The Shard seems to have been part of the London skyline forever but construction on the skyscraper only finished in 2012. In the intervening decade, the UK’s tallest building has played host to offices, hotels, millions of tourists, a photoshoot with Henry Cavill – and a few restaurants.
Oblix at The Shard was the first of these restaurants. Opening in 2014 on the 32nd floor – there are 87 in total – Oblix was the creation of Rainer Becker and Arjun Waney, the restaurateurs behind Zuma and Roka. Unsurprisingly, the two men were inspired by the view.
Oblix is split into two sections. Oblix East is a cocktail bar that offers very nice drinks and a fantastic view. Oblix West is a restaurant that offers very nice food and the other half of that fantastic view. Both are accessed via an elevator that travels so fast, your ears may well pop. Both will make you feel like a Master of the Universe.
You can read our review of Oblix East here. For now, let’s go West.
What’s the vibe?
Panoramic. The interior is very sexy but you’ll have eyes for what’s beyond the window – the city of London shimmering away into the horizon. (Unless you visit in daylight: then there’s less shimmering, more sprawling.) You could visit Obix a hundred times and never tire of the sight. Why not find out?
To reach your table, you pass through the obligatory James Bond passage and through the open kitchen, a nice touch. The restaurant is a thing of steel and shadows, a luxurious cocoon in which to eat, drink and play spot the landmark, count the centipede trains wiggling to London Bridge station way down below.
What to order?
With 10 shareable dishes, the Chef’s Tasting menu offers maximum bang for your buck. The courses kick off with steak tartare – among the best steak tartare I've ever tasted. I asked my friend how she'd describe the taste. "Delicious." Nuff said. The hits keep playing. Hot pancetta and truffle flatbread tastes like a luxury pizza. Burrata with pesto and tomato lingers in the mouth like a happy memory.
The headliners, appropriately enough, bring the noise. Lobster glistening in garlic butter. Peppercorn steak in an orange sauce as warm and nourishing as the sun. Sirloin pink as rose, soft as a kiss. Truffle and parmesan fries! And then three different types of cakes – count ‘em. You’ll be exiting the restaurant via wheelbarrow.
The excellent sommelier will be happy to recommend a suitable wine or two. However, don't leave without ordering a Born A Star (Ciroc vodka, blood orange, passion fruit, vanilla, citrus, champagne) from the cocktail menu. It arrives encased in a model replica of the Shard. Very cool, very fun, very tasty.
What’s the damage?
Expect a Special Occasion bill but not a Remortgage The House bill. The tasting menu is £105pp and offers good value, considering the quantity and quality of the courses. If you order à la carte you’ll probably end up on a similar number – unless you opt for the £188 wagyu tomahawk like a big man.
Factor in cocktails (range from £14-£20) and wine and you’ll be closer to £300 than £200. However there’s also the option of weekend brunches, Rose or Champagne, priced at £79 or £99pp. And those bad boys have booze included. Cheers.
Anything else to note?
After dinner nightcap? Then stroll across the corridor to Oblix East – the cocktail bar section of Oblix – and resume your game of eye-spy with the other half of London.
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Level 32, The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY; Oblix West