Sunday, 25 September 2011

[Restaurant - Modern Eclectic] The Morning After; CUT of 45 Park Lane

Location - Park Lane, London [UK]

Dreaded routines. Despite having endured an evening of celebrations, and thus its resultant excesses, as well as being away from home at a hotel for the slumber, I actually had slight concerns of how to plan my meals following the evening in question. Unwilling to subside from my daily structure, despite having consumed a UNICEF Supplies Container the evening before, and in lieu of breakfast at the hotel being paid for, I figured I may as well include some indulgence in this routine. Hush you, whimpering wallet. In what I saw as an opportunity too good to miss out, regardless of having to pay for accommodations - which is exceedingly blasphemous - I realised that I would not have to wait on the ending of slumber of a hibernating couple/individual, and I would also not need to consider the suggestions of others for that all important meal of the day. Yaerr.

Following the evening, I already had several choices lined up, but for this occasion I had a clear objective. All I knew is that I wanted, desired, no, DEMANDED American-style pancakes. Or perhaps waffles. OR pancakes. Maybe be boring and healthy? Actually, back to square one. I had no idea what I wanted. As per usual then. Where to start from. Retribution on being denied CUT? Perhaps flaunt at some affluent choices. Maybe something out of the ordinary? Such as Indian or South East Asian options. The choices, were plenty. In the end however, I had settled for CUT - unscrupulous plan changes had denied me a full 25 days or so of the CUT experience, and..well. I'm not fooling anyone with any notions of a "healthy" breakfast option. Quite obviously that pattern would not last the entire duration of the day.

Arriving and clearing my booking for one, in a decidedly sparse looking grand hall, I started on what would be a rather extravagant breakfast.

~ Breakfast ~
- Starter: Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal, Banana, Raspberries with Tipsy Sultanas, Candied Walnuts, Muscovado Sugar and Whipped Butter 

Despite having one clear objective for breakfast - that of getting a first time tasting of American-style Pancakes [IHOP notwithstanding] - provided with the option of a "Starter" breakfast item, I figured I may as well obliged. Never having had a bowl of porridge, yet absolutely in love with oats [and forever romanticised by the story of the Three Bears and the gold-haired porridge thief], I had decided on the rather exceedingly worded bowl of porridge. Which arrived in a rather exceedingly huge bowl. I forget CUT is an American franchise. Elegantly assembled, as the setting would suggest, and provided with four bowls of Tipsy Sultanas, Candied Walnuts, Muscovado Sugar, and what I initially thought to be Clotted Cream, I started on the porridge. Which was intensely creamy, to the point of decadence. In a bowl of porridge. The temperature was such that the sweetness was "just right", supplementing the rich creamy mash. It was, amazing. So much so I did not care for any of the fripperies dotted around, but I digressed.

The raspberries, quite rightly seeing as it was the end of September, were bland, but their tartness did cut through the creamy omnipresence of the porridge, though that would be taking back. The bananas almost melted into the porridge, melding their richness of texture into that of the porridge. Moving onto the supplied bowls, I tried a little of each to gauge their point and addition to the concoction. The candied walnuts, were lovely, but I limited myself to just a couple or so - got to watch those calories you know [fingers type one thing, mouth eats another story] - suffused with almost a popcorn-like aroma. The sultanas added a slight tartness, followed by a sweet toffee flavour to the porridge, which combined rather well with the creamy oats. The sugar was avoided, as it was not needed, and then onto the butter. Or clotted cream as I had believed. It added an unbelievable richness, with a subtle hint of cream, that slightly subdued the sweetness of the porridge, but amped up the indulgence factor several notches. Only when I realised that clotted cream does not clarify into a yellow pool of liquid did I realise it was infact, butter. Not even when I was eating it straight.

Goldilocks was right for stealing that porridge. This bowl, was the stuff of dreams. If I dreamed oats, I would dream of this bowl. I only finished half though, lest I forget a stack of pancakes were still forthcoming. The hardship..

- Main Course: Buttermilk Pancakes, Whipped Maple Butter, Seasonal Berries

Still mesmerised by the life affirming porridge [hey, I was eating butter as it were cream, it made me that loopy], I was eagerly anticipating the pancakes. Though not too much. This is just breakfast after all. When it arrived, I was again almost overwhelmed, looking at the diminutive tower of pancakes. Though it was deceiving - despite its stature, there were only three pancakes in the stack. Rather different to the paper thin crepes I have been eating thus far then. They were also peculiarly coloured, perhaps made of buckwheat to be so dark in colour? I did not mind, and immediately tucked in, removing what I now knew was butter from the top of the stack to sample the pancake on its own. Despite its thickness, and its crispy, heart-stoppingly decadent appearance, my arteries worst nightmares did not come to be. The pancakes were very light, and especially fluffy, providing a delicate bite. Even with a dab of the butter added with a drop of maple syrup, the pancakes remained delicate in nature, though obviously with an added creamy richness and toffee-like sweetness from the syrup.

The fruit provided were bland, again, I did not expect miracles considering the season was long gone - even though somehow oats had been turned into some form of distilled epic - but again, their acidity tarted up and cut through the richness of the butter and syrup. It was truly exquisite, a notion backed up by a look at the notes I was jotting down as I wolfed down each bite. They were decidedly not manly. I was obviously in love. Despite this though, I was defeated by the volume, leaving half behind. Or rather, I decided to leave half behind, to convince myself I should be defeated at some point..

~ Drinks ~
- Strawberry & Watermelon Juice

Wishing to abstain from any sources of caffeine or overly sugared drinks, for fear of getting in the way of my healthy perpetual gorging, I opted for the following juice, basing on the fact that strawberries and watermelon have low amounts of sugar and Glycaemic Loading. Yes. These are considerations I keep in mind. Despite this slight loss in control of the last few months. Pleased to see it was a fresh juice when it arrived, based on the fact that I kept having to stir the juice to recombine the solids and the liquid part, it was  a subtle yet satisfying juice. A very slightly sweet juice, with only light hints of the already delicate fruits being used evident, and very refreshing, not cloying at all. Rather pleasant in all.


If I was feeling slightly weathered after the previous evening's drinking, and three hours of sleep, I was most certainly awake now. This despite my refusal of any caffeinated drink, seemingly to the waiter's utter dismay. This was truly a breakfast worthy of a King. Since I am not worthy, it was also the breakfast worthy of a bum. A rather picky bum. That phrase does not work well..Ahem. Despite the assumed preconceptions of restaurants located in this part of town, and whilst yes, the price was perhaps a bit elevated as a result, I can wholeheartedly say, it was worth it. I do not like to let glamour and other meaningless factors affect my judgement, especially not when it comes to food. Forget the connotations with Wolfgang Puck - I only know him by name, and his appearance in the Simpsons (Therefore he is god). However, for a breakfast as simple as porridge and pancakes, it was so much more. The importance of breakfast to some can seem unimportant, as a bit of a chore. I on the other hand, value this importance, to the point I turned up at CUT by 7:30. I was dutifully rewarded with what transcended as a mere meal. The porridge and pancakes, were objects of desire. I consumed this desire, and now it consumes me. So to speak.

Obviously still a very new establishment, the waiters were a bit fresh - seemingly fearing the end of the world for my not wanting a coffee, tea or a newspaper, being left with a blank expression on their face and not much to say. Not that I particularly cared, but they seemed a bit awkward. This did not spoil the breakfast however, and empowered by the early morning decadence, I felt so invigorated as to walk back to the hotel at Bayswater. Or rather, I felt the need to walk off, the empowering early morning decadence.

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