With restaurants like Sauterelle, it’s no wonder that the City’s dodgy bankers got away so many dubious deals. Here we have a truly impressive restaurant located within The Royal Exchange – one of the City’s largest and most historically important buildings – where the money men can enjoy fine wines, great food and talk greed in a venue right under our noses without any of us ‘normal’ people ever finding out. Think of it as a white elephant in camouflage! However, the city crowd are a discerning lot too and judging by how busy Sauterelle was on the Thursday evening of our visit, the restaurant was clearly doing something right.
Located on the mezzanine level of the Royal Exchange, the restaurant design is effortlessly chic with glazed arches offering spectacular views of both Bank and the courtyard where The Royal Exchange Grand Cafe and Bar is located. Sauterelle also has its own intimate bar area, serving a wide variety of wines and cocktails. We would also recommend taking a walk all along the mezzanine floor just to see some of the spectacular 150 year old artwork which covers the full length of the walls.
So onto the food and Head Chef Robin Gill’s menu draws on over ten years spent in Michelin starred restaurants around Europe, using this wealth of knowledge to bring contemporary French to Restaurant Sauterelle. Having worked closely with both Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc, his dishes are beautifully presented delivering clean, incisive flavours.
Highlights of the meal included a delicate Crab raviol with scallops and a clean Jerusalem artichoke velouté, with shaved truffle and quail egg. This contrasted well with the bold, rich flavours of the Wood pigeon with celeriac, Muscat grape & foie gras shavings – great value at £8.50 too. The only dish that let the side down was the over-smoked Fois gras, which somewhat ironically was the most French dish on the menu! No worry, for the main of Milk fed lamb was some of the most tender meat you are likely to find and came served with a butters beans & beautifully smoked aubergine. Equally delicious was the Halibut with gnocchi, sea greens & salted grape vierge. Dessert was a most intriguing affair. Going off-menu, we were highly recommended an experimental dish of Parsnip muesli with white chocolate, served with butternut squash ice cream; sounds weird, works wonderfully, particularly for those with an aversion to big sweet dishes.
Prices were in keeping with a restaurant of this calibre, with starters around £10 and mains around £23 and the wine list provided some interesting and good value options. However, for those on a budget, the restaurant also offers a good looking set menu of three courses for £21.
Cuisine type: French
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £80
The Courtyard, Bank
London EC3V 3LR
020 7618 2483