What: Fine Dining in Bank
Why: For superb food in an unique location
Where: Royal Exchange, London EC3V 3LR
Our Favourite Thing: Buffalo Mozzarella with Oscietra Caviar and Balsamic
Website: Click to visit
Last time I visited Sauterelle I knew I was onto something good, first of all there is the location, right in the middle of Bank making it perfect for lunch meetings or drinks after work with my finance friends. Secondly the fact that it isn’t just in Bank, it’s in the magnificent Royal Exchange originally the city’s prime trading floor, architecturally it’s beautiful, when you go, promise you’ll look up and take in the beautiful design, ornate ceilings and grand arches. Thirdly, the food was superb.
So this year after a refurbishment, we decided it was about high time we returned. The mezzanine that looks down on Grand Café is home to not only Sauterelle but also Threadneedle Bar and Gallery. The feel in Threadneedle Bar and Gallery is all tan leather sofas, low lighting, bar stooling. It’s sleek, sophisticated yet still casual. Sauterelle, despite being more refined is still relaxed, it’s smart without being stuffy.
Executive chef Stefano Leone joins Head Chef Piero Leone, (they aren’t related), in the kitchen to serve a modern menu inspired by the flavours of Provence and Liguria, using ingredients from the Mediterranean and Britain – it’s fine dining, with the main dishes costing between £18 – £35. To start we had the Buffalo Mozzarella with Oscietra Caviar and balsamic. The mozzarella was creamy, rich, and decadent and was offset with the caviar and strong balsamic. We also went for the Culatello ham with mustard fruit, a generous portion but I’d recommend the mozzarella over the ham.
A thick slice of Loch Var salmon came with marinated, poached sea vegetables and fish broth whilst a Mazara del Vallo red prawns risotto was deliciously light with a sweet flavour. Fun fact, Mazara del Vallo prawns come from Sicily and they’re red because they can lie in deeper water, which affects their pigment. And because they are stronger swimmers than the humble pink prawns they are sweeter and have firmer flesh. It could be why this risotto was £27.50 and whilst it was the best risotto I’d had, I have to admit I was expecting a little more on the plate for the price, given that it was smaller than the starter.
To finish I was recommended the Mi Cuit au Chocolate since they had heard I was a fan of brownies. It’s served with a Grand Marnier sauce and vanilla sauce and yep I’m glad they recommended it, utterly decadent, it oozed molten chocolate, everything I want in a pudding. A pretty, soft cheesecake came deconstructed, with cherry and Sicilian pistachios.
The staff were all wonderful, the service could not be faulted, we got a chance to briefly speak with Piero Leone and I only wish I had had more of a chance to thank him for such an excellent meal.
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