After an afternoon of high-power shopping at the iconic Royal Exchange Bank building, the historical home to some of London’s most luxurious boutiques (like Paul Smith, Bulgari, and Cartier), you’re bound to be hungry for an equally satisfying lunch, right? I know I was. The 30 some steps up to Restaurant Sauterelle on the mezzanine level will make your afternoon complete. Sauterelle is sophisticated French dining at its best. So wear a jacket so you don’t look like a schmuck. Got it? Complementing the Grand Café and Bar, the fine dining room offers contemporary, expertly prepared, French cooking with clean incisive flavors that are fresh and light. That’s what I was told anyway. Lets find out, shall we. You’ll see! Our table commanded views of the courtyard below, which was originally open to the sky; the clear roof was added in 1880. I knew you’d be curious about that… So anyway, our waiter was most charming and affable, serving our every need, including water.
Everything on the menu looked so inviting, that I just couldn’t decide. I’m not so picky (but I am selective) and I’m always up for a little adventure, so I asked the chef to bring us his favourites. It’s way more fun than blindly choosing yourself, and seriously, because you’re SO picky you would spend way too much time selecting when you could be enjoying! So seriously do it my way and you’ll be oh so impressed. With simplistic presentations we started with an amuse-bouche, a little flavorful bite to amuse my palate. OH, and did it ever! A beetroot gazpacho with apple, salted yogurt, and mint accompanied with a special brandy sniffer. Next came crab, caviar, and spinach raviolo (Cornish crab raviolo) and then there was smoked foie gras (poached fruits, bacon, hazelnut, and watercress). It truly was the most wonderful combination of flavors. The foie gras just melted in my mouth. I wanted more, but alas, the next course was enroute. Something worth noting is that nothing arrived before the previous course was completed to satisfaction. Seamless transactions. The main course consisted of red leg partridge (haricots blanc, beetroot, wild mushroom, seared foi gras) – YES! More foie gras! Mmmm! I put my faith in the chef to pair each course with a wine that would complement each bite to perfection. Well done! If you prefer to select your own wine, the French-led wine list isn’t too long, but there’s plenty to interest. Normally after such decadence I skip dessert, but really? How could I resist a unique carrot cake offering? Polenta, orange, almond, topped with ricotta ice cream. Judging by my newly expanded waist, I couldn’t. All in all, you should KNOW that the accomplished cooking reflects the seasons, and the results have an appealing vitality. You will thank me for sending you to Restaurant Sauterelle.
The Royal Exchange Bank,
London EC3V 3LR, England
Telephone 020 7618 2483