London’s 10 most expensive dishes

5: Caterpillar soup at Royal China Club – £480

Don’t be too alarmed – the soup isn’t actually made from caterpillars. It takes its name from a rare herb used to make the delicacy, which looks similar to the voracious insect. Said herb is only found growing at high altitudes and is simmered down for eight hours to make the pricey broth.

The Royal China Club is home to some of London’s most expensive dishes. A serving of abalone (made from dried sea snails) will set you back £350, while a pot of tea made with leaves plucked from the same bushes in Fujian province that created a tea that cured the mother of a Ming dynasty emperor of her illness.

The leaves are wiped in goat’s milk to make them shiny, and are then baked in small batches over charcoal and left to mature for up to 80 years. While pushing rare ingredients – shark’s teeth are used in one sauce – the restaurant stopped selling shark fin soup in 2011.

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