Nestled into the Young Vic (which is essentially the Old Vic but with a nose piercing and ironic tote bag), The Cut is an independent all-day eaterie serving up a selection of classic dishes with modern twists. Transforming from a light and airy coffee shop in the day to a twinkly low-lit cave as dusk falls, it’s a favourite with theatre-goers and locals alike.
Strolling up to the venue, I am greeted by a hat-trick of Pride, Black Lives Matter and EU flags, a tactic I can only compare to drawing a line of salt to stop the slugs (read bigots) entering - I approve. Once inside my dining partner and I are ushered over to a cosy corner table right next to the floor-to-ceiling windows, the perfect spot for people-watching.
The space has an industrial, New York loft feel with exposed brick, wooden chairs, and low hanging pendant lights. As the evening settles in the lights are dimmed and a candle is popped on each table - if footsie is the name of your game, this would be the moment. Upstairs there is a roomy terrace with space for dining and drinking, and while the view isn't quite that of the Aqua Shard, the balcony is festooned with twinkly fairy lights and I do spot a deal for £1 Kettle Chips at the Sainsburys Local opposite, interesting.
The menu is at first a little tricky to navigate, divided by meat, veg and fish, as opposed to the classic starters and mains, but there’s a wide selection of dishes to suit all palates (and I notice a fair few gluten-free options also). We order the seabass ceviche (£7.50) and a big ol’ ball of burrata (£7.50), washed down with a bottle of Chapeau Melon Blanc (£24) to get things started.
The ceviche lacks zing, with the seabass drowned out by its accompaniments but the burrata is on to better things; smooth and creamy, my knife slices through it like butter and the tangy sundried tomatoes and crispy sourdough are the perfect partners in crime.
On to the main event, I opt for the Cornish crab linguine (£14), while my friend decides to order a selection of tapas dishes; calamari with chilli jam, halloumi fingers with spiced yoghurt, and pea, mint and feta arancini (at a very affordable 3 for £11.50). My linguine is served up with bucket loads of perfectly seasoned crab meat and is garnished with chives and lemon which cuts through the carbs and pairs perfectly with our crisp and fruity sip.
The tapas dishes also hit a winning note, with the sweet-chilli covered calamari rings coming out tops, followed closely by the Jenga tower of halloumi fingers which are springy rather than rubbery and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.
Our friendly waiter returns to proffer the short but sweet dessert menu, and we decide it would be rude to not have a look. Eight minutes later we are raising our spoons and tucking into an indulgent and morish chocolate and salted caramel fondant (£5.75). It’s heavenly although unsurprisingly rich, after three mouthfuls we raise the white flag and admit defeat.
The DesignMyNight Digest
From its flag-adorned entrance to the genuinely lovely staff, right down to the gender-neutral signposted toilets, dining at The Cut feels a bit like a warm embrace from an old pal. I leave behind the twinkly-lit venue with my jeans unbuttoned and without a single urge to buy that £1 bag of Kettle Chips, result.