Simon Wittenberg combines exquisite gastronomy with stunning 360-degree views on the 32nd floor of The Shard.
Oblix is described as a destination bar and kitchen offering a refined urbane experience. Located halfway up the architecturally-magnificent 72-floor Shard building, this eatery is a massively popular and buzzing venue. Upon exiting the lift, we proceeded to walk down a subtly-lit hallway to the ‘Lounge’, the more informal part of Oblix (the other is an à la carte restaurant). Here, we were greeted by our hosts and shown to one of the prime tables next to the floor to ceiling windows overlooking Tower Bridge, “The Walkie-Talkie” (20 Fenchurch Street) and all of the activity on the River Thames below. On a sunny day, the fast-flowing water reflects on to the neighbouring buildings, thereby making the surrounding vista truly spectacular.
Whilst casting our eyes over the mouth-watering menu, our host kindly explained how everything worked, as some food is served at the table, whilst other parts are DIY. It’s recommended that the mains are chosen before you tuck into your starters so that these can be prepared whilst you are making your way through the first course – a good tip which was well versed. With the freedom to then roam the deli counter, and serenaded by the live musical trio, the trick for the hors d’oeuvres is to pace yourself and not let your eyes rule your stomach, which is easier said than done when you have such an incredible spread laid out before you. There is everything from sausage rolls and a cheese platter, to Parma ham and prawn cocktail. If you have any specific dietary requirements, one of the chefs will personally take you around the buffet to point you in the right direction as to what you can and can’t eat in order to avoid any adverse reactions.
My guest and I proceeded to carefully work our way around the counter, and we picked some tomato and mozzarella, spinach and ricotta tarts, fresh bread, salmon gravlax dressed with dill, Baba Ganoush, quinoa, squash and goat’s curd salad, and this was not even doing the starters justice. But, with two more courses to come, what we hadn’t had the opportunity to taste had to be left behind for another time. We could have easily gone back up for more, but we fortunately, had just enough willpower to leave space for the next chapters of our meal.
The drinks menu is comprehensive, and there are both soft and alcoholic varieties, plus the option of champagne on arrival. From the fresh juices section, I headed straight for a pink lemonade, whereas my guest opted for the delightful concoction of lychees, berries and mint. Water was also regularly topped up, and when either of us left the table, our napkins were artistically folded and placed back by our cutlery as presentation clearly matters at Oblix.
For the main course, there are plenty of dishes to satisfy different levels of hunger, and span from omelettes right up to lobster and steak. I tried the very filling Eggs Florentine which was topped with Gruyère and a beautiful hollandaise sauce. My guest had a similar idea and settled on the grilled sourdough which was dressed with avocado, chopped tomato and nicely-cooked poached eggs. Within the set brunch price, you can also select one side dish to go with each main. Therefore, I went for the macaroni cheese which was garnished with a light crust and truffle shavings, whilst my dining partner complemented hers with a generous portion of tender stem broccoli which equally disappeared without too much trouble.
Desserts are yet another feast for the eyes, and it’s a case of “help yourself” from the other end of the deli counter. After enjoying two ample courses, there was just the matter of finding the last morsels of space in our stomachs in order to devour Oblix’s freshly prepared delicacies. Luckily, a few gaps remained, and we sampled the mini chocolate tarts and slice, and some tiramisu, which was “balanced” out with some fruit salad, a couple of meringues and a trio of sorbets, namely raspberry, passion fruit and mango which were all “out of this world”.
We had been truly smitten by our visit to Oblix. Therefore, if you are after outstanding food, outstanding service and outstanding views, then this is the place to be, and is one of those restaurants that will always keep you coming back for more.
Oblix – Where and How?
Oblix is located at Level 32, The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY, United Kingdom. For more information, or to make a reservation, visit www.oblixrestaurant.com
The Oblix Weekend Brunch is available on a Saturday and Sunday. It is priced at £62 per person, with three courses, and a chilled glass of champagne served on arrival.