Probably the best (only?) restaurant in London to be named after an insect, this D&D spot in the Royal Exchange takes its name from the French word for the golden grasshopper (on the roof) – a symbol of wealth and prosperity since Roman times. And as you sit in the comfortably appointed mezzanine above the expensive shops and grand café below, it’s impossible to forget you’re surrounded by the rich and powerful. However, Sauterelle is far more than an expense-account client-impresser of a place – instead, there’s a calm and understated elegance about it, which makes it worth a visit from outside the Square Mile.
The set menu is good value at £20 for two courses, and offers many of the luxury ingredients of the more expensive menus (ham hock terrine with poached foie gras and pear and raisin chutney, for example, or aged beef with summer vegetables and red wine). Step up a level to the carte or ‘market menu’ to make the most of the modern yet circumspect French cooking. Service is polite and steady; the wine list is assembled to wow, but prices stay below the stratosphere.