The Royal Exchange: a beautiful and imposing building, we all know it is there in Bank, but how many of you know that inside is the Grand Café and that upstairs, there is Sauterelle? You don’t? Well you should.

Last week The Handbook went for a little supper at Sauterelle. Our table looked out over the Grand Café below with its marbled floor and huge ceilings which is perfect for people watching and general spying on the diners below, which between our courses we did a lot. Sauterelle itself is a little more closed with low, warm lighting and small tables for two, want that intimate supper date? Then go here.

After pumpkin soup I started with two perfectly cooked scallops, topped with bacon, tomato fondue and pea puree. The saltiness of the bacon worked so well with the scallops, that had it been a main course I would have definitely ordered it. The beetroot that followed was tart and rich and was finished with the obvious pairing of goat’s cheese; all it needed was more goat’s cheese to propel it to a great dish, simple but classic.

What came next was perhaps even more simple but even more delicious, think strips of smoked salmon that had been infused with beetroot. It wasn’t served with anything, and it didn’t need anything no lemon, no crème fraîche just the salmon and it was perfect.

Following on from that I opted for the white truffle risotto with aged parmesan and mascarpone, it was beautifully cooked, with a light fragrance of white truffle, but the taste of the parmesan was lost and whilst it was creamy the mascarpone also provided little flavour.  It just needed something to cut through it to bring the flavour and variety because at £28 it needs something more. The lamb on the other hand, was a beautiful pink and cooked 3 ways was oh so tender, it was finished with Paimpol coco beans, smoked aubergines, salsa verde, and we highly recommend it.

For pudding there was only one choice for us, we had to try the cold chocolate fondant with honeycomb and milk ice cream, it was rich, smooth and worked surprisingly well cold. We obviously wanted to be so healthy so had to have another pudding which contained fruit, the pineapple tarte tatin to be exact. It came with salted caramel sauce and cinnamon crème fraîche, it was pleasant and the cinnamon was great with the caramel and pineapple but it didn’t compare to the chocolate fondant.

Next time you walk passed the Royal Exchange, don’t just admire the architecture, go inside get a table at Sauterelle and order that cold chocolate fondant, it’s well worth it.

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