded the brand to four more locations including Dubai, Singapore, London and Las Vegas.
What's his best dish?
He invented the gourmet pizza in the early '80s, putting smoked salmon pizza on the menu at Spago and launching a thousand imitators. He is, however, famously against the use of foie gras at any of his restaurants.
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