The whole experience of dining in The Shard is special; it’s a meal for a special occasion with a price tag reserved for said occasion. In fact, Elldrew think that going too often would spoil the experience; dining in the clouds just isn’t an everyday kind of thing and Oblix knows this. Whisked to the lofty 32nd floor restaurant in a non-stop dedicated elevator, escorted past open kitchens and fridges stacked high with prime cuts of meat, this is sensory overload (and that’s before you’re hit with the spectacular London skyline just outside the windows).
Designed as a juxtaposition between the modernity of the Shard, but with elements that transport you to the Aztec age, Oblix feels very much like a temple to fine dining. Once you’ve gasped at the view and caught your breath you can finally turn your attention to the menu. Modern European is how you’d define it; it’s not big but big enough that there’s something for everyone. Our party of five tried a selection of starters: the crispy squid was delicious but perhaps not “special”, the tuna tartare was disconcerting because of its striking resemblance to steak tartare (also available) right down to the raw egg cracked on top, but tasty. It was so steak like that Drew had to double check he had received the right dish. The stand out starter was the lobster and scallop ceviche with jalapeno, coriander & sweet pepper. Whilst not to everyone’s taste, and as someone that doesn’t really like lobster, Ell surprised himself by both ordering it and then proceeding to devour the entire dish.
We’d heard that the steaks were Oblix’s raison d’etre and as a result our party all went with various cuts for our mains. An assortment of perfectly cooked tenderloin, rib-eye and sirloin were brought to the table with more accompaniments than we needed. We found the hand cut chips underwhelming but the macaroni & cheese, as well as the green beans with pancetta & truffled ricotta more than made up for this. With so many of us we could try the full range of steak sauces and whilst the truffle butter was awarded the winning sauce by Drew (predictable), Ell preferred the Café de Paris butter with its subtle herb, garlic and mustard flavours.
We were too full to individually choose something from the dessert menu (the amazingly named “Big Sweet One” did catch our eye) so we shared a pecan nut & chocolate bar with crunchy bourbon ice cream and a New York cheesecake. Both were light, moorish and rich – a perfect ending to our meal.
We loved everything but the bill! As we commented earlier, Oblix isn’t for an everyday meal; unless you never have to check your bank balance or have a generous company credit card. With hindsight, for the price we paid, some bread could have been included in the cover charge (available at £4 per person) or it would have been nice for a side to accompany the steak (even chips carry a surcharge). Apart from that grumble we enjoyed the experience very much. Would we go back? Yes, but probably not. At this price there are other equally fabulous restaurants we would like to try for that next special occasion.
Lead photo by Jaanus Jagomägi on Unsplash