CUTS!: A MEAT FEAST SPECTACULAR! That’s pretty much all you need to know to buy a ticket for Team Forza Win’s newest venture. Perhaps you’ve tried out their crispy thin crust pizzas (Forza Win – currently near Smithfield Market) or made it to their Fonduta Extravaganza last winter (Forza Win(ter)), but if not then get your butts over to CUTS!
The order of things is slightly different that normal in that you buy your tickets and then 24 hours before the event you’ll get an email with more details including the address. For those of you that made it to Forza Win(ter), it’s pretty close to that location – that’s all I can say J Dress for a FEAST though as you’ll leave epically stuffed and more or less ready to roll out the door.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot in the area. Yes, there are a few pubs near the train station but they aren’t much to write home about. If you are planning on making a day of it, I’d suggest going a little further afield and having a few pre-dinner pints at Brewdog Shoreditch or Well & Bucket. These are about a 15-20 minute walk away but you can use the time to digest a bit and make room.
If you are aiming to meet up just as doors open (about 30 mins before dinner), then head straight to the location. You’ll be able to stake out your seats around the giant X of a table and the bar there is fairly strong for a pop-up. Keep in mind it’s slightly tricky to find but look for a couple of lovely ladies standing outside a non-descript door (behave now…it’s not that kinda place!) – there should also be a small plaque saying “CUTS” if you are still not sure.
So, the meat?
The menu is fixed so just sit back, loosen that belt a notch or three, and get ready to eat. After a short speech from Nicola (from the Ginger Pig – the gurus behind the meat), massive bowls of panzanella – a salad of sorts with several types of tomato (heirloom, cherry, and maybe roma?) tossed with chunks of crunchy bread and lightly dressed. While there is no meat (gasp, shock, horror), it’s a great way to ease your stomach into the food marathon it’s about to undertake.
I should note here that everything tonight is family style. The table is a massive X which is designed to give you the most opportunity to talk to fellow diners. While this can make seating a large group (I had 19) a bit awkward, it’s great to meet some strangers and have a chat over a glass of wine or platter of meat. You’ll also need to be considerate and not fill your boots before everyone has a chance to serve themselves, though.
As we emptied the bowls of salad, the first of three massive meat courses came out. We started with longhorn beef rump aged 80 days and grilled to a juicy medium rare on a grill which rivalled the steady and intense heat of a Josper. The beef was served with parmesan polenta, mixed mushrooms, and wilted greens. It was a beautiful dish and tasty to eat although I would have preferred a bit more salt in everything to really enhance the flavour. I understand I may have a higher salt threshold than others, so perhaps maybe a salt and pepper grinder on the table?
Next up was the lamb neck fillet – a very unusual cut but one I’ll be looking out for in the future. The lamb was tender and flavourful, a testament to the quality of the meat and the skill of the man on the grill. The sides for the lamb were my favourite of the night – a sort of chunky pea mash with sprouting beans. Fresh tasting with a hint of spice, the sides added a good crunchy texture to contrast the tender lamb – definitely a meat win.
Our third course was a pork rib-eye served with a thick bean soup (it’s called something in particular but I can’t remember for the life of me) dotted with chunks of melting pork fat. The pork itself was just on the right side of cooked and boasted a nicely charred crust. The bean soup was a major hit with the bits of pork fat melting in your mouth and releasing a burst of meaty flavour.
Finally, dessert! Here we had an English take on an Italian dessert which manifested itself in a lavender panna cotta served with rhubarb compote. I’d actually suggest trying the panna cotta on its own to really enjoy the silky texture and delicate floral flavour. It was most excellent and a dessert I’d happily come back for. The rhubarb compote was tart and a little overwhelming to be honest.
We ended with some dark roasted coffee with hazelnut biscotti (again served in massive bowls – the biscotti that is). The bartender was kind enough to spike my coffee with a bit of bourbon to keep my buzz going. I like that one.
All that talk about food made me thirsty, what to do?
Upon entry, you’ll get a negroni style cocktail to sip while you make some new friends. If that’ s not your thing, they do have a tarragon lemonade, a couple of Moretti beers, and a strong selection of wines. We opted for the “Amazing” red wine (since they were out of prosecco – who does that?). For £30, it was a delicious bottle that paired brilliantly with the meat – thanks to one of the bartenders for his recommendation. In fact, my wine connoisseur friend even rated it as the best red on offer and a bargain at the price.
Tap water is available for free in the corner (it’s self-service) which is a nice touch as the room does get a bit hot with around 60-70 people in there.
Worth the dosh?
For £40, it’s a bit of a steep meal but you do get your money’s worth so yes. You’ll be stuffed to the gills with some quality meat and the wine is quite reasonably priced for a night out. Yes, you could buy it for probably half the price at home, but if you are drinking alone at home then it may be time to revaluate. It’s a great experience, you get to try some cuts you wouldn’t normally pick, and meet some fantastic people along the way.
Find CUTS tickets here