Restaurant review: Oblix at The Shard, SE1
- Credit: Archant
It’s the restaurant with the best view in London at the moment – and is within one of the most iconic buildings to spring up in Europe for over a decade.
So it’s no surprise that Oblix at The Shard was booked out for months on end before anyone had even so much as sampled its menu.
But with this kind of hype surrounding a new restaurant, comes fierce scrutiny of its food – so it was a relief to find that the culinary offering from chef Rainer Becker’s kitchen is as impressive as its view of the stunning London skyline.
On whizzing up to the 32nd floor of this incredible building, we first enjoyed some cocktails while admiring the views of the capital at the bar area, which serves a pared down version of the main menu.
But we had opted for the more formal setting of the restaurant to eat – and were lucky enough to bag one of the tables beside the floor to ceiling windows which allowed us to watch the city transform into a sea of glistening lights after dark – it was just a shame that the cloudy weather spoilt what would have been a very memorable sunset.
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Becker – who is best known for founding a worldwide chain of successful Japanese restaurants – has taken a diversion from his normal cuisine for this new venture, inspired by New York grills.
All dishes are designed to be shared – a concept we weren’t entirely convinced of at first due to the wide variety on the menu and lack of obvious pairings.
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But our starter choices of grilled scallops and crab cakes complemented each other a treat. The scallops were sweet and light, served with sweetcorn, black pepper and rocket butter and the crab cakes were bursting with stunning fresh flavour (and so they should be for £19 a time.)
We ordered glasses of the very reasonably priced house white, a Grenache blanc, which proved to be a delicious choice.
For the main event we opted for the whole lobster and the wagyu rib-eye beef, with sides of asparagus and French fries.
The lobster, which came prepared and placed back in its shell, was beautifully soft and buttery, with a hint of sweetness thanks to the lemon verbena and garlic butter dressing.
But the unrivalled star of this show was the steak – the best I have ever tasted, by a long mile.
The marbled rib-eye was rich and intense in taste, and completely tender – with even the fine ribbons of fat melting in the mouth. It may be an eye watering £36 per 100g, but it’s entirely worth it.
The flavour was showcased even further by the glorious glass of red, Les Amandiers Chateaux de Vieux Parc, selected by our knowledgeable waiter. Our desserts of pecan nut and chocolate bar with crunchy bourbon ice cream, and chocolate brownie sundae with vanilla and hot fudge didn’t disappoint either – with a sweet but not overpowering glass of torlocato from Italy washing them down nicely.
Some of the menu options may be expensive, but there are plenty of dishes which are very reasonably priced – including the rosemary chicken at £16 or the sea bream for £22. And you have to take into account that you escape the £25 entry charge, although this would take you all the way to the top of The Shard.
Plus, it’s not just a meal, it’s an experience which turned into a whole evening out for us as we moved back into the bar to further admire the nighttime views and listen to the live jazz band entertaining diners and drinkers alike.
It was a perfect end to what had been one of the best nights out I’ve had in a long while.