Sake Flights of Fancy at CUT

Apr 17, 15 Sake Flights of Fancy at CUT

Posted by in All, Food and Wine

The more sake I taste, the more I realize what a great food wine it is. Most people start out drinking hot sake in their local Japanese restaurant but there is so much more to sake then gulping it down with sushi. Sommelier Vanessa Cinti of  45 Park Lane wants has always been fascinated by Japanese culture was introduced to sake by her love of the cuisine. She recently qualified as a Sake Sommelier, being certified by the world recognised organization, The Sake Sommelier Association and has now created a unique sake experience called Shini-Tai. Shini-Tai will be offered in Bar 45 and at American steak restaurant CUT at 45 Park Lane. Both the bar and restaurant will be offering flights of sake comprising 3 sakes from small producers, chosen for their quality, flavour and array of style. We tasted the inaugural flight which consists of …’Amabuki Marigold brewed with yeast from the blossoms of marigold following a traditional Yamahai method, Kirin Vintage 2013, vintage sake with a rich sherry like taste and Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo a special sake aged in barrels of Domaine Ramonet (renowned Burgundy producer) will all be served at a chilled temperature…’ As Vanessa explained to us, sake is all about the purity of the water used, that’s what gives sake it’s distinctiveness. She also told us that like wine, there are many different varieties of rice used to make sake, as a matter of fact, there are about 80 different varieties in use today. During the tasting, we had both sweet and savoury food pairings. I was really surprised by how well the sake went with the pastries designed by CUT Pastry Chef, Niamh Larkin. The pastries were subtle and delicate, my favourite pairing being an orange madeleine with the sakes. CUT Executive Chef  David McIntyre has introduced new Asian influenced dishes on the menu this spring. Examples include Scallop ceviche, spring onions, shiso, wasabi-kosho ponzu, Tuna tartar cones, ginger, wasabi, sesame-miso tuille, and Steamed sea bass “Hong Kong” style, chili oil, garlic, ginger. We had...

read more

Bar 45 in Park Lane – cocktails and posh bar nosh

Dec 02, 11 Bar 45 in Park Lane – cocktails and posh bar nosh

Posted by in Hotels and Spas, Spirits, wine bars

I, for one, am very pleased with this trend of chic cocktail bars in London. For some reason, cocktail bars seem to have taken off in the finer hotels of London.  As cocktails originated in America, it’s not too surprising it’s in the luxury hotels (all those trans-Atlantic businesspeople) and it’s great to see them getting their fair dues on this side of the pond. I was invited to sample the wares of the new Bar 45, part of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Cut, at the 45 Park Lane Hotel. As it’s Puck’s restaurant, the bar snack menu, called Rough Cuts, bears the influence of Puck’s Southern California stylings with Kobe beef sliders and tuna tartare “tacos”.  Both of which were fantastic, the cute little kobe sliders so full of beefy goodness and the tuna tartare had to be one of the silkiest tartares I’ve had in a long time. As for the cocktails, they have a varied choice, grouped under the spirit being used and with some fanciful ingredients. Ranging from jalapenos for the Dragon’s Fire tequila based cocktail to Japanese Umebosi plums for the Umami Cocktail. I didn’t order it as I wasn’t feeling very umami-ish that evening but perhaps next time. I did order Pepino’s Revenge which despite being made with tequila and lime bore no resemblance whatsoever to a margarita. It was probably the basil and Japanese cucumber that threw me off. I love basil and this was just such a yummy cocktail, I felt like I was swimming in basil, a good thing if you like basil. Of course, I ordered the obligatory Manhattan. I have to say, London’s cocktailers have vastly improved their Manhattan offerings and it’s rare that I have to send a Manhattan back nowadays. Bar 45’s was delish, made with Maker’s Mark and on the rocks, just the way I like it. The bar is not just cocktails, they also serve the wines from the restaurant list. The Head Sommelier Vanessa Cinti  is Italian but she...

read more
%d bloggers like this: