Restaurants in the City have many roles to fill – from meeting rooms to celebration halls – and they do this in a variety of ways. Sauterelle is on the mezzanine level of the Royal Exchange, so diners can watch the action of the shopping centre from above. Or, for those who just want a quick lunch, there's City Càphê, one of the best bánh mì (basically a Vietnamese baguette) delis in the whole of London.
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There’s a dedicated entrance for the restaurants in Heron Tower, from where a glass lift will whizz you in seconds up to Duck & Waffle on the 40th floor, or its glitzier sibling Sushisamba two floors below. The views are, as you might expect, stunning – if you’re pointed in the right direction and, preferably, sitting at a window table (many of which are for two diners only).Read more
‘Visitor bag search’, the sign read. Next to it was a walk-through metal detector and a burly security guard. He had a glint in his eye, the kind that says, ‘I’ve got a box of latex gloves here, and if I find so much as a nail file in your purse, I won’t be afraid to use them.’ So we approached the receptionist instead. ‘Is this the way to City Social?’ ‘No,’ she sighed, ‘this is the main entrance, you’ll need the side door, opposite Wagamama.’ Happily, there’s only a single gatekeeper at the alternative entrypoint, so once you negotiate a long, oppressive tunnel and an express lift so fast it’ll make your ears pop – boom – you’re in.Read more
Chucs Bar & Grill
A spin-off from the yachtwear shop next door, Chucs is pitched at Mayfair's ultra-wealthy residents, who will happily spend £165 on a pair of lilac men’s swimshorts, or £150 on a women's long-sleeved t-shirt. The interior continues the yacht theme with staff wearing nautical uniforms, right down to gold-braided epaulettes, while photographs of the picturesque port of Positano and other gilded holiday destinations adorn the walls.Mayfair isn’t the place to come looking for a bargain meal of course, and Chucs is no exception, with an Italian and continental menu where a starter of grilled vegetables costs £15, or a main course of octopus salad weighs in at £29. But there was no faulting our dishes: the Italian staff in the kitchen turned out a fine seafood tagliolini, studded with baby clams, tender octopus and freshly-made pasta. A small side of caponata (£5) was also exemplary, the aubergine correctly soused with sweet and sour notes; but the the £4-a-head cover charge (for bread and radishes) an irritation.Chucs is a likeable place, but given the size of our bill we had hoped for more efficient service; on our visit, the staff seemed to be barely coping with a not particularly busy lunch service.