Two's company. A few words on food, drink and little adventures! @atablefortwoLDN
London’s ever expanding landscape seems to be increasingly growing upwards with skyscrapers being erected at an incredible rate around the capital. It is no news therefore that restaurants are also taking to the sky. SushiSamba and Duck & Waffle have already paved the way for dining at an altitude and now Oblix has opened its elevator doors as the first restaurant to open in The Shard.
Oblix is the newest restaurant from Rainer Becker, founder of Zuma, Roka and the Shochu Lounge, proudly sitting on the 32nd floor of Europe’s tallest building. The concept behind the restaurant and lounge bar is inspired by New York upscale dining with a grill inspired menu, moving away from his signature Japanese cuisine and culture which have gained him the name.
Minimal signage and a single button to the 32nd floor, create a very exclusive gateway, giving little away as to what one might expect at the top. Once inside, the blacked out corridor evokes a somewhat unexpected nightclub feel rather than embracing the breathtaking views. Perhaps it was the batcave aesthetic, or the entourage of model hostesses which seem to uneasily await at the end of the corridor, but the first impressions of the restaurant immediately drew away from the restaurant’s elevated location too. The ceilings are low, pillars obscuring and the windows not sprawling enough to capacitate the usual view hoggers. It surprisingly doesn’t feel like you’re in Europe’s tallest building and rather a little claustrophobic.
Moving into the restaurant, the interior does employ some nicely executed accents and flavours. The entrance through the open kitchen for example creates an assault on the senses and gets taste buds going.
A lucky table by the window with our backs away from other diners and our fronts facing the setting sun over St Pauls and West London, gave us a sense of conquering over the city. With such breathtaking views one would hope that time would ebb slowly, leaving you to enjoy London’s twilight hour. However this wasn’t the case with an inundation of staff visits from the moment we sat down. First the waiter, describing the menu and casually dipping in and out of Oblix’s ethos…something about sharing we gathered. We happily ordered after some pondering. Then the wine chap came, attentively he helped us peruse the never ending wine list, with bottles from £29 to £2450. We asked if he’d tried the food, disconcertingly he said ‘no’. Nonetheless we had already chosen the wine prior to his visit, seeing this he happily emblazoned our choice.
The menu was simple, styled with a New Europe/Brasserie flare. Quite an extensive list of starters compared to mains, they seemed to be that little more adventurous and eye pleasing too. Employing the restaurant ethos we chose to share the lobster and scallop ceviche.
As mains we chose lamb chops with harissa & yogurt to which the Eastern European waiter exclaimed with great gusto about the meat’s origins, harking back to some distant exotic land…Wales. As well as the humble halibut with caper berries and meyer lemon jam.
Theatrics and introductions aside, both the starters and mains were exquisite. The ceviche was light and refreshing, whilst the mains contained substance, flavour and a beautiful presentation. All of which was of course to be expected. The chocolate brownie sundae dessert pleasantly finished off a copious meal which filled our appetite and emptied our pockets.
The Shard itself is incomparable. Oblix will always be compared to SushiSamba. Primarily very different concepts but both package the same thrill of high altitude fashionable dining. While sharing the same clientele – the food discerning city worker.
St Thomas Street,
Tel: 020 7268 6700