AS SHARE prices tumble and the economy slows, investment bankers could be forgiven for suffering a loss of appetite.
But while fears of recession hover over the City, one restaurant has devised an exclusive 1,000-a-head menu to help bankers recover their taste for fine food and drink.
Seven gourmet courses, each accompanied by champagne, expensive wines or vintage port, are on offer for those celebrating the latest round of bumper annual bonuses.
The Bonus Tasting Menu at Vivat Bacchus starts with champagne, caviar and vodka.
It goes on to lobster linguini flavoured with Armagnac and then slices of one of the finest hams in the world.
Next is the most expensive beef, Japanese Wagyu fillet steak … with chips of course.
And naturally it is washed down by one of the world's most expensive wines – a glass of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, at 650 a bottle.
The cheese course is to be savoured with a 45-year-old port, and dessert is a rich chocolate souffle served with Chateau d'Yquem, at 495 a bottle.
Finally coffee is accompanied by fancy cakes and a glass of Martell Cordon Bleu brandy.
The restaurant, in Farringdon, London has already received six bookings, including from a banker and accountant.
The menu is available for a minimum of two and a maximum of six people and must be booked 48 hours in advance.
Neleen Strauss, the restaurant's co-owner, said yesterday: "Many of our diners work in the City and often ask for something unique during their bonus season. We're only too happy to provide that.
"I have found over the years that when bad news begins to circulate around the stock market, our City customers never fully lose their appetites."
Vivat Bacchus brought out a gourmet hamper last Christmas costing 45,000. It included 21 bottles of wine and spirits, among them a rare bottle of Meinert Merlot 2000, a bottle of Romane Conti 1970 at 15,000 and some Richard Hennessy Cognac at 2,000. There were also various cheeses and luxury chocolates, 1kg of Royal Beluga caviar and a whole leg of Spanish Joselito ham.
The restaurant took at least half a dozen hamper orders. It is expecting more customers for its tasting menu because of the bonuses this month.