In many ways, the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay’s new steakhouse ‘Cut by Wolfgang Puck’ could be described as the most exciting restaurant on the island right now. As it’s backed by Michelin-starred, celebrity chef and occasional actor Wolfgang Puck, it means foodies across the world are talking about the new opening. And those of us right here in Bahrain have been anticipating it for far too long And, let’s face it, most people love a bit of steak. So, suffice it to say, expectations were running high.
On the weekend night we go, nearly every table in the house is full – a good sign for such a young restaurant. Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to affect the service at all. We’re escorted to our table by the welcoming hostess via the dedicated lift and seated just next to the kitchen where we have a great view of the chefs in action.
The venue itself offers spectacular views across Manama through the floor-to-ceiling windows while funky lights hang from above, casting moody yet ambient lighting across the restaurant. It’s chic and sophisticated, yet not too over the top and you’re brought further down to earth with the rocky and fun choice of music.
Shortly after we’re given the menu – which on first inspection sounds very exciting indeed; full of ultra modern cuisine – our waiter comes by to show and introduce us to the prime cuts – there’s Angus and Wagyu or hybrids to choose from and we’re told about which pieces offer more in the way of fat and succulence.
Following this display, out comes a tray of fresh breads including the most popular homemade pretzel and olive foccacia. I opt for the pretzel, to see what all the fuss is about, and have to concede it’s a very delicious opener to the evening.
Moving on to our starters, we first try the Hokkaido scallop ‘carpaccio’ with shaved myoga (Japanese ginger), wasabi-kosho (chilis) and citrus ponzu (a Japanese citrus-based sauce). While the slices of scallop are a little on the thick side for a ‘carpaccio’, in our opinion, the dressing and condiments pack so much depth of flavour it’s very easy to overlook this minor detail. The balance and combination is a true delight and we’ve lapped up the entire plate between us in no time.
We then try the roasted baby beets with goat’s cheese, toasted pistachio, citrus, micro-basil and mint. This dish ends up more on the bland side in comparison to the scallop dish yet the ingredients are fabulous and fresh, and if you have a bite with every element then each flavour stands out, complementing each other well. (Note: We’ve since been advised this dish is being replaced on the menu.) Serving as a decent introduction to the meal, we move ahead with our hearty mains and decide to not only check out the steak offerings but also dive into their exquisite seafood options. From the ocean deep, we order the lobster. An entire kilo of lobster is wheeled in on a tray and de-shelled table-side, and then served alongside a jug of melted brown butter and black truffle sabayon. Drizzled over the tender parts of lobster, each sauce is mouthwateringly fantastic and really brings out the oceanic flavours.
Unfortunately, on this occasion, more than half of the lobster was far too overcooked to enjoy (and a kilo is a bit much on any occasion!). Fairly disappointed by this, and feeling sorry for the wasted crustacean, we move on to the star of the show – the meat. On recommendation from our friendly waiter, we go for the 230 gram New York Sirloin steak which is a hybrid of Australian Wagyu and Angus grass-fed beef from Queensland, Australia. This is cooked exactly how we wanted it – medium and to perfection – and served with a side of sauce (not that we needed it, as the meat speaks elegantly for itself).
As for the side dishes – these are more than afterthoughts. We try the flavourful sautéed spinach with roasted garlic, alongside the fluffy herbed hand cut fries, and a special of white asparagus rolled in brown butter and topped with parmesan crumbles. Simple but delicious.
Finally, it’s on to dessert and we, again on our waiter’s recommendation, opt for the chocolate soufflé followed by the baked Alaska. The soufflé is a mammoth portion and comes topped with an intense dark chocolate sauce (which apparently took Mr Puck ten years to perfect!), light whipped cream and another intense chocolate ice cream. Chocoholics can’t go wrong with this powerful mix.
Meanwhile, the baked Alaska is no ordinary dish as it’s created using a lychee and coconut base, buttermilk cake, lychee sorbet, coconut ice cream and meringue. It’s a very interesting concoction and is particularly punchy once you reach the sorbet buried within the Alaska. However, overall, it falls a little flat on its flavour promises.
While there were some disappointments through the night, what we originally came for – the steaks – certainly lived up to our expectations. As long as you can recover from your eye-popping bill, then Cut by Wolfgang Puck is a smart and sophisticated addition to Bahrain’s blossoming culinary landscape.
The bill (for two) 1 x large water BD3.5 1 x scallop carpaccio BD13 1 x roasted beets BD10 1 x New York Sirloin BD30 1 x peppercorn sauce BD1.5 1 x lobster BD35 1 x spinach BD4 1 x market veg BD4 1 x French fries BD4 1 x chocolate soufflé BD6 1 x baked Alaska BD6 1 x green tea BD3 Service charge 15% Gov levy 5% Total BD144.900
Cut by Wolfgang Puck
Time Out Bahrain staffhttp://www.timeoutbahrain.com